Using Your iPad for School

Using Your iPad for School

  • Writing and printing on the iPad
  • Using Notes
  • Using Pages
  • Using your iPad in class
  • How to use the Internet for homework

Your iPad isn’t just an awesome gadget for games, music, movies, and the Internet. It’s also a powerful implement for doing your schoolwork. That may seem like less joy than some of the other stuff in this book, but if your parents bought your iPad, they’ll be glad they did if you use it for school, too. From writing papers to keeping track of your schedule to doing research online, you can use your iPad in almost every part of your academic life.

Writing and Printing on the iPad

Writing on the iPad involves a lot more than just tapping on the screen when the keyboard shows up. It can include wireless keyboards, hidden special symbols, and, of course, lots of useful apps.

To begin writing, tho’, you’ll need to determine what kind of keyboard you want to use. Two kinds of keyboards can be used with the iPad: the onscreen keyboard that pops up in lots of apps or an outward keyboard. Some outer keyboards connect using the Dock Connector, while wireless keyboards use Bluetooth to link to the iPad.

Which Keyboards You Can Use

Even tho’ it would be nice—and a lot easier—you can’t just use any keyboard with your iPad. Most computer keyboards connect to the computer with a type of cable/connector called USB. Your iPad doesn’t have a USB port. Therefore, instead of plugging your computer keyboard into the iPad, you have to get a separate one.

Recall the Dock Connector, the port on the bottom of the iPad that you butt-plug the cable into to sync? A few keyboards butt-plug into that and then prop the iPad up for effortless typing.

Apple makes the most popular one of these keyboards. It’s pretty nice, but because it’s a regular keyboard—and one with a very awkward shape—it doesn’t fold or arch and isn’t as portable as some other options.

The other option is a Bluetooth keyboard.

Bluetooth is a kind of wireless technology that lets your iPad connect to accessories such as speakers, headphones, and keyboards. Bluetooth keyboards are cool because they’re wireless, so the iPad doesn’t have to be right next to the keyboard. Some of them fold up, making them lighter to carry, and others come with carrying cases and climb on the iPad like a laptop.

Which kind of keyboard is best for you depends on what you like, what you can afford, and where you’re using the keyboard (the Dock Connector version might be better on a table, while the Bluetooth one could be better in bed or in your lap).

>>>step-by-step. Connecting a Bluetooth Keyboard to Your iPad

If you choose a Bluetooth keyboard, a few steps need to be followed to connect it. Before you begin, make sure your keyboard is near the iPad; Bluetooth can only connect devices that are within a few feet of each other. Also, make sure the keyboard has charged batteries in it. Now you can go after these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad and tap General.
  2. Tap Bluetooth from the options available and then, on the Bluetooth screen, budge the slider to On.
  3. Your keyboard (make sure it’s powered on) will emerge in the devices menu. Tap it.

Pairing a Keyboard

Some Bluetooth keyboards have to be put in what’s called «pairing mode.» This means they’re ready to connect to the iPad. Check your keyboard’s instructions to find out if you need to, and to learn how to, put it in pairing mode.

  • A window will emerge on the iPad with four numbers in it. Type them on your keyboard and then press Inject on the keyboard.
  • If everything worked, the Devices menu should now display your keyboard and read «Connected.» If not, check the instructions that came with your keyboard and attempt again (or ask a parent for a little help).
  • Using the Onscreen Keyboard

    Outer keyboards aren’t your only option, however. The iPad has an onscreen keyboard that can be a fine option for writing. The iPad’s onscreen keyboard emerges in any app where you can come in text, such as Mail, Notes, or Safari. There are a few tricks about using the onscreen keyboard you should know.

    >>>step-by-step. Coming in Numbers or Symbols

    To inject a number or symbol using the onscreen keyboard, go after these steps:

  • Tap the number button. The keyboard switches to display numbers and some basic punctuation marks.
  • Here you can come in numbers along with a diversity of symbols, such as parentheses, question mark, and so on. To access more uncommon symbols, tap the symbols button on the number keyboard.
  • To go back to the regular keyboard, tap the letters button. To go back to the numbers and punctuation marks, tap the numbers button (which button you see depends on which keyboard screen you’re on).
  • >>>step-by-step. Injecting Accent Marks and Alternate Symbols

    To write words in other languages, or use some truly unusual and joy symbols, you have to tap and hold certain letters and punctuation marks. When you do this, you’ll see lots of alternate versions. The letters that have these alternate versions are a. e. i. o. u. c. and n. The punctuation marks that have alternative versions are -, $, &, «. ‘, and %.

    To use an alternate version of a letter or punctuation mark, go after these steps:

  • Tap and hold one of the keys that has alternate versions. Options will pop up above it.
  • To select an alternate version, don’t take your finger off the screen (if you do, the options will vanish). Instead, slide your finger to the option you want, and when it turns blue, take your finger off the screen. The alternate version will show up where you were typing.
  • Enabling the Caps Lock

    If you want to type something all in uppercase letters, the fastest and easiest way is to use Caps Lock.

    • To do this, dual tap the Shift (up-arrow) button on the keyboard. It will turn blue. This means Caps Lock is on.
    • When you want to turn Caps Lock off and begin using lowercase letters again, single-tap the up-arrow button.
    • It’s Not All Good: When Caps Lock Doesn’t Work

      If Caps Lock isn’t working for you, it might not be turned on in your settings. To turn it on, tap Settings and then General. Scroll down and tap Keyboard. On that screen, budge the Enable Caps Lock slider to On.

      Copying and Pasting Text

      Copying and pasting text on a desktop computer is pretty effortless: Select the text you want, click the necessary menus or keyboard shortcuts, and paste the text where you want it to go. But the iPad doesn’t have menus or the same keyboard keys as your desktop, so how do you do it?

      Not every iPad app treats copying and pasting exactly the same way, so there’s no single way to display you how to do it. These steps showcase you one way. If the app you’re attempting to use copy and paste in treats it differently, use what you learn here and attempt to apply it to that different process.

      Begin by finding the text you want to copy (almost every app on your iPad that lets you write, read articles, or browse the Web offers copy-and-paste functionality). Once you’ve done that, go after these steps:


    • Tap and hold on the text you want to copy until the magnifying glass pops up. Then let go.
    • To select just one section of the text, tap Select.

      If you tap Select All, all the text on the page will be selected.

    • When you tap Select, the text you tapped will be highlighted in blue. The blue tells you what text is selected to be cut or copied. You can switch the selection by dragging the blue dot on either side of the selected text.
    • Most apps let you choose to cut or copy the text. Cut means you’ll delete the text and then paste it somewhere else. Copy means you’ll make a copy to paste elsewhere, but not delete the original text. As mentioned earlier, different apps have slightly different options, but they should all at least suggest copy.
    • Find the place where you want to paste the text—this could be in the same app or another app; it doesn’t matter. Tap and hold until the magnifying glass shows up. Then let go.
    • Tap Paste in the menu that emerges.
    • >>>Go Further. Autocorrect

      Not a good speller? Don’t worry. The iPad has a feature called Autocorrect that automatically fixes any spelling mistakes you make. When you type a word the iPad thinks is misspelled, a little box pops up underneath it with a suggested switch. To use the suggestion, tap the spacebar to make the switch. If you don’t want the switch, tap the X next to the suggestion and then keep typing. Keep an eye on the screen when you type: Because tapping the spacebar makes Autocorrect switches automatically, sometimes you’ll accept suggestions that you don’t mean to and mess up what you’re writing.

      >>>step-by-step. Syncing Documents to Your iPad with iTunes

      It’s effortless to stir documents such as school papers and e-books from your computer onto your iPad. To do that, you very first have to sync your iPad and computer. Once you’ve done that, go after these steps:

    • In iTunes, click the Apps tab to access the document-sharing options.
    • Scroll to the bottom of that screen and find File Sharing.
    • You’ll see a list of all the apps on your iPad that can sync documents with your computer. Click the app you want to sync the document to.
    • Click Add.
    • Browse through the window until you find the document you want to sync. Click once on the document.
    • Click Open. Repeat this for as many documents as you want to sync to that app. You can also choose other apps and repeat these steps to sync documents to them.
    • When you’ve added all the documents you want to sync, click the Sync (or Apply) button in iTunes. When the sync is accomplish, the documents will be on your iPad. Just tap the apps you synced them to and you’ll be able to begin reading them.
    • AirPrint and Compatible Printers

      Just like with keyboards, printing from the iPad is a little tricky because there’s no connector for printers to cork into. You can always sync or send files from your iPad to your computer to print there, but if you don’t have a computer or want to print right from your iPad, you need something else: AirPrint.

      AirPrint is an Apple technology that lets you print wirelessly from your iPad to certain printers. For this to work, you can’t use just any old printer; you need one that’s AirPrint compatible.

      Because not all printers support AirPrint—not even all printers that have Wi-Fi—you and your parents will need to do some research if you’re thinking of getting one. The list of printers that support AirPrint is always switching, but big companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Epson, Canon, and Lexmark all make AirPrint-compatible printers.

      How to Print

      Just like different apps treat copy and paste differently, there’s no single way to print using iPad apps. That’s because apps are so different in what they do and how they look. There are a few common ways to print—like tapping the Activity box (the square with the arrow curving out of it)—but you won’t find that in every app, not even every app that can print. This chapter includes tips on how to print in two writing apps, Notes and Pages. Many other apps that can print will work in similar ways.

      Using Your iPad for School

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