Friday, 28 March 2014

iBet You May Not Know These Tricks

Happy Friday everyone!!

This week I have chosen share a few tips and tricks for the iPad that you may or may not be aware of…

Splitting the keyboard

If you're holding your iPad with both hands, you know how hard it is to thumb type in either the portrait or landscape view. The good news is that then you can split the keyboard to make typing easier.  Touch and hold the "Keyboard" key, to bring it up onto the screen then use two fingers to ‘unpinch’ the keyboard to split it, and pinch to merge it (often this is best performed by placing both thumbs on the ‘g’ and ‘h’ keys and pulling them back towards  the outside of the screen or squeezing them back together).

Caps lock
To type a single capital letter on the iPad keyboard you need to tap the left or right shift key, then the letter, however typing multiple capital letters can be frustrating.  To type a whole word in Caps turn on the caps lock by double taping on either shift key.  Double tap again to turn off caps lock.

Take a photo of what is on the screen (“Screenshot”)
You can take a photo of the image on your iPad by pressing Home and then the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad. The screen will flash and you'll hear a click, indicating that the photo has been taken. Your images are automatically saved in your Photo gallery, where they can be viewed, emailed or used in iPad apps.

Contractions Simplified
iPad’s intuitive word suggestions can automatically include a contraction for you quickly and easily.  By repeating the last letter of the word, it will add in the apostrophe (i.e. welll – we’ll) and complete the word for you when  you tap the space after the word.  

Restoring Deleted Apps
If you accidentally delete an app, and wish to retrieve it you may do so by following these instructions. Visit the app store on your iPad and tap on purchased at the bottom of the page.  This will display all of the apps on your iPad.  By tapping on the ‘not on this iPad’ box at the top, it will display all of the apps which are not synced with the iPad.  Simply find the one you want and tap on the cloud symbol to download it.

Hidden keys on the keyboard
Rather than tapping on the iPad's second keyboard screen to enter a quotation mark or apostrophe, you can simply enable some hidden keys.  By tapping and hold over the ? key and a quotation symbol will appears above the key.  You can select it by moving your finger upwards. Likewise, you can tap and hold the ! key to show the hidden ‘ key – just slide your finger up to access it.

Change your signature
The default email signature on the iPad says, ―Sent from my iPad however if you wish to change it to something more personal merely go into Settings and tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Find Signature in the fourth section down and type whatever you wish.

Tap to the Top
Scrolling back to the top of a lengthy list of twitter messages or website you have been reading can often take many, many swipes up the screen of the iPad.  Instead tap the title bar at the top of the page and the iPad will jump to the top of the page for you – in one quick tap.

I hope these are helpful in making your iPad practice more user friendly.  If you have any questions or suggestions for future tech tips, please feel free to email or message me. Past Tech Tidbits posts can be found on the blog at


Thursday, 20 March 2014

March 21, 2014 - An Online Tool You'll 'Flip' For...

Happy Friday everyone!!

This week I’d like to bring you a fun and exciting online program which allows you to create your very own game show style practice and assessment tool.  It’s called FlipQuiz ( and I’m certain that it will quickly become your student’s favourite way to review material and practice for evaluations!

Once you create a free FlipQuiz account, you are able to begin generating your own game show ‘boards’.  First, determine your category(s) and then begin filling in the questions you would like the students to respond to.  You can include the answers to your questions or simply leave them blank to generate classroom discussions.    You have the opportunity to create up to 6 different categories with 5 questions in each and point values increasing from 100 to 500.  Additionally, you can include links to webpages or YouTube videos in your questions and/or responses to make them more interactive and illuminating.

Your ‘boards’ are saved in the FlipQuiz database so that you can view them again later or edit the questions and responses you have entered.  Also, you can view other subscriber’s boards to see if any of them are of benefit to your programming.  Finally, you can share the link to your board with your students and without creating an account or signing in, they are able to access the board on their own devices and practice the material themselves at home or at school – and are unable to alter the questions or responses.

Overall, I really enjoyed the user-friendly format and how quickly I was able to create a board based on my own material.  I believe that this tool will soon become one of your students’ favourite techniques for assessment.   
Have a great week…