Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Top 5 iPad Apps for the Classroom Series: Pages

Image Credit: https://www.apple.com/ios/pages/ 
The use of iPads in schools has grown tremendously over the past few years. It seems like every week you hear of a new school or district starting a new to 1 to 1 iPad program. With that in mind, I thought it would be a helpful to share some of the insights I have gained since the launch of my school's 1 to 1 iPad program two years ago. One question that constantly comes up when discussing iPads in schools involves what apps are best for the classroom. With the endless number of apps available, this can be a very daunting question.

A key point that helps sort through this mess involves a focus on apps that allow creation. Oftentimes, teachers get bogged down with trying to find apps that support and deliver content; however, these apps seldom require much in the way of higher order thinking skills as they typically involve simple drill and practice tasks. Education Week has an excellent blog post from February 2013 that sums up this issue very nicely... All the Good Apps Fit on One Screen. As mentioned by the author, a focus on creation apps can be very liberating for a teacher as it eliminates the need to stay up-to-date with the endless number of content focused apps available. Additionally, creation apps possess much greater potential to positively impact learning and the development of 21st Century Skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

With all that being said, I have put together a list of the top 5 apps I would recommend for anyone using iPads in the classroom. The second app on my list is the word processing app, Pages, created by Apple. If you are using an iPad in an educational setting, a good word processing app is an essential tool to have. Of all the options available for use on the iPad, Pages is the best one for the classroom in my opinion. This app is simple and intuitive for students of all ages to use yet offers the robust functionality necessary for completing both fundamental and creative word processing tasks. Here are some of the key features that set Pages apart:
  • Smooth and intuitive user interface
  • Automatic iCloud back-up including access to documents on any device with an Internet connection (very helpful for ensuring students never lose anything) 
  • Provides the essential functions necessary for completing most academic word processing tasks such as research papers, reports, etc...
  • Ability to insert photos, tables and charts which is a function not available in most word processing apps on the iPad 
  • Allows inserted objects to be moved freely around the document similar to the capability found in most desktop publishing programs (this is a big plus for completing more creative tasks) 
  • Documents created in Microsoft Word and be imported into Pages for further editing 
  • Can easily export documents out into other apps and cloud storage services in a variety of file formats including Pages,Word, PDF and ePub. 
  • Ability to collaborate with others on the same document through shared iCloud links
  • Several easy to use sharing options including Air Drop for iOS users
If you are new to Pages and would like to try it out, check out this brief tutorial video I created for our students introducing the basic features available in the app. 



To purchase this app or view more details in the app store, go here: Pages

If you are familiar with another word processing app for the iPad that is comparable or even better than Pages, feel to comment and share your recommendation. It is always helpful to know about the different options available. In the next post, we will review the next app in my top 5 list....Keynote.

If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can view it here:  Notability

Thanks for reading and I wish everyone a blessed July 4th holiday.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like it would be money well spent. Does formatting get messed up when sharing to edit or just opening in a different program? Thanks for this post!

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    Replies
    1. There are some minor formatting items that may have some issues but it keeps getting better and better. Check out this link for more info on the compatibility between the two programs:

      https://www.apple.com/ios/pages/compatibility/

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