For decades, teachers have used a variety of software options to create classroom materials. For many educators, that has meant using a suite of programs for desktop computers. Now that mobile apps have evolved to the point where they can offer similar functionality at a fraction of the price, educators may want to explore alternate technology for accomplishing classroom tasks.
The App: Pages
The Goal: Create a quiz.
The Steps: When Pages launches, you are presented with a new, blank document. This is similar to the starting point when using Microsoft Word. In fact, the entire app is designed to mimic the most-used features of Word, while at the same time streamlining some of the more complicated maneuvers.
You will notice that the virtual keyboard is exactly the same as that on all other iOS keyboards; the numerals and special characters are located in the “shift” view. Toggle between the alpha view and shift view to create the name holder:
NAME: _______________ DATE: _______________
Add a hard return (or two) to get the cursor just below the name and date fields. Now, tap the “center justified” button in the edit menu to move the cursor into the center of your document. Here, you can add the title of your quiz:
Ms. Mirren’s History Quiz
Of course, if you’d prefer, you could place the title above the name and date fields, or left-justify it—the design is really a matter of taste.
Keep the information you’d like present handy, and begin by simply typing it on the screen. If this is a fill-in-the-blank quiz, you can type the question, followed by a blank field for the answer:
1. In what year did Columbus land in America? __________
Again, you will be toggling between the alpha and shift keyboards to get access to the numerals, but this is done simply by tapping the shift key.
If this is a multiple-choice quiz, type the question just as you did in the fill-in-the-blank version, only omit the blank field. Then tap return to move the cursor to the next line. Tab over once and begin typing answers from which students can choose:
1. In what year did Columbus land in America?
Repeat the process until all of your questions are entered.
Unlike with Office tools, with Pages you do not have to “Save” or “Save As.” Simple closing the app keeps the document saved until you are ready to print.
iPads have the ability to print wirelessly to printers that are connected to a WiFi network. Tapping the print button will bring up a list of printers on the network.
If you are not connected to a WiFi network, or do not have a wireless printer, you can email the document to yourself. Tapping the email button will bring up a small menu that prompts you to choose the file format in which you’d like send the document. Choose Word, and then tap “Send.” The quiz will arrive in your inbox as a Word file that may be opened with Word and printed to your hard-wired printer.