Some common questions about teaching with iPads
Which file formats should I use?
The best way to share materials with students to work with on their iPads is to custom make them using the applications which students have on their iPads. Create your new materials using Keynote on your iMac, or iPad, or Pages for text documents. Desktops have these applications for ease of creation, or you can use your iPad to create, or update. Pages, and MS Word can be saved as PDF.
PAPER: Any paper resources you have can be scanned using the office printer / copier and collated into a PDF to share, or displayed using the classroom or lecture theatre document cameras. The desktops also have software to make eBooks, the Apple program iBooks Author.
POWERPOINT: If you have existing powerpoint decks you want to use in lectures, you can continue to use these on the Mac computers in the lecture theatres. However, most powerpoint decks can be imported into the Keynote application on the iPad and display mostly the same way. If you have slides with transitions, or with subscripts and superscripts, these will be less likely to transfer over to Keynote well. Fixed slides without transitions can be saved as a PDF and displayed in the GoodReader application.
MS WORD: You can modify and update existing MS Word documents on your desktop computers, and import these into the Pages application on the iPad. They may not transfer well if your document has tables, graphs or figures. Again, however, they can be saved as PDF and displayed or shared as desired. If you have mostly text based documents, these transfer well to Pages, and students will be able to work with your existing MS Word documents on their iPads
What are the best file formats to use? If you want your students to work on a text document to make changes, fill in data, add text in boxes, etc, Pages is the best application to use. If making changes to the document is not important, you are best to use a PDF. PDF files can be managed and filed in GoodReader, iBooks, or another PDF reader. Annotations can be added to a PDF using GoodReader. Documents, spreadsheets or presentations created in Pages, Numbers or Keynote can be saved as PDF directly on the iPad, or saved as MS Word, Excel or Powerpoint.
It really depends on what you want your students to do.
How to get files on and off my iPad?
One of the simplest ways to transfer materials is to email the file / presentation/photo to yourself, and open it from your email application. Touch gently for a second or two on the file attachment, and then a dialog box will offer a selection of compatible applications to "Open In" depending upon the nature of your file. This is the best option with small files or short presentations, or small groups of photographs. Larger documents and keynote or powerpoint presentations with a lot of photo content take longer to email, and may take longer to open from your iPad. If you are patient, email is still a good way to transfer content between your iPad and your computer.
Airdrop works between Apple devices, Macs to iPad and iPhone, and iPad to iPad, iPad to Mac - files can be sent to available iPads from an iPad or iPhone, or from a laptop to a desktop. When choosing to share a document or image, choose Airdrop from the selection of methods. The device will guide you to how to send and receive.
Another easy way is to save your computer-created files into Dropbox. Dropbox is a free App, so, you should download it from the App store onto your iPad. All Trinity staff have Dropbox installed on their office computers in their applications folder. Files, documents, photos, movies and presentations can be dragged into, opened from, and viewed in Dropbox. Once the file has loaded, you can choose from a list of compatible Apps in which to project, annotate, or edit your content - depending upon your needs. You need to create an account to use Dropbox.
Download from a Website, TCOLE, Google, Evernote. Rather than emailing, downloading documents accessible from a website such as Evernote, or an LMS or a library repository can get the document into the desired app. Touch gently for a second or two on the file attachment - remembering that a loaded .pdf can be selected by touching on the visible page, or can be 'shared' via the share icon (see left). A dialogue box will offer a selection of compatible applications to "Open In" depending upon the nature of your file.
To directly get documents into an app, connect your iPad to iTunes on your desktop and when your menu of apps which are able to file share is visible, select the app in which you wish to import content, and drag the desired files from your desktop into the app window. Any of the apps visible in your File Sharing menu can have documents and files dragged into the right hand window. You can also get items from your iPad onto your desktop this way