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  • Writer's pictureDan Summerell

iPad Basics for Teachers - iPad Tools to Use Straight Out of the Box

I have been lucky enough to be able to use iPads in my classroom since I began teaching five years ago. One thing that surprises me with a lot of teachers that I talk to is that they aren't really sure where to start with the iPad or how to use it with their students. Similarly, teachers can be unsure of what apps they need to install and can be confused by the variety in the App Store, especially when it comes to


This got me thinking about the basics of iPad and what we can do with them right out of the box. Instead of worrying about what apps you need to download right away, check out what you can do with what is already included on your iPad. You might just discover that you don't need to download anything else.

In this post, I'll cover some great iPad tools to use with your students. You'll find more information about the free Apple apps in an upcoming post. 

Five iPad Tools to use:

QR Reader

I enjoy using QR codes when I can and gone are the days when you need a separate app to be able to scan them. With your iPad, simply open your camera and hover over the QR code. The camera will automatically read the code and you tap on the pop up message. Simple.

Screen Recording 

Want your students to demonstrate their learning to you but don't have the time then and there to check everyone's work? Get them to use the Screen Recording feature. You might want a simple mathematical equation explained. Students can simply draw/ type in the Notes app while screen recording. Once they've finished, they can Air Drop it to you or share it elsewhere if you have other sharing tools available.

To set up screen recording, go into Settings>Control Centre>Customise Controls. Find Screen Recording and press the green plus. This will add it to the iPad Control Centre which is easily accessed by swiping down from the top right of the screen. Some things may or may not require a microphone to record external audio. To turn it on/off, hold the screen record button and press the microphone.


I've only recently discovered the Magnifier tool and must say, it's a nifty little feature. Great for use in Science lessons to look up close and different objects. It's also a great tool for you to use to create some intrigue; take a photo for your students to try and guess what it is. Slowly zoom it out until they work it out. Just like the Screen Recording tool, Magnifier can be added to your Control Centre for easy reach.

Today View 

This feature isn't new but the fact it can be kept on your home screen now (well, at least in landscape mode) is great. Today View displays what is coming up next from your Calendar or Reminders app in the form of a widget. If you want your students to keep track of deadlines, important dates, homework, etc, you can get them to add each thing to either their Calendar or Reminders app and it will appear in the Today View widget as they come due. You can also have the weather, your emails and shortcuts appear in the Today View widget. To set it up, swipe from left to right on your screen and press the edit button at the bottom. Turn on 'Keep Today View on Home Screen' and add things by pressing the plus button and drag the 3 lines to re-order.

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