Welcome to iPads in education. this device has the potential to make you a more organised, more independent and more creative learner. However, like all tools, it is only as good as its owner. Here are some ways to make you a good owner without it costing you anything. All of the points made are gone into in more detail elsewhere on the wiki, but this should provide you with a useful summary.

1. Before you visit the App Store

31tWJf+t6zL.jpgThe iPad comes ready to make your life more efficient and it is important to make the most of the key tools. Detailed instructions can be found elsewhere on the wiki.

Spend some time becoming familiar with the options. You will need to use it to complete some of the steps below.

Use the school email system to send work to teachers and make sure that your teachers mail you with requests. In the past they have emailed your form tutor with info, a system that did not always work, so why not cut out the middleman? This page shows you how to set this up: How to set up school email

Having instant access to the web should be a real game changer in itself. Make sure that you switch the bookmark bar on in settings and use it to access important websites like Fronter with one tap. Use the 'add to reading list' when researching or install the webclipper if you use Evernote.

is your new planner. Use it to write in your timetable, your homework (with reminders) and to subscribe to the Sixth Form Calendar (you will be sent a link for this). You should also persuade your teachers to set up subject calendars so that important dates, revision sessions etc can be easily shared and updated.

is the basic to do list that links with iCal and can be organised into folders. Use it to keep on top of your work.

is a basic notemaking app. Useful for jotting down stuff.

The Camera
is great for recording what's on the board or anything else you want to remember or use at a later date. The screenshot function is particularly useful.

2.Free Apps!

You can get set up for effective working for free. A lot of the apps will ask for money for their upgrades but the basic functionality is yours for free. I have not included subject specific apps here but every subject will have several apps that will support your studies (see elsewhere on the wiki).

Download the iWork suite of apps: Pages Numbers and Keynote (+iMovie and iPhoto) for free. These apps would have cost you almost £30 and will be a real boost to your productivity on your iPad. iWork is a mac version of Microsoft Office allowing you to work with your PowerPoints etc as well as creating your own own presentations.

Dropbox. Get an account and download the app. You can set it to automatically upload files from your photos so that you can save on space on your iPad. Google Drive offers 15g free storage and is well worth having.

Adobe Readerallows you to organise, read and annotate PDF files (ie syllabus/past papers etc)

Adobe Ideas is a really useful for handwritten notes and doodles.

Evernote is an excellent way of making and organising notes, webpages, audio

Simple Minds is great for mind mapping

Documents by Readdle will read and organise a wide variety of formats from video to text.

Doc Scan will let you scan and save as a PDF (and therefore more flexible than simply taking a picture).

CloudOn is a free app that lets you work with the Microsoft Office software. Paid for apps are better but this is the free option if you bought your device before the 1st of September.. As is Documents Free

OPlayer facilitates the playing of video files.

iBooks is where you can store subject textbooks as well as PDFs.

iTunesU gives you access to an increasing variety of lectures and courses from some of the best institutions in the world.

Flip cards. There are several websites that promote the sharing of resources. StudyBlue is one. You can set up a study area for your class- a great way of spreading the workload.

3.Good working habits

This is perhaps the most important part of using the iPad. Again, it costs you nothing.
Research well. Most of the web is full of rubbish and your iPad and you will need to access the sites that can support your learning effectively. There should be plenty of links on your Fronter subject pages so add them to a bookmark folder as a starting point. Media sites can be really useful- for example, The BBC is a resource that has something for all subject areas and you can sign up to receive feeds on areas important to you . The Exam boards also have lots of recommendations to support the specification that you are following. Research is an area that is discussed at greater length elsewhere in the wiki but remember that research skills are something that you have to develop in preparation for university.

Planning ahead. Make sure you have already downloaded material you need for a lesson. This is particularly true with resources from Fronter. Don't rely on a smooth wifi experience in parts of the old building!

Keeping tidy. You can easily fill up your memory with video and photo. Use cloud storage so that you can access your stuff using wifi. Delete apps that you don't use and restore them at a later date if necessary.

Switch off using Airplane mode. If you are trying to work on your iPad, the constant barrage of messages and alerts can be very distracting. Aiplane mode is the simplest way of blocking off the world. Otherwise you can switch off the individual functions in Settings.

Separate work from play. Easier said than done but at some point in your life if you don't learn how to do this your boss will fire you! Think of this as a process as everybody has their own way of working and you need to discover what works for you. If you use Twitter to follow that famous film director and you are a Media student then you are probably well on the way to understanding how to use technology to support your learning journey...

4. The Next Steps...