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iPads and google apps

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Started by Buffy T 03 Apr 2014 9:28pm () Replies (12)


I teach an 1:1 iPad class.  Are there any teachers using google apps, such as google docs/spreadsheets and blogger in their classrooms?  

Are you students using these docs to document their work, for example writing and maths?  How are you finding these?  Are they functional? Do they freeze, are users kicked out of their docs, or unable to type?  

My class is integrating google docs - we also have teacher dashboard - as our preferred work space with google drive.  We have internet issues, limited bandwith  and are waiting to be SNUPed (?).  My class experiences the above problems and I am investigating if this is an internet issue - so will hopefully improve in the future - or a compatibility issue.  

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated,



  • Sarah Parker (View all users posts) 03 Apr 2014 9:53pm ()

    Hi Buffy,

    Are you using chrome to access google docs on the iPad or the app?  We have found with access to google docs on the iPad that chrome is our preferred method.  Students have to get into the habit of choosing the desktop version when they get in there.  Have had one problems with the iPad using google docs and that is occasionally the keypad seems to stop working.  Students need to go out of the document and then straight back in to solve this.  Have only used the spreadsheet on our chrome books so can't help you with that part.

  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 6:15pm ()

    I will explain this to my class and remind them to close and re-open - I experience this on my mac and PC at times as well.  We have been using the desktop version but looking at using the drive version for straight text writing.  Thanks for your ideas and advice,

    Buffy Laughing

  • Helen King (View all users posts) 03 Apr 2014 10:10pm ()


    What age are your students? I teach 1:1 in a yr 3/4 class. Yr 3 have iPad and yr 4 Chromebook. There is no comparison when using GAFE on Chromebook - it is the real deal. 

    On the iPad we certainly have a few issues. The lack of revision history is a big problem for small kids who make mistakes. Editing and re-crafting is very difficult as the students struggle with selecting specific phrases or even getting the cursor in the right place. 

    Using the Drive App or Mobile version there's no collaboration - which is the main power of Google. Having small kids switch to a clunky desktop version is tedious and another skill to add to the list.

    For simple text - iPad works fine.

    I have reworked and. rethought our program and delivery to essentially change how I was using Google in a purely Chromebook class, to cater for iPad learners.


  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 6:18pm ()

    My class is year 6/7.  We have 1 Chromebook  and it is fabulous, great, easy to use and fits well with our GAFE - of course!

    My students have experienced the editing issues as well.  I am going to try the drive app for straight text and see how that goes.  Thanks for your advice and ideas,


  • Ross Hampton (View all users posts) 04 Apr 2014 8:56am ()

    Use the Drive App for pure writing and chrome browser forced into the desktop version for embellishments such as dding pictures, tables etc. 

  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 6:19pm ()

    Thanks, I am going to use the app for straight writing - and use the desktop version as you suggested.  Thansk again for your ideas.

  • Shona Poppe (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2014 2:37pm ()

    I use Quickoffice with my google drive documents and this seems to run alright. If you have issues with working online, documents can be created offline and then "moved into the correct folder" later when internet access is easier. (I use this when I am taking notes in an establishment that doesn't supply wifi)

    You have access to the camera roll when creating a Presentation (Powerpoint) on the iPad so you can add pictures, but Word is basic and Xcel is functional and also basic.

    So far, it hasn't frozen on me, but the microsoft suite are not my first port of call in creating documents.

    Do like the fact that you can operate more than one google doc account at the same time.


  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 6:20pm ()

    I have viewed discussions about Quickoffice and I am going to look into this for our learners as an alternative.;-)

  • Justine Hughes (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 5:58pm ()

    Hi Buffy

    I'm not in the classroom this year but I've been a passionate blogger (using Blogger) with my classes for the past 5 years and am always happy to help set up, etc and support.

    Also came across this video from Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers fame - he's amazing and always has reliable info and tips and tricks.   This one is a video guide to using the iPad Google Drive app and it's really helpful.

    Please let me know if I can help with anything Blogger.  We had class blogs and individual blogs to record teaching and learning and I always shared my professional blog with the students too.


    Justine  Smile

  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 6:30pm ()

    Hi Justine,

    Thank you for the link.  Blogger: we have started to use for our class and I have set up student blogs to share learning.  We are still getting our heads around this and grappling connection issues.

    Question: Do you edit everything that your students post?  Do you provide a checklist of what they must post or do they choose their own work?

    I would love to hear what you have to say about individual blogs,


  • Justine Hughes (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2014 9:26pm ()

    Hi Buffy

    Below is the link to my classroom blog, and an older classroom blog - there are some 'odd' messages on there as I became very sick in August last year and did not return to school.  Absolutely fine now though.  The notes on the sidebar of the blog explain our thinking around editing and posting on the individual blogs - we ran them as eportfolios and, as they were a record of our learning and showed our progress over time they weren't edited by me.  The progress in terms of achievement was phenomenal and this has happened in all classes who I've blogged with.  The quality of reader courtesy soon rapidly improves as they begin to understand that their audience - the real purpose for their writing - demands a certain quality.  

    It's important to set the blogs up well beforehand.  We created a rubric - initially with my Year 5/6 class that we used to critique a range of blogs to start with so that we knew what we were looking for in terms of quality - I've added the link for this too.

    The students, as part of their "Prep for Learning" - replaced homework and was far more motivating and engaging, had to complete certain posts during the week but could also add their own posts and content.  We always negotiated this and they always had a purpose for what they were posting.  

    Check out the 'About' section on the blogs - these were written mostly by the students.  I was always so proud of them!

    Please just ask if there's anything I can help with.  Blogging has proven to be a way of motivating even the most reluctant writers and is such a strong communication tool for teaching and learning.  The impact it has can be profound if it's set up well.

    Room 4 Learning Journeys

    The Team in Room 8




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