Month: November 2015

Tip: Select Text Like A Pro

What do you do if you want to change that random letter in the middle of that work you’re typing on the iPad?

You’d usually tap and hold and then correct it.

If you update your iPad to iOS 9, you can suddenly forget all about that and select and edit text like a pro.

You can  control the cursor on your iPad by simply moving two fingers anywhere on the keyboard to select, edit and move text.

Since I started using this feature, I found it really hard to go back to the old method. My friend caught me using the touch keyboard and has also been using it. He thought that it could only be used to reposition the cursor, but I explained and demonstrated that he can also select text and move it around.

Try it next time you’re typing something.


Lunchtime Session: 2

In today’s lunchtime session, we focused on planning what kind of things we could include in these sessions.

We narrowed it down to 3 topics for now:

  • Working with iPad
  • Mind mapping
  • Presentations

The third one seemed very useful to hold a session about presentations as students in level 5 & 6 will likely have some group presentations to do – like I do.

I think it will be great to show students that they can create an entire presentation on the iPads, and then even present from them via an adapter for the projector.

One thing we realised was that when you use Keynote, and then export it as Google Slides for PowerPoint formats, you lose some formatting and/animations. So we would need to show students that they would need to decide which software they would use in their final presentation, and create a basic presentation on the iPad before exporting it as another format.

Next session is on 1st December, 1-2pm in room C1.03


Lunchtime Training: 1

On Thursday 19th November, a lunchtime training session was held for everyone in the FST to come along and share their thoughts and ideas regarding the iPads.

The session was focused around NearPod. Some users in the session had never used NearPod and it was a time for them to learn what it did and how to use it. In this session, NearPod was used to collect feedback and ideas regarding the use of the iPads etc.

One of the topics we discussed with Paul, a distinguished Apple educator, was how we could spread the news about these sessions.

We came up with the following:

  • BB
  • Text message
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Push notification on iPad

We thought that if users get the same type of email all the time, it would eventually get ignored. Therefore, we suggested that push notifications on the iPad sounded like a great idea and one that will instantly alert all users of the FST iPads.

The next session takes place on the 24th of November from 1-2pm in C1.03.

Come along and see what your iPad is capable of.


iPad vs Laptop 

Since we have been given iPads this year, I wanted to use it to it’s full potential.

So far, I have made the following changes compared to last year:

  • Using the iPad for note taking 

I think it’s great to be able to take digital notes in the lectures. It’s quicker than that old technology called “pen and paper” that I used in previous years.  It’s nice to be able to lookup definitions for words used in the lectures.  I also love the fact that I can take notes on my iPad, and then pick up where I left off from my MacBook or phone without messing about with cables and email.

  • Getting resources 

So far it’s has been very useful to be able to access the Blackboard to get at resources from anywhere without having to lug a laptop around. And the fact that I get a notification from the Blackboard app when something new is added means that I don’t miss a beat. I don’t like to mix my uni stuff with my personal stuff, which is why I never opted to install the Blackboard app on my phone.

  • Creating work

I think the days of using PowerPoint to create presentations is officially behind me. Since using the iPad, I have created a few presentations using the Keynote app – which I otherwise wouldn’t ever use. For the Professional Practice module, we have created a presentation (as a group) that I hope we will use on the actual day of presenting. It looks really clean, the animations are so eye catching and the app easy to use. It literally took 5 minutes to learn. Again – it’s very useful to start it on my iPad and continue on my Mac.


In contrast to the above, the FST iPad is able to do some tasks better, but the laptop is MUCH more capable. For example: I can’t code on an iPad or create a website. So having to carry 2 devices around is quite cumbersome.

After updating to iOS 9, the gap between iPad and laptop has become smaller as you can now do more advanced multitasking on the iPad than ever before. As a student,it’s really useful to be able to do 2 things at once on a mobile device – but still no coding.

For the days I don’t have a lot of work to do, I carry the iPad, and other days I carry the MacBook. As a student it’s difficult to carry both around, even if the iPad is light, the weight seems to become heavier at the end of the day. We will see how this turns out.


Tip: Slide Over

The first tip I’m going to share with you is something you won’t be able to live without when you start using it.

If you update to the latest version of iOS on the iPad (Settings > General > Software Update), you’ll be able to use one of the most useful features on iPad.

“Slide over” is a way of using another app, on top of your current one without losing your place. I’ve used this feature countless times in lectures and tutorials to quickly get to my Twitter feed while viewing the lecture slides.


Above: Twitter open on top of Safari

When you’re using an app, such as Safari, simply swipe in from the right edge of the screen to access apps that are compatible with slide over. Not all apps are, but the main ones will be.

You can view the apps that you can use in slide over by sliding it open, then swiping down from the top.

To get out of slide over, just tap the background app. If an app you want to use is not listed, then that means it’s not supported just yet.

Like I mentioned before, this feature is really useful for checking your email or calendar while you’re watching a video or browsing the web. It’s great for taking notes in a lecture where you can have the slides open and Word or Pages on top





Welcome to my iPad diary.

My name is Irfan and I’m currently in my second year studying Computer Science BSc at the University of Westminster.

As part of a huge pilot project at the University of Westminster, we have been given iPads in an effort to transform learning. They’ve been given to us as a tool to assist lecturers and students to learn in  a more fun, different and engaging way. There has been a lot of fuss about this and why not – it’s the biggest project in any university in the UK.

Since I am always eager to get my hands on technology and talk about it, I not only volunteered to become a student digital ambassador, but I also volunteered to create this blog.

I’ve created this blog to document my use of iPad and how its helped me learn at uni even better. I will use it as a central hub to write about things I like about using it in lectures and tutorials and things I don’t like.

As a student digital ambassador (there are loads of us!) It’s my duty to make sure these iPads are being used to their full potential. Also helping them be integrated as much as possible in fellow classmmates learning environments – while at the time, encouraging everyone become more “digital”.

It’s not all work and no play! I will be documenting any interesting apps and tips that I find useful on iPad, on this blog too.

I hope you will enjoy reading these posts which will be written at least   once a week.