The above headline means that I have officially joined the iPad Revolution–whatever that means. After playing around with a loaner for three weeks, I decided to purchase a new iPad 2 and a logitech bluetooth keyboard. I bought the keyboard because I believe that before we side widespread adaptation of tablets in schools, they need to be viable production tools. In other words, students need to use them for creating and editing documents.
The iPad 2, for all of its fanciness, is not really set up for this purpose. To date, there is no Microsoft Word app for the iPad (makes sense), but Apple does offer an anemic app version of Pages, its underwhelming word processing software. I guess the idea is that no one is really going to spend time typing on the iPad. So why would we need tables or section breaks?
So here’s my workaround. First, I downloaded the Dropbox App for the iPad. If you are not using Dropbox to backup and sync your data, you should be. The Dropbox app allows you to grab your document from your synced folder.
Then, I reluctantly purchased the Pages app. Total waste of $10.00, except that it does open Word documents. So, when you download from Dropbox, Pages will open up your document.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. As usual, Apple is not keen on anyone using non-Apple products in conjunction with their iPads. That means that the iPad does not recognized printers that are not part of their Airprint line. My Samsung wireless printer is not, off course. Enter the Airprint Hactivator from Neputing.
This cool piece of software tricks your iPad into thinking that your printer is indeed an Airprint printer, allowing you to print your documents, via Pages, to the printer you already have. The instructions for installing and using are here. Be sure to use version 2, since version one no longer works. And enjoy printing from your iPad (and sticking it to the man, Apple, with due deference).