iPad Keyboards in the Classroom

Keyboard for iPads fb

I bought a new iPad last week.  It’s an iPad Air 2 and I love it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 11.19.44 AM

It’s smaller and lighter than the iPad I’ve been using for the last two years.  It also has a fingerprint scanner that I love.  I can unlock my iPad simply by pressing my thumb on the home button.  Super slick. But, the best feature of my new iPad is something that I never expected. In fact, it’s something that’s not actually part of the iPad. It’s the keyboard that I bought to go with it:

 

 

Having a keyboard to go with my iPad has doubled my productivity.  I’m using it more than I ever have.  In the past,  if I had emails to send or things that needed to be typed, I’d always default to my laptop.  Now that I’ve got a keyboard attached to my iPad, I can easily do those things without switching devices, and it’s saving me all sorts of time.  I really didn’t expect a keyboard to make that much of a difference.

So now that I’m sold on keyboards for iPads, am I going to run out and buy a bunch for my student iPads? Absolutely not.  The lack of a keyboard is exactly what makes the iPad so perfect for early childhood.  It’s that simple touch interface that makes it kid-friendly. I’d hate for a keyboard to corrupt that experience.

But I absolutely recommend getting a keyboard for the iPad that you use as a teacher.  I bought the cover pictured above.  It’s made by Anker and it’s half the price of other popular iPad keyboards. You can check out the details here:  Anker® Bluetooth Folio Keyboard Case for iPad Air with 6-Month Battery Life Between Charges and Comfortable Low-Profile Keys TC980 (Not compatible with iPad Air 2)  (Note that as with all cases, you have to select one that matches the model you own.  This link is for the iPad Air, not the Air 2.  The Air 2 case was sold out at this writing.)

My colleague swears by this case:


ZAGG Slim Book Case Ultrathin Hinged with Detachable Backlit Keyboard for iPad Air 2 – Black (ID6ZF2-BB0)

It’s made by Zagg. She loves the keyboard, but even more she loves the customer service and warranty that comes with the keyboard.  Zagg has been great about replacing broken keyboards.  (Since she works with older students, she does use the keyboard with her students, so they’re subject to a bit more wear and tear. )

Other popular keyboards:

Belkin QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 (Black)  The most expensive of the bunch,  this keyboard is highly rated.

Logitech Ultrathin Magnetic Clip-On Keyboard Cover for iPad Air 2, Space Gray (920-006523)  The Apple Store sells Logitech brand cases.

I never thought I’d say it,  but a keyboard is a must-have feature for any adult iPad user. I don’t know how I lived without it for the last couple of years!

Keyboard cover for classroom iPad