iOS 7 iPad KeyboardI was teaching my son to spell and came across a problem with iPad that will affect all young learners.

My son is just learning to write, and I thought it would be a good idea to do away with the physical hurdle of using a pen and try spelling his name on our iPad. He found the “G” key — the first letter of his name — quickly and then sat confused browsing over the selection of letters. He couldn’t get any further. I knew he was capable of finding the other letters, we’d written the alphabet out and he’d successfully picked out the correct ones, but now he was stuck. I suddenly realised the problem.

The iPad keyboard, as with a physical keyboard, always shows capital letters regardless of whether the capslock or shift key is pressed. My son was struggling to identify lowercase letters when all those in front of him were uppercase.

We tried the same task on an Android tablet and he could immediately work it out. The default Android keyboard — available on the Google Play store — shows upper or lowercase letter at the relevant time.

This isn’t something I’d ever considered before, but the same is true of physical keyboards. Has anyone come across this issue in the classroom? How have you dealt with it?

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About Author

Profile photo of Karl Rivers

Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

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