iWork Professional Development February 2011 – Pages

PagesImage via Wikipedia

As I discussed in my iWork Professional Development February 2011 – Keynote post earlier today, I attended a MLTI professional development on Apple’s iWork suite today.

Below is the training Description and Learning Outcomes:

Participants gain fundamental skills with iWork applications (Keynote, Pages, Numbers) and use these tools in today’s learning experiences.

Learning Outcomes
•Understand the fundamentals of iWork applications: Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.
•Get experience with how to create and share iWork projects.
•Examine multiple resources for learning experiences: iTunes, iTunes U, and others.
•Explore how iWork can enhance today’s teaching and learning
As I stated in my iWork Professional Development February 2011 – Keynote blog earlier today I consider myself a mid-level user with this program, even though much of my knowledge of world processors comes from Microsoft Word or Google Documents product worlds, my knowledge carries over well to Pages, but it does not give me the “how to” use this program at a high level or where all the functions are “hidden”. I previously have tried to use Pages as my primary word processor and in my Office for Mac 2011 Review on 11/20/10 I stated that:
“My experiment with the iWork suite and Pages in particular showed that it works differently than I do, it just is not intuitive for me to use, yes I will keep it on the MacBook, but only for specific purposes (student work created in iWork).”

Part of my reason for attending this training today was to see how those with a lot more experience with Pages use it, because I when I have used it, Pages has not compared favorably to Word.
Pages was the second session and we worked on creating a brochure from a template, adding a chart to the brochure, learning what placeholders are, replacing text/photos; creating a newsletter and wrapping text, adding shadows, pulling an image from the web, and how to create a template. I didn’t save any of the work that I did using Pages this morning, so I have gone back and made a screen shot of the template that I used.
Screen shot 2011 02 23 at 9 25 51 PM

The big thing that was emphasized during this training section was how iWork and Apple products are designed to work easily together and we were reminded how easy it was to move images/audio into Keynote earlier. We were shown how easy it was to take images from iPhoto and Safari and put them into Pages. I have added audio and video previously and found it very easy.

I have used Pages in the classroom, but it seems that most of the students use it more when they want to add images, audio or videos to a document quickly and easily. However, when it is straight writing or for when they want to share documents they use Google Documents. Pages to me is more of a desktop publishing software than a word processor, I guess that is why I have some difficulty with it compared to Word or gDocs. It is powerful in a different way than I am used to and is more like Microsoft Publisher than Word.

Something that I had forgotten about before today was the ability to share Keynote, Pages and Numbers files using iWork.com-Beta. This is a part of Apple’s cloud solution, which I tend to forget about, because it is still in beta, the comparatively small amount of storage – 1GB and it is not heavily publicized, but that is a different post.

What did I learn about Pages. Some very good tricks that I didn’t know before, how to use placeholders and how to quickly copy a picture from Safari. I did learn that Pages is a powerful desktop publishing tool, that can quickly and easily create fantastic looking documents.

However, it still does not render Maine’s Special Education documents correctly or have the ability to easily create check boxes. When Pages is able to correctly render those documents and I can transfer them to the Secretary without any rendering issues, Pages will become a viable option as a full-time word processor for me. Until then I have to stay with Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 as my primary word processor to do Special Education paperwork and Google Documents when I want to easily share with student or have my students share their documents with me.

Again the only complaint I had about the session was that it was too short and could have easily been a whole day session by itself. The training staff was great and are very knowledgeable about the iWork suite.

Any Maine educators who are using a MLTI laptop, I strongly recommend that you attend these trainings when they are offered to help you improve your ability to use iWork products in your classroom. I know that I learned a lot today and can’t put some of what I have learned into practice in the classroom.

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