Adding Keyboards in iOS 8

This is cross posted from my Boys Writing Blog

Over the holidays I updated my iPad to iOS8 which allows for users to install new keyboards from app developers. I have had Swype on my 3G Android Camera for some time and liked it. I wondered how it would go with kids. Some liked it and some didn’t. I think if you are very much a struggling writer then tapping each letter as you go would be a better option but for those who have some writing skills under their belt Swping would be worth persisting with to get the hang of it.

Play the video in full screen to see what T is saying and Swyping to see how it is supporting his writing.

T doesn’t know how to spell through and spelt it as thought but when he spells operation as operasion the app leads him to the correct spelling and gives him close choices should his Swping be less than accurate.

I also liked the way that he pauses to think of the word in chunks to better help him break down the writing process- the video helps make the learning visible.

I notice that T is also pushing the space bar for spaces between words. The app knows where the spaces are as he takes his finger off the screen so he doesn’t necessarily need to do that.

The other keyboard that I think that would be good to install as a choice with be Lower Case Keyboard by our very own Matt Thomas.

Matt has made the lower case keyboard with the Open Dyslexic font so as to better support learners who find differentiating letters tricky.

Just a note though that there is a bit of an iOS bug at the moment and you need to turn off guided access before you can install the new keyboards. I am sure it will be ironed out before too long.

2 thoughts on “Adding Keyboards in iOS 8

  1. Thanks Allanah,

    Mark’s option is something to consider.

    Both keyboards, either using caps only or lower case letters cause an issues.

    On cap one – selecting b/d does not cause an issue this could become an issue when just using the lower case board.
    Also on cap board cap I is selected as lowercase l, but is usually self corrected, self corrected many times before connection is made. This may not occur on just using lowercase board as it looks like a cap L because of flick.

    I like your idea of letting kids find the keyboard that suits them best.

  2. Allanah,

    I am a student in EDM310 from the University of South Alabama. Thanks for the post, I did not know that about iOS8. I think it is awesome that you let your students pick which keyboard they feel suits them and their needs.

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