iPad Resource Guide

This is resource guide for the iPad that I will be continually updating throughout the term. Feel free to add comments if you have questions or suggestions.

Navigation (haven't yet written all the code for this yet)
Getting Started
  iTunes Account
  Syncing your iPad
  Setting a Security Password
  Connecting to the Penn State Network
  Apps to Download
Specific Tasks and Applications
  Course File Naming Conventions
  Basic HTML Code
Basic TroubleShooting
Ipad Help
<a href="#ipad">iPad Study</a>

Getting Started

iTunes is a software platform developed by Apple. Many use iTunes to organize, play, and purchase their digital media (movies and music). An iTunes app is installed on your iPad for these purposes. iTunes is also the program used to set up iPods, iPhones, and iPads, and to move files between those devices and a desktop or laptop.

In order to use your iPad, you will need access to iTunes on a personal computer you own (or have regular access to). The iTunes software on Penn State computers does not have syncing capabilities with mobile devices. 

If you have your own computer, installing iTunes is strongly recommended. You can download the program by following the instructions posted here:


iTunes Account
In order to purchase applications for your iPad, you will need to have an iTunes account. Your iTunes account will allow you to access the App Store.

If you do not already have an iTunes account, you can create one using either your credit card or an iTunes gift card. Creating an account with a credit card will allow you to use your iTunes account to purchase media and applications not covered by the amount of the gift card. Create your iTunes account by following the instructions provided here:


Note: If you are using an existing account or have created a new account using your credit card information rather than a gift card, you can redeem your iTunes gift cards in the AppStore application on your iPad. To redeem gift cards, open the App Store application, scroll to the bottom of the page, tap the "redeem" button, and enter the gift card code.

Syncing Your iPad to a Desktop or Laptop

You may want to sync your iPad to another computer through iTunes if you wish to backup your files to another computer, or if you wish to move content directly between that computer and an iPad. You will also need to sync your iPad to iTunes the first time you turn it on.  An explanation of this process and instructions can be found here:


Setting a Security Password
One of the first tasks you must complete after you have charged your iPad and initialized it through iTunes is to configure a passcode for your iPad. This passcode will prevent others from logging onto your iPad.  To initialize your passcode, follow these steps:
  1. Tap the Settings app.
  2. Under General settings (the default), tap "Passcode Lock." On the following screen, tap "Passcode On."
  3. Enter a four-digit numerical code. Note: Make sure this is a code you will be able to remember easily.
  4. Navigate back to the General settings, and tap "Auto-Lock" to set the number of minutes your iPad screen will remain on with no activity. After this duration, your iPad screen will be turned off and a user will be required to enter the passcode to use the device.

Connecting to the Penn State Wireless (with or without VPN)
The Penn State University Park campus has two wireless networks available through most of campus: pennstate and psu.  You can access each of these networks with your iPad.

To configure your iPad to use the Web 2.0 network, follow the directions provided here:


To install Penn State's VPN client, follow the directions provided here:


When you are on campus, you will often have access to both the psu and pennstate network. In many locations one may have a stronger signal than the other. If you are having difficulty on your current network, try the other. Once you have configured the Web 2.0 settings on your iPad, you should be able to access the psu network without logging in.  To access the pennstate network, you will need to turn the VPN client on (in Settings, tap "VPN" and enter your webaccess ID and password).

Apps to Download
You will need to purchase and download the following applications for this course:
  • iBooks: ebook reader and online bookstore
  • Pages: Document production and editing application
  • SugarSync: File sharing application
  • iAnnotate PDF: PDF reading and annotation application
  • BlogPress: blog post writing application

You will also need to download the course textbook in iBooks. Once you have installed and opened the iBooks app, navigate to the iBooks store, search for "Markel Technical Communicaiton," and download the book.

Specific Tasks and Applications

One of the easiest methods for exporting documents from your iPad is through the Mail app.  To set up the Mail app with Penn State's webmail account, follow the instructions provided here:


We will be using the SugarSync app to share documents with one another and to back up our work. You will need to set up an account at SugarSync and download the application to your personal computer. Once you have downloaded SugarSync and configured your SugarSync account, complete its included tutorial to familiarize yourself with the app.

An important feature of SugarSync not covered by the tutorial is its ability to accept documents emailed directly to your SugarSync account. To upload a document to SugarSync via email, follow these steps on your iPad:
  1. Log into your SugarSync account on the website.
  2. Tap the "account" link toward the top righthand corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the "Edit" link corresponding to the "Upload by Email" field.
  4. Tap to highlight the email address in the "Upload by Email" field. Tap "Copy." Note: This is the email address you will use to email documents to your SugarSync account.
  5. Open the Pages app.
  6. Navigate to the document you wish to upload to SugarSync in the My Documents view of the Pages app.
  7. Tap the export button beneath the document, and choose "Send via Mail."
  8. When prompted, save the document to PDF. The document will be added as an attachment to a blank Mail email.
  9. Tap the "To" field in the email containing your attachment. Paste the SugarSync email address into this field. Tap the "Send" button. Tip: mail will remember this address for you. You can also edit the contacts and give your SugarSync email address a contact name. The next time you want to email a document to your SugarSync account, simply follow steps 5-8, and when the blank email appears begin typing in the first letter of your SugarSync email address (or of the contact name you might have given it).

Course File Naming Conventions
Because we will be sharing files with each other, and because you will need to turn in multiple versions of the same document, to prevent losing your work it is essential that you adhere to the following conventions for naming your files.


Where "AuthorLastName" is the last name of the author, "Paper" is the descriptor used to refer to the assignment (as listed on your assignment sheet), and "Draft" is the state of the current version (first, review, or final). For peer-reviewed drafts, file names should also include the last name of the reviewer, following this structure:


For example, a draft of the rhetorical analysis assignment written by Marcie Jacobs and reviewed by Peter Ward would have the file name jacobs_ra_review_ward.PDF, while the final draft of the same assignment, as written by Marcie Jacobs, would have the file name jacobs_ra_final.PDF.

Penn State Blogs and BlogPress
Much of your work in this course will be posted to your own Penn State blog. 

Begin by creating a blog for the course.  Instructions can be found at the PSU Blogs Get Started Page. Think carefully about what content you would like to display on your blog, and customize your blog by creating pages to organize that content.

To be able to post from Safari on your iPad: navigate to Preferences--> Entry, and change "Text formatting" to "Convert Line Breaks." Note: If you do not change this setting, you will not be able to add text to your blog from your iPad.

After you have set up your blog, you can use the BlogPress app to create and post quick entries from your iPad without navigating to the Penn State blogs interface. Follow these steps to configure BlogPress for your Penn State blog:
  1. Download the BlogPress app from the App Store.
  2. Log into blogs.psu.edu in Safari on the iPad.
  3. Tap your user ID at the top right-hand corner of the blog interface. (The text will read, "Hi, username.") You will be redirected to an "Edit Profile" page.
  4. Tap in the "Web Services Password" field and enter a password for your blog. Note: This does not hae to be the same as your webaccess password.
  5. Tap the "Save Changes" button.
  6. Once the changes have been saved, tap the "System Overview" tab and select the name of your course blog from the drop-down list.
  7. In the homepage of your  blog dashboard, tap in the browser's address bar and choose "Select All" to highlight the entire URL, and then "copy."
  8. In BlogPress, add a new blog. Choose "Moveable Type" from the list of Blog Service Providers.
  9. In your account settings, enter your Penn State webaccess ID as your UserID and the Web Services Password chosen in step 4 as your WS Password. Tap in the mt.cgi URL field and enter the URL copied from your blog in step 7. Tap the "Save" button in the top righthand corner.
  10. Click on the gear tool in the lower left-hand corner. Under "Save Photos to," change this to either BlogPress Album or (if you want to send pictures to your Picassa or Flickr account, select those and enter your username and password. (This is necessary in order to upload photos.)

Basic HTML Codes
In order to format your blog posts accurately and consistently in BlogPress, you will need to use hypertext markup language (HTML). HTML is a simple text tagging system that allows you to control the appearance of your work.

HTML tags surround the text you wish to format.  Most tags must begin with an opening tag (which looks like this <b>), followed by the text you wish to format, followed by a closing tag (which contains the same characters as the opening tag, with the addition of a forward slash; in this case the closing tag would be </b>).

The following are a few basic formatting tags:
  • <br /> -- Line break; use to insert a line break in your text (the equivalent of hitting "return" in a word processor). This tag is a special case in that it does not require text within it, and so can be used just by inserting the closing tag.
  • <p> --Paragraph; use around a body of sentences you wish to group together into a paragraph.  A line break will be added for you after the closing tag.
  • <b> --Bold; use to surround text you wish to emphasize in bold.
  • <i> --Italics; use to surround text you wish to emphasize with italics.
  • <u> --Underline; use to surround text you wish to underline.
  • </hr> --Horizontal rule; use to insert a horizontal line. Like the line break tag, the horitontal rule tag can be used just by inserting the closing tag.
  • <h1> --Header 1; use to insert a large, bold heading.
  • <h2> --Header 2; use to insert a slightly smaller, bold heading.

You can also create lists in HTML. Types of lists include numbered (<ol>) and bulleted (<ul>). To create a list, you must "nest" your tags. This means you will have tags within tags. Each list begins with an opening tag that denotes the type of list, followed a number of lines of text tagged as "items" in that list (<li>, and ends with the closing tag for the type of list. For example, a numbered grocery list would look like this:

If you are interested in incorporating more complex HTML formatting into your blog, you can find help and suggestions on the web. You might consider starting with the longer list of useful HTML elements here:


Or you might try the tutorial found here:


Basic Troubleshooting
If you find that you are unable to complete a particular task on the iPad, there are a few common possible explanations.
  • Uploading files--You will find that you are unable to upload files from your iPad to the Web.  Because files are stored within applications, rather than in separate locations on its harddrive as is done on laptops and desktops, most Web applications are unable to find content on the iPad. Work around: If you need to post a file you have created on your iPad to the Internet, you will have to do so by moving the file to a laptop or desktop computer.  You can move the file either by syncing the iPad through iTunes, emailing the file to yourself, or emailing the file to SugarSync.
  • Broken web content--Some Websites will not function properly on the iPad. In many cases this is due to the iPad's incompatibility with Flash technology.

iPad Help
Other helpful information about your iPad, including how to set up your mail and calendar applications, can be found in Apple's iPad user guide, located here:


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