Review by Andrea Meyers, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2018
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Pages

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Writing and publishing tool is an increasingly satisfying option

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • English Language Learning

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3–12
Great for:
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (6 Reviews)

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Pros: The templates and graphics are beautifully designed and easy to use for most learners. Integrates well with Apple Schoolwork and Classroom.

Cons: The iPad version can be frustrating due to the small screen, on-screen keyboard, and fiddly speech-to-text.

Bottom Line: With useful new book creation features, Pages is a much-improved publishing tool for Apple-oriented classrooms.

Build students' skills with your writing curriculum and use Pages to teach students how to publish their writing. Students can share read-only files and leave constructive comments for peer reviews. The templates are simple enough to create picture storybooks and strong enough to support complex books and research papers. Students can export their creations and publish ebooks in EPUB and PDF format or print wirelessly with AirPrint. They also learn how to use cloud storage with iCloud or other online storage options. 

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Pages is a strong word processing and page layout app that works on iOS mobile devices and Mac computers. It's part of the Apple iWork office suite, which includes Keynote and Numbers. It has all the standard features expected in a word processing program, with the added benefits of easy page layout with images for learners. Students and teachers can choose from a large selection of professional-looking templates to support the curriculum, including essays, reports, note-taking, term papers, letters, books, posters and flyers, and resumes. The mobile connection to iCloud enables you to take your documents anywhere and access them with any iOS mobile device. Pages is also integrated with Apple Schoolwork and Classroom, making it easier for teachers to manage student digital assignments. 

Production and distribution of writing -- including by digital means -- is part of the Common Core and other state standards. Pages supports those standards and is a good word processor and page layout tool for 1:1 iPad or Apple laptop classrooms. Students will be able to get started quickly and will enjoy working with the templates that give their published writing a professional look. Teachers will like the peer commenting capabilities, Smart Annotation for providing feedback, and easy integration with other iWork and Apple education apps. 

The mobile version works on iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, though the smaller devices feel cramped when trying to work in documents. Fingertip touchscreen editing can be tricky, especially when selecting text or trying to point to a precise location when making changes. This could be frustrating for some students. However, the Apple stylus (and the Logitech version) works for drawing and annotating, and a Bluetooth keyboard makes text entry and editing much easier. Speech-to-text is also an option, though the output will require post-editing so a keyboard is still recommended. 

Teachers should also note that the iOS version of Pages has many of the same features as the Mac version, but some things are different. It doesn't support the creation of custom templates, but you can add and use custom templates created on Mac computers. Some editing features are also limited compared to the Mac version, such as paragraph styles and spacing. For students who use iPad at school and save to iCloud to work on a Mac at home, these differences could cause some confusion or frustration. However, students who only use iPad will be fine if they can cope with the platform's limitations.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Teachers and students will appreciate the templates and layouts that make it easy to publish their writing and add flare with images and charts. The iPad's on-screen keyboard isn't great, but it does work with Bluetooth keyboards.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Publishing writing is an essential skill for students in all grades, and Pages supports these skills from elementary to high school. Students also learn about working with cloud documents and collaborating with peers.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Pages Help is available on every screen via the ellipsis menu as well as the Apple website. You'll also find helpful user community videos on YouTube. Pages is offered in 34 languages.


Common Sense Reviewer
Andrea Meyers Technology Assistant and graduate student in instructional technology

Teacher Reviews

(See all 6 reviews) (6 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Amy P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
North Hills Senior High School
Pittsburgh, United States
Templates make word processing a breeze!
Because students are so accustomed to using the QWERTY keyboard and drag and drop feature, students are able to be very productive in a short amount of class time. The templates are attractive and the variety motivates students while encouraging creativity.
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