iOS Tip: Using the Split Keyboard

First point I’d like to bring up is typing on the iPad. Typing on the iPad is a lot more cumbersome than it is typing on a regular keyboard or on a smartphone. The keyboard is big and typing on a big touch screen keyboard is awkward so if students are expected to write paragraphs, short stories, or multiple-page papers it may take them much longer than just using a computer with a regular keyboard. Some people hold their iPad portrait style and use the pointer finger to type. Others lay their iPad flat on a table and put it in landscape to try to type like on a regular keyboard. Every person has their own preferences which also depends on what mood they’re in or what it is they’re actually typing. Of course in a classroom setting time is always a factor and typing in either way students may get easily frustrated. The experience of typing shouldn’t be the reason why a student cannot get their work done so for the students’ sake it is worth exploring other methods.

My preferred method of typing is to use a stylus (which I will get into in another post) but that does cost a few extra bucks. The ideal method would be bluetooth keyboards along with a stand to hold the iPad upright but obviously that would cost even more.

My next suggestion then (and the free method) is to use the split keyboard which would mean you or the student would hold the iPad with each hand on the sides of the iPad and using your thumbs to do all the typing. This does take a little getting used to but it is still a much faster typing experience than using your pointer finger.

All you have to do to enable this is when the keyboard is on the screen just place two fingers in the middle of the keyboard and swipe away from each other from left to right. (The motion of your fingers would be similar as if you were zooming in on a webpage in Safari.) This action will split the keyboard to allow typing with both thumbs which may be faster for students.


To bring the keyboard back together all you have to do is “squeeze” them back in with two fingers (or take two fingers and swipe them closed).

If you are unable to split the keyboard then go to the Settings App Image , click on General, then Software Update, and update if needed.

If not, scroll further down under the General section of Settings and click on Keyboard. From there turn on “Split Keyboard” and you should be good to go.

-Mr. Mendo


1 Comment

Filed under iOS Tips

One response to “iOS Tip: Using the Split Keyboard

  1. Pingback: Typing with a Stylus | Mr. Mendo's Education Blog

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