Before moving to Hong Kong in August 2010, I had spent the previous 5 years working in a PC environment and had, I admit, acquired the Microsoft Word habit. While coming to an 'Apple School' felt like returning home, some habits are hard to break. As my computer came with Microsoft Office installed, I continued using Word for the majority of my documents. I spent most of my time learning how to use the iLife applications and had not given the iWork tools much consideration. That changed after attending the ADE institute in Ho Chi Minh City last month.
Through casual (and continual) conversations with many different people, I was learning about some interesting features of Pages, and so during the conference I began to use this software. Flash forward to today - I will never go back to Word - I am a Pages convert!! I love that Pages allows you to choose straight up word processing or a layout design from the same template menu. While the templates are varied and easily modified (great for busy teachers!) I also love the range of options in creating your own designs. But, I think the single most important feature that made me switch and become an advocate of this particular piece of software, is the Share feature.
Now, when I complete a document that I want to share with collegues, students or parents, in a click of one button I can upload this to iWork.com. This allows me to embed documents easily into class blogs or share a link with different groups of people. I know there are other ways to do this, but with Pages I can continue to revise the document on my computer, hit Share, and it will replace my original document, but keep the same URL! I love it!! I am using this to share my PYP Exhibition Journal with colleagues as well as develop material for my class, such as this recent Math Menu during our study of fractions.
I know most people in the Apple community are aware of the features of Pages, but if you are a secret Word user like I used to be, it's time to come out of the closet and take the plunge. It's worth it!