In many schools computer use encompassed little more than web browsing and typing. The iPad has a great deal more potential than that. Still word processing is a valid use especially in conjunction with Siri as the user can actually dictate instead of wasting time manually entering their data.

A note can be anything from a single word to many pages of writing. It is something done during a time of gaining information which the writer would like to refer back to later. Grammar and sentence structure are not as important as writing down the key ideas being presented. The ability to edit and organises note using better grammar and sentence structure is important for future reference and for sharing with others. There are plenty of Apps in this area but for student use some of the cheaper options are actually the best.

Writing & Note Taking
Google Docs - Free ( M-C )
Best for : online collaboration on written documents
Age range : 11 yrs upwards
Features : Using your Google account, Google Docs is a basic word processing document which is fine for note taking. A big advantage of using a Google doc is that several students can collaborate on the same document in real time. The only issue is that a wifi connection is required to save and access your files. The features are basic but adequate for the task and files are stored in Google Drive. Read the Google Support file on setting up Google Docs.
iBooks- Free ( M )
Best for : making notes within an eBook
Age range : 10 yrs upwards for note taking
Features : When reading an ePub file, holding your finger to select a word or phrase brings up a number of options, including the ability to write a note that stays tagged to that word or phrase. When complete, the word/phrase remains highlighted and the note shrinks to the edge of the page. Clicking the menu icon in the top right corner of the page take you back to the books menu page containing a notes button. Selecting this button will list all the notes taken within the book with each note tagged to a page number and displayed with surrounding sentence from the text. This is a really useful feature for taking notes while reading.
Notes- installed ( M )
Best for : short notes
Age range : 8 yrs upwards
Features : The Notes App that comes pre-installed on your iPad is really all you need for a quick no fuss note taker. It is the most basic of notetakers but works really well. When opened it looks like a lined notepad. A list of notes previously created appears in the left column, notes take their names from the first line of the note. There are no font options, in fact there are no options for anything - Notes just takes notes, as short or long as you want. Notes can be sent as the body of a message or email. Press the copy button and the entire text of the note can be pasted into another App.
Pages - Free ( M-C )
Best for : word processing and report writing
Age range : 10 yrs upwards
Features : Pages is arguably the most featured word processor for the iPad and therefore a very capable note taker. Now that Pages is free with new iPads it is the word processing app of choice and a capable note taker as well. It features a variety of font formatting options, list options, text wrapping, image cropping, templates, charts and tables. Imports and exports files to Microsoft Word format as well as its own pages format or as a pdf. There are other word processing Apps but not with this many features at this price. YouTube video
Textilus - Free ( M-C )
Best for : word processing
Age range : 10 yrs upwards
Features : The free version of Textilus is an excellent option for note taking as it incorporates some of the features of a word processor for free. Of great importance is the extra line it adds to the keyboard containing character keys, directional arrows and customisable shortcut keys, very useful for quick organisation of notes on the go. The added features with the upgraded version are not needed for note taking and the free version still contains all the export options including integration with Dropbox and Evernote. An $5.49 upgrade will allow you to import photos from your library, take a photo in App and access a really useful sketch function. The free and paid versions are both good options if you have an older iPad that does not support the free version of Pages.
Digital Notebook
Evernote - Free ( M-C )
Best for : sharing notes and files between personal devices
Age range : 14 yrs upwards
Features : The greatest feature of Evernote is that it syncs notes to all the devices that you have connected to your web based Evernote account. Notes can be made in text or by audio recording and shared with other users via email. Create a Notebook to store multiple notes on a similar topic. Notes can be displayed by all notes, notebooks or by tags. A search function ensure that even the most misplaced file can be found.

Speech to Text
Dragon Dictation - Free ( M )
Best for : Converting text to speech within the App for 1st and 2nd gen iPad users
Age range : All ages with assistance
Features : You don't get any of the frills of the computer version and it does require an internet connection to work, but for basic speech to text conversion it fits the bill. For best results, speak slightly slower than normal and with good enunciation. There is a keyboard editor to touch up the fiddly bits within your work which is held within the App. Files can be sent via SMS, email or pasted into any other iPad application. There are known proxy issues at school which may prevent the App from working but there is a solution posted on the Developer's website.
Siri - installed ( M )
Best for : speech to text in any App for 3rd gen and newer iPads
Age Range : All ages
Features : IOS 6 brought full integration of Siri into the iPad. This is a great feature that, because it is built into the IOS, works in any App that allows text input. When the keyboard pops up on the screen the Siri microphone symbol is just to the left of the keyboard. Pressing this symbol begins the recording, when you have finished speaking press the symbol again and your speech will be converted to text and displayed in the App you were using. The accuracy rate is at least as good as Dragon Dictation. At school it also can be hampered by the same proxy problem as Dragon Dictation as mentioned in this Apple forum.
Notes and Audio Synching
Notability - $3.99 ( M )
Best for : matching recorded audio with text notes
Age range : 12 yrs upwards
Features : This is a multipurpose App that will also record audio and synch to notes taken within the App. The App opens with a nice tutorial that explains its basic functions. Additional features include handwriting, pdf annotation, text formatting and media insertion. There is very little to separate Notability and Soundnote as they both do audio synching very well. It really comes down to personal preference, if you prefer a multi purpose App than this may suit but it can also be more confusing to use and the user interface is a bit cluttered. YouTube video
SoundNote- $5.49 ( M )
Best for : matching recorded audio with text notes
Age Range : 12 yrs upwards
Features : The strength of this App is its clean simple interface and it works very well. It concentrates on a single function and does it really well. Press the record button and whatever notes you type or draw during a lesson, conference session, interview or meeting are tracked to the audio recording. This allows you to take briefer notes and concentrate more on the session.To playback, press anywhere in your your notes and the recording will jump to that part of the recorded session. Records in standard m4a format for sharing via email, Dropbox or through a web address by devices on the same network. YouTube video

Blogging is all about sharing and communicating in the online world of the Internet. Three popular blogging sites Blogger, Kid Blog and Wordpress have free Apps which allow the user to compose on the iPad and then post to their blogging site as well as manage their accounts.
App Categories
I - very directed or purely for information
I-M - mostly instructive but allows for some response to user input
M - fairly even mix of instruction and creativity, produces a predetermined outcome
M-C - mostly creative but within a framework, allows for varied output
C - very open ended allowing full user control of the content created, usually starts with a black page

Prices are in $AUS and were correct at time of publication but are subject to change.