District 203 - World Class
Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Naperville, Illinois

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Facebook logo   Twitter logo
Photos of students
Home // Special Education // Portable Word Processors

Portable Word Processors 

AlphaSmart     Neo       Laser PC-6       QuickPAD      QuickPAD Pro       Writer Plus

Portable word processors are small battery operated keyboard devices that allow students to type while seated at their own desk. They are often used by students with poor handwriting legibility. These devices are ideally suited for one who types faster than one writes. Some devices have options such as word prediction to assist with spelling, typing tutor to assist with keyboarding, a calculator, spell check or a calendar. After completing their assignment on the portable word processor, the text can  be uploaded to a desktop or laptop computer for printing.

There area several makes and models  of portable word processors.  A description of each can be accessed from the links above.

The assisitve tech team can assist in choosing the correct device for your student or you may request a device without AT assistance if you are familiar with the device and can train your student. Both options for acquiring a device can be achieved by filling out the Request for Assistive Techology Assistance Form, available on Live IEP, or from the following link Request AT Form.  If you would like training for yourself or your student please indicate on the form.

Using the QuickPAD                                                 quickpad portable word processsor

     The QuickPAD portable word processor helps improve writing skills while increasing keyboarding skills. Here are some helpful QuickPAD Tips :

• The device needs 4 good batteries.
• Turn on the device by pressing the on/off 3 times quickly. Sometimes repeatedly, checking the contrast dial simultaneously.
• Turn off the device from the start screen only. It cannot be turned off with text file open, but will sleep thus wearing down batteries.
• Press Control U simultaneously for setting menu. The first initial of the setting is its control key. Select correct stats with the arrow or + keys, space bar and esc when finished,
• In that setting menu check for Options. Make sure transfer speed is 5 or higher and that it is in PC mode.

Below you will find a list of Troubleshooting Questions from the QuickPAD Technoliges Website:   www.quickpad.com  

Scroll down to the correspoding number to answer each question.

1.   "I am having problems uploading into my laptop computer"
2.   "I am losing files when I go to upload" 
3.   "I get a memory full warning after creating only a few
4.   "The batteries seem to be wearing out after just a few days"
5.   "The IR cables do not fit into the keyboard port on the back
        of my computer" 
6.   "The keyboard keys are sticking" 
7.   "The QuickPAD doesn't come on when I press the Power ON
8.   "Two lines of small squares appear on the screen"
9.   "When the QuickPAD is turned on, the screen displays only
10. "When uploading into my computer, there are dropped
       characters, added characters, or nothing seems to be
       transmitting at all"

1. "I am having problems uploading into my laptop computer"
1. Laptop computers have a different combination of keyboard and mouse ports so there may be some compatibility problems. To test if the infrared receiver is working, first connect a compatible PC keyboard to the laptop and check if it works properly. If not, contact your laptop manufacturer for help.
2. If it works with a regular keyboard, plug a regular keyboard to the pass-through port on the infrared receiver during power up.
3. If it still does not work, there is some compatibility problem. We have an special cable option that may address the problem, so please contact QuickPAD Technology Corporation directly at 800.373.8181.

2. "I am losing files when I go to upload"
1. If the batteries are very weak during an upload, QuickPAD may lose data in the memory. Uploading uses more power and it may cause the voltage to the memory to get too low and result in loss of data.
2. Before uploading, make sure that the batteries are not weak and make sure that the screen intensity knob is not turned up all the way clockwise and that the screen is not dim. If so, change the batteries.

3. "I get a memory full warning after creating only a few documents"
1. Most likely the cause of this problem is the memory was not initialized properly. Go to Utility menu and initialize the memory.

4. "The batteries seem to be wearing out after just a few days"
1. Be sure to actually power off the QuickPAD each time you finish using it by pressing the Power ON/OFF Key. If the QuickPAD is placed in its case in the sleep mode, it will continue to draw power, though very minimally, unless a key is pressed. When a key is pressed the QuickPAD will continually "read" that key which will wear down the batteries. If anything such as the IR receiver, a pen, etc. is also in the case with the QuickPAD, it is likely a key will be depressed since the case is snug fitting. A book, keyboard, etc. resting atop a sleeping QuickPAD (or against it while inside a briefcase) will have a similar effect even though the QuickPAD is in its case.
2. Be sure your not accidentally entering the Wireless Keyboard Mode when attempting to power down. When you press the Escape Key (Esc) one time past the "Select Folder F1-F10" screen you will enter the Wireless Keyboard Mode. When in the Wireless Keyboard Mode the QuickPAD will appear to be off since the screen doesn't display a character when a key is pressed. It will instead continually send, via infrared, whatever key is depressed. This will wear down the batteries very rapidly. Again, always be sure the QuickPAD is powered off by pressing the Power ON/OFF key when you've finished using the QuickPAD.

5. "The IR cables do not fit into the keyboard port on the back of my computer"
1. Make sure that the correct cables were sent with your QuickPAD. Macintosh units should have a 4-pin cable. IBM compatible PC's should have 2 cables, one 6-pin and one 5-pin, and one 6 to 5 pin adapter.
2. Be sure the cable is connected to the correct port on your computer, it must be the Keyboard Port only. ***

6. "The keyboard keys are sticking"
1. You can easily remove any key and make sure that there is no dirt or foreign materials stuck between the key and the rubber switch beneath.
2. If this does not help, the keypad is defective and needs to be replaced.

7. "The QuickPAD doesn't come on when I press the Power ON Key"
1. Check your batteries to make sure they are not worn down and/or replace with new batteries. Make sure the batteries are inserted correctly. Refer to symbols for + positive and - negative that are on the bottom of the battery compartment.
2. Adjust the contrast control knob on the back of the QuickPAD (near the QuickPAD's printer port connection). Turning the knob clockwise will produce a screen full of small squares (highest setting). Adjust as necessary.
3. Spring contacts with batteries must be secure. Make sure that the extended spring contact for the Negative (flat) end of the battery is not bent or broken, or corroded from a leaky battery.
4. Remove and replace one battery. This will initialize the QuickPAD.

8.  "Two lines of small squares appear on the screen"
1. The screen did not initialize properly upon startup and must be re-initialized. Shut the QuickPAD off by pressing the Power Key (the lines should disappear). Turn the QuickPAD on and the lines should reappear and remain unchanged throughout these next three steps. Press the F1 Key. Press the Control (Ctrl) Key and the letter "U" Key simultaneously. Press the "I" Key. Press the Control, Shift and "I" Keys simultaneously (the lines should disappear). Press the Power ON/OFF key once and the screen should read "Select Folder F1 - F10".
2. If the above steps do not solve the problem, call tech support for an RMA#. Contact Technical Support at 800-373-8181.

9.  "When the QuickPAD is turned on, the screen displays only squares"
1. Adjust the contrast control knob.
2. Try removing one or more batteries while the squares are displayed, then replace the batteries (this may need to be done a few times).
3. Call tech support for an RMA#: 800-373-8181

10. "When uploading into my computer, there are dropped characters, added characters, or nothing seems to be transmitting at all"
1. Make sure the correct cable is connected to the Keyboard Port of the computer and to the infrared receiver as instructed in the User's Manual. Open a word processing document and retry uploading a file.***
2. Make sure there is intelligible data entered into the file on the QuickPAD that you are attempting to upload into your computer.
3. Make sure you are aiming at the infrared receiver and not the computer when you upload. QuickPAD should be at least on foot from the infrared receiver.
4. Adjust the IR Speed to a lower value. Make sure that the PC/MAC is set to correct mode.


Using the AlphaSmart    

The AlphaSmart turns on with the On/Off switch located in the top left corner. Once on, the file last worked on will open.  There are 8 file options.  The AlphaSmart can be used by 8 students, or one student using the 8 files for individual subjects. The AlphaSmart autosaves text as it is inputted. The student is able to view 5 lines of text at once on the screen. For longer pieces, the student needs to scroll down or up for editing.  The font cannot be enlarged.  Once the student completes their assignment, the device can be turned in to the teacher for review, or the student may print the text.

This school district supports both the AlphaSmart 2000 and the AlphaSmart 3000 with CoWriter.  See below to learn about about each device and its functions.

Printing with AlphaSmart:

1. Open word processing on a computer or laptop.  (either a blank document or your saved document from the H drive.)

2. Open your file on the AlphaSmart.

3. Connect cable to AlphaSmart via USB cable.  The flat USB end connects to the computer port and the square USB end connects to the AlphaSmart computer port (not the printer port) 
(If you have older multi colored cables the Square port is for AlphaSmart 3000, the blue cable round port is for AlphaSmart 2000. We recommned these cables remain attached to a designated desktop computer either in the LRC or classroom.)

4. Press send.

5. Text will appear on Computer.  Edit, change font, etc. on computer  before printing.

6.  Disconnect cable from AlphaSmart, close word processing on computer and log off.

Back to top

Using the Neo
neo portable


 Directions coming soon!

More detailed inforlmation can be found at:   www.donjohnston.com

Using the Laser PC-6

Directions coming soon!

Back to top



 Using the Quick Pad Pro

Back to top


Using the Writer Plus

Click to print this page.