Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sharing Resources-iPad

As schools start using iPads more and more for teaching and learning the choice of method of saving content and transferring files created on iPads in schools is growing, and indeed evolving on a daily basis.
Ive previously touched upon this in an earlier blog entry - submitting work on an iPad, although things are changing fast out there, and now there are even more solutions......

Lets take the scenario where schools have introduced a single class set of iPads (16+). In this kind of set-up, usually the iPads are shared between different classes, and so it is essential that students are able to save their work and then be able to resume their coursework next time they are using the iPad - which for many schools may not necessarily be the same iPad. 

The problem is that all the apps don't share in the same way.  Some allow sharing to Dropbox, Box, WebDAV, Googledocs or emailing.  Currently these are the preferred options for saving and sharing for many classes and staff.

However, for many teachers this is confusing, they are unsure about which method of sharing they should be using for which app.  The inconsistency between apps is not helpful for the busy teacher and they would prefer a common and effective system for saving work with all apps when using iPads for learning.

Some of the more reliable methods for sharing and retrieving student work include this list of suggestions from colleagues: 

Showbie - see previous blog entry for details - now with teacher voice-recording facility to feedback on students work :-)

Three Ringssee previous blog entry for details.

You can add your school network drives to this app, allowing you to open and save from your school network to and from a variety of apps.  It works well with the iLife suite (Keynote, Pages), Book creator and strip designer.
This is a huge step forward in using shared devices in school, but schools need more apps to have the ability to export the actual project file and not just the final file, that is the book creator file and not just the final ebook.

Documents Pro - Store and view documents, transferring them easily from any Mac or PC.  Supports PDF viewing and full-resolution images. Play music; watch movies; access your cloud storage or download from the internet. The WebDAV file transfer works well on internal wireless networks.

iFiles is also a favourite amongst teachers but some users have reported that on occasions iFiles doesn't always show up in a web browser when trying to upload content into the file structure.

My final app for now is Edmodo, used by many teachers to set assignments and annotate responses. Many schools find that students are happy with this solution as it is cross platform and supports learning with library resources.

Let me know what you decide to use and how it goes!

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