Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
There are many ways to go about collecting work from students but this is one method that works very effectively.
** Submitting work with a Printopia Virtual Printer
If you haven't checked out the blog post on Printopia, it's worth a read. You'll find it here...
Printopia installs on your Mac. It allows you to set up "Virtual Printers" so that anyone can use the Print function in an app and send the content directly to a folder on your Mac. If you have a DropBox account then you can add a virtual printer that delivers content directly to any folder in your DropBox.
It's an invaluable, simple and effective way to collect work from students. Virtual printers appear on the Print menu in any iPad that's on the same wireless network. Let's say you have students working on a project, Set up a virtual printer that collects the work in a folder you've called "March Projects" in DropBox (check out the blog post for details on setting up a virtual printer). When your students submit work they simply "Print" it to the March Projects virtual printer. Go to the faculty room, open your DropBox account and all the student submissions are there.
It's so easy to setup virtual printers that you can just set up a new folder and virtual printer every time you need students to submit work and keep all the submissions organized.
** Returning work with Evernote
There are many ways to return the work. Personally, I love Evernote and have each student share an Evernote Notebook with me. I can then easily annotate the work and even add voice comments and then return the work to the student's Evernote folder without ever touching any paper in the process.
Note that you can also use Evernote for the entire process by designating a shared folder in your Evernote account and having the students submit the work that way. There's no lack of options...
Great post! Awesome solution.
1 quick question: Is there any app/program you can think of that will allow a teacher to save non-pdf versions?
I guess not a teacher, but a student. Saving the pdf to turn in into Dropbox is awesome, but I'm thinking of a school with iPad carts and student A is not finished with his work. If the teacher is using Printopia, then the work that gets saved is a .pdf and not editable. Is there a solution where Student A could send the .doc to the teacher's dropbox or Mac and then the teacher could send it back so he could continue working on it? Since the iPads are shared, it's not guaranteed to be still on the device when Student A gets the iPad cart back on Thursday (unless we're doing check in and check out, which is what we're trying to avoid). Thanks!
Has anyone tried Showbie?
Yes. It's a nice solution - limited in what it can do, but does it well. It's simple to implement on a class by class basis. Creating classes and assignments is simple as is handing in work. If you've got the appetite for something more, I highly recommend either Schoology or Edmodo. They're LMS (learning management systems) that give you a really comprehensive solution for workflow, attendance, grading, discussions, polls and much more. They both work exceptionally well on the iPad although the Schoology app trumps all others for ease of use at the moment. They offer simple workflow solutions along with a supervised social networking environment for interaction and learning. Edmodo and Haiku (another LMS) will be coming out with new, upgraded apps soon.