Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
We have started using the iPads 1:1 in our 4th grade. One things we are looking for is a good way to have students store work in the cloud as well as hand work in to teachers (and for teachers to send things back after they have made comments and graded it). I am looking at box, dropbox and ebackpack. Is anyone using any of these or is there another option that you are finding success with?
I find the two best options to be Evernote and Google Apps (with Google Drive). The problem with iCloud is that it only works with the limited number of apps in the iWork suite, plus there's no administrative option to set up student accounts. This can be done with Google Apps and most apps now have an "Open In" function that allow you to open content in another app - which in this case would be Google Drive.
For smaller schools that don't have the internal IT person to setup and maintain Google Apps for the school, Evernote is a worthwhile alternative. You can use Open In to move content to Evernote and you can also email content into your Evernote account. Folders can be shared between teacher and student for easy exchange of work.
Your primary objectives should be:
- to easily move content from the majority of iPad apps to a central, organized storage location
- to be able to share folders/content in that storage location between students (for collaborative work) and between teacher and student
- to be able to access that storage location on campus and off
- to be device agnostic ie. be able to access that content from any device
- ideally, to use a storage service that also offers options for rearing and editing content
Both Google Apps and Evernote would meet those criteria at little to no cost.
Other alternatives definitely worth consideration are Showbie and eBackPack.
Hi Cheryl - I am using Box as a workflow solution and love it! It works with every app the students use (using the Open in Another app feature). It also holds the format. So, if the students upload an EPub or Keynote, the file can be shared to other iPads. The cloud service is free for up to 10GB. Students easily upload their completed projects and work to one of my folders in Box. I can then access the work in those folders for saving, printing, emailing, etc. Please let me know if you would like more information.
Since posting this we have started using eBackpack for handing work back & forth as well as grading. We love this and it has worked really well.
Going forward as we expand our program my big concern is backing up work for long term projects-before it is handed in. Kids can use backpack to save each time they work on a paper using eBackpack but they would have to remember to submit it each time. I am wondering if we use something like iCloud or Google Drive if it will make this process more automatic and do it for the kids. I just want to make this as seamless as possible and minimize loss of work if an iPad crashes or gets lost.
Anything created within the Google Drive editor is automatically saved to the Google Drive account. If you create content in another app then you have the same problem - if you don't use "Open In" to open a copy in Drive then it stays on the iPad and isn't backed up.
iCloud is a personal service with no administrative controls over accounts. It's also limited to apps in the iWork suite.