iPad Workflow Solutions for Classroom Education
When using iPads for education in classrooms, it’s best to select workflow solutions such as Dropbox or Evernote, that work with your particular students and iPads. For example, sharing a cloud folder with each student is fine if you have to manage only a handful of accounts, but it might become cumbersome if there’s no organizational management, and you’re dealing with a hundred students.
Another factor that will influence workflow is whether you’re in a 1:1 environment where each student has his or her own iPad or the iPads are being shared. A shared environment requires a workflow that doesn’t expose one student’s account to another.
Use Dropbox for iPad classroom workflow
Dropbox is one of the many cloud-based solutions for file storage and sharing. It’s popular because of its features; its price; and the fact that it works across devices, platforms, and over the web.
Open a free account with Dropbox. You can easily store files in a Dropbox folder from any device and set sharing permissions for the folder. Depending on the intended usage, you can keep the folder private, share it with individual Dropbox users, or make it completely public. Dropbox enables you to do the following:
Distributing information: Pushing information out to students is a piece of cake. Just create a folder and share it via a link that students have on their iPads. They tap the link, and anything you’ve placed in the folder is immediately available. Students don’t even need an account.
Submitting work: Students can submit their work without having an account if they have access to e-mail with Send to Dropbox. Sign up, and an e-mail address is linked to your Dropbox so that anyone can e-mail content that is automatically filed in your Dropbox.
Annotating and returning work: If you want to collect and return content, you should have each student sign up for a Dropbox account. Then you can create and share Dropbox folders with individual students. They can simply save assignments and content in the shared folders.
You also have the option of using an annotation app to mark up the content, create a copy, and then save it back into the shared folder for the student.
Accessing your Dropbox account: Access your Dropbox account over the web, or download the Dropbox app on your iPad for even simpler access. In addition, part of the appeal of Dropbox is that it’s available from within a wide variety of iPad apps. Uploading and accessing your Dropbox files from those apps is fairly simple.
If you’re in the United States and want your students to sign up and use any web account or service, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires that they need to be at least 13 years old or have permission from a parent or guardian.
Use Evernote for iPad classroom workflow
Evernote is such a versatile app that it can be used for a wide variety of objectives, including managing your classroom workflows. It’s versatile enough to handle almost anything you require.
Each Evernote account has notebooks that you can create and customize. Each notebook contains notes. Those notes can contain almost anything digital, including text that you type, attached documents, images, sounds, videos, and even linked web pages. The secret to using Evernote as a workflow solution is that each notebook has sharing options ranging from private to shared with individuals and shared publicly with a link.
Start by opening an Evernote account. Like Dropbox, Evernote fits many of your workflow needs. Students can get free accounts, and Evernote works across devices and web browsers, has tiered sharing options, and also allows e-mail submissions:
Opening an Evernote account: You can sign up for free accounts or pay an annual fee for a premium account. Get a premium account for yourself, and free accounts for your students if needed. Please note that you must have an e-mail account to sign up.
Distributing information: Simple as pie. You have one teacher account with a notebook that you share with a public URL that students can access from their iPads. Anything you place in that notebook is available to people with access. No student accounts are needed.
Submitting work: This can also be achieved without student accounts. Every Evernote account has an associated e-mail address. Log in to Evernote, tap your name in the top-right corner, and select Settings from the drop-down menu. You’ll find your Evernote e-mail account listed on that Settings page.
Add the address to Contacts on each student iPad, and give it a descriptive name (for example, Sam: Evernote Submit). Then students can e-mail work from any app to that e-mail address, and it goes right into your Evernote notebook. Make sure students write their names in the subject line of the e-mail as standard procedure.
Submit directly to a notebook: Create a notebook for the submissions, and students can e-mail their work directly to that notebook. For example, if you create a notebook for homework, students would send the e-mail with the subject line John Doe @Homework. The @ symbol automatically tells Evernote to file the submission in the specified notebook.
Enabling collaborative group work: Log into your Evernote account. Create a notebook, and change the sharing options to give each member of the group access. When you add members, you can specify the level of permission to give them anything from View Only to Modify and even Invite Others.
Members can create and share within that notebook however they please. By the way, you also have access because you created it, so you can check in at any time and review work or give feedback. It’s ideal for the 1:1 iPad classroom!
Sharing work in progress: Share individual notebooks with students on a 1:1 basis (you both have Modify permissions), and you can check on work in progress. Use this structure for students keeping a blog or any other work in progress. Teachers can check student work and add comments or annotations.