Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a really restful break over the holiday.
There’s so much coming up this year that I’m looking forward to sharing with you and, as always, I’d be delighted to hear from any of you about great resources, articles, courses, apps or anything else you’ve found and would like to share with others.
Anyway, I’m going to kick off the new year with a post that should help with one of the most common concerns I find people have about the iPad: that it is tricky to print out work, and therefore collect evidence of what has been achieved by pupils.
Another question I am asked is how teachers can easily share work with pupils: for example, a template they have created or a worksheet.
This post will talk you through 4 solutions that are free, and (hopefully) easy-to-use. These are over and above Office 365 – for more information on that, I’d contact the Digital Learning Team. As always, I’d love to have your feedback if you are using any of these apps, or if you have alternatives that are working well for you. If we share our knowledge with each other, we’ll all benefit!
First up is AirDrop. This really useful tool is available on newer iPads and on iPad mini. It lets you share documents and files between iPads quickly and easily and does not rely on a wifi connection. All you have to do to use it is:
- Make sure that wireless and bluetooth are enabled
- Enable AirDrop to share with everyone (swipe up with four fingers from the bottom of the screen and change from AirDrop: Contacts only to AirDrop:Everyone).
- Ensure that any iPad you wish to send to also has these things enabled.
You could now, for example, create a template book in Book Creator, and send it to all your pupils quickly for them to adapt. Snazzy!
Next is Showbie. You can access Showbie from computers, iPads and Android devices. It allows you to easily share work with pupils – you can set them assignments and mark them when they are returned by annotating the document or leaving voice comments. It simple-to-use, particularly for pupils, who don’t have to provide much information to sign up. My current fave. See their website for more details.
Edmodo is similar to Showbie, and has much of the same functionality. It’s ever so slightly more restrictive in what you can do in terms of adding files etc – but it might be that you prefer their interface more, or that it’s already being used in your school/cluster. Both require some initial setup, but it’s pretty straightforward. See their website for more details – free signup required.
This blog post compares Showbie to Edmodo in more detail, if you are interested.
iTunes U is a way for you to create and manage whole courses. It also lets you access a lot of free courses created by others. It is being used successfully by some secondaries already – its interface isn’t quite as simple as Showbie or Edmodo, and it’s really designed for large groups, so it is definitely for secondary stage rather than primary. If you are interested in learning more, I can put you in touch with colleagues who are using it already.
I’d be happy to talk with you about any of the above in more detail – just contact me.
All the best for the new term and happy new year!