Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Tablets - baby computers?

Hi again,
I think at one point as we entered the 21st century education wondered what direction technology would take and how would it impact learning. But it seems ever more increasingly obvious that iPads are the future and they are here to stay... Yippee!!!
As some great philosopher said if you aren't moving forwards then you are moving backwards. Or something similar... Who knows.
Ah but aren't ipads a headache sometimes! Endless pointless updates, printing problems and how as the teacher do I get the work from the children saved on the the network.
The important thing to bear in mind is iPads are not designed for educational use. It seems apple just left the door open for apps to be developed without any real consideration for a school setting. But they or people around them are cottoning on fast. This explains the lag we are all experiencing to some degree or another. Apple partnership schools with elite status are popping up everywhere. Right or wrong education is big business...
The school setting presents a multitude of problems chiefly of which is the integration with prodominently windows based state administered  networks. But luckily there are ways around these problems.
So let me let address some of the solutions I've found to some basic ipad problems. Hopefully, you guys will be able to share some of your solutions with me as well.
Google drive
This free app provides free cloud storage up to 15GB. Mmmmm free delicious! Setup a google gmail account with a simple password and your children can save their work using a drive app on their ipads. At the end you have all their work in one central location. However, this doesn't come without problems. If you have a central hub for your iPads then everytime children access the drive app they will have to reenter the password again. Not mention ICT control from your administrator that oversees schools tend not to like this being used for some reason.
Seesaw: the learning journey, edmodo, showbie
All platforms to start online classrooms. After researching all of them Seesaw was my preferred choice due to its simple interface similar to social networking sites. These platforms really are the future allowing you to record and share with parents the work of the children. But fundamentally given the correct apps in accompaniment children can upload and share their work with you easily.
Simple transfer
I was shown this nifty little app at a conference and it allows ipads to be taken control of through an Internet browser. There some draw backs. Obviously it's one at a time. The first 50 files on the ipad are the only ones available to transfer.
Last resort nothing is work ahhhhh. Use the Airdrop function on the pull up menu. Children can quite easily ping you with their work. However, this takes a really long time.