3 considerations when iPad is the key vehicle of ESL education
- How teachers can share materials such as documents, reading material and exercises from a variety of apps using one platform with students and colleagues?
- How students can send assignments, worksheets, multimedia projects etc to their teachers and share them with peers and receive feedback on it?
- How students can organize, store and retrieve their work for revision and proof of proficiency purposes?
In this entry, we will generate questions to be researched, although we have no concrete answers as yet.
Due to the wide array of platforms available for the sharing and storing of material, and because of personal preferences, there are many ways of answering questions one to three. This is empowering, as the various approaches being piloted within our own institution, such as Dropbox, iFiles, Yahoo Docs, E Backpack, Edmodo and Evernote, will lead to a greater understanding of iPadology as an EFL approach.
The questions being asked of each platform are:
1.Can folders and hierarchies of folders be created by teachers and students on the iPad or is it necessary to create them on a laptop or desktop?
2.Can materials be uploaded directly into specific folders or is it necessary to email them to an email account and subsequently upload them into a folder?
3.Which Apps are configured so that users can upload text and multimedia directly from the App into this platform?
4.Can the user specify the exact folder a document will be uploaded into?
5.Is access to a folder provided through a folder share arrangement such as a public folder in Dropbox or a shared folder in Evernote?
6.Can different permissions to edit/delete in specific folders be set for teachers and students?
7.Is there an institutional platform to share materials amongst staff and with students, such as shared drives (WebDav) through iFiles and BBLearn.
8. Is there an App to manage multiple platforms, such as Dropbox, GoogleDocs and WebDav connections under one umbrella?
9. Can students be given access to a single folder or file via an emailed link?
10. Can students delete, edit or view the work of other students before a homework turn in deadline has expired?
11. Can the teacher give immediate feedback within the same App?
12. If the teachers’ account in a platform, such as Dropbox, Everbox or eBackpack expires, how can students still have access to their work they have uploaded there?
13. What is the storage capacity of the free version of this platform?
14. How much does the paid version cost and how large if the storage capacity/ the number of students it encompasses?
15. Can files be rearranged by tags, dates, Apps types etc?
16. Can student work stored within a platform be edited by the teacher or peers? Can different permissions be used for specific folders?
17. What form does this editing take?
18. Can edited/ marked student work be resaved within the same platform, without necessitating emailing back to the student and resaving on their part?
19. Should students be at liberty to organize their folders within the platforms and iPad pane Apps that are used in class according to their own preferences? Will this vary according to iPad and/or language level proficiency?
Our aim over the next several of months is to answer these questions we welcome your comments, suggestions and examples drawn from your experiences.