I have already done a detailed post on advanced Dropbox tips for teachers, but I also wanted to do a more general post about cloud storage, give you some options, link you to some important apps, and explain why cloud storage is so important for students and teachers.
My school has a 3TB “General Share” server that houses all our teachers' “My Documents”. The files can be accessed from any computer connected to the network, but not from the iPads. This has been one of our major roadblocks with iPad implementation in our school. Teachers don't want to use the iPad if they can't painlessly access their computer's documents!
We have tried many different solutions. We tried convincing our teachers to install personal Dropbox accounts, but many of our less tech-savvy had trouble keeping the account synced up. We added Google Apps integration into our website and management systems (giving all the teachers 15GB of Google Drive space), but we've hit the same roadblocks as with Dropbox.
One thing a lot of teachers probably wish they had in the classroom is a fully-featured scanner. If you have iPads in the classroom, having a scanner would let you create digital copies of all those primary documents, old worksheets, and other resources you've amassed throughout the years. You could easily share copies of this stuff via a classroom website or resource folder without having to waste the time or paper running to the copy room. Students could just load up the scanned material on their iPads.
Well, if you have an iPad, then you have a scanner.
There are thousands of apps that go on sale or free every day and there are plenty of apps that will tell you so. One app that puts that in to perspective a little bit is Apps Gone Free (free in the App Store). Everyday, you are presented with a short list of apps that have reduced their price to Free. Now that's not amazing or anything except for the fact that they have been tested and found to actually have some real value before being blindly added to the list.
Not everyday is there an educational app but its pretty close. I have found countless apps from here that I then share with the teachers that I think might benefit.
This is just a quick guide for various methods and apps you can use to sync your computer's bookmarks to your iPad. One of the things that keeps new teachers from using their iPads is that they already have everything set up on their PC or Mac and just don't want to bother transferring everything over to the iPad. This post should help you get over that:
Hopefully by now you already have a Dropbox account. Even if you do not have an iPad, Dropbox is an invaluable tool for teachers (especially if you have a work computer and a home computer, or a desktop and a laptop). If you don't already have it, use this link to sign up and install it on your PC or Mac and then come back to this post once you are done that step.
Okay, so you have a Dropbox account now? Good. Let me show you some of the advanced ways to use it in a classroom (especially if you have an iPad).