With Windows-based computers I can quite easily add website shortcuts and folders of images onto the desktop for pupils to access. This saves lots of time in lessons since children don't need to type in long URLs or go searching for relevant images (which are sometimes hard to find anyway) to use.
With a set of iPads however, this task is much more difficult since each device would need syncing to add/delete links from the home screen before and after each lesson. This is added to the fact that I have put restrictions on so a password needs entering before shortcuts/apps can be deleted (to stop the children doing it accidentally).
To solve this issue, I considered a number of options that I felt wouldn't work well:
- emailing material to each iPad would mean that messages might be accidentally deleted mid-lesson;
- Dropbox would require each teacher to login to a central account to drag things into it which seems quite long-winded;
- using a URL-shortener would still require the children to spend some time typing in a URL;
- Edmodo would need children to login first which takes time.
The solution that I eventually decided would be the easiest to implement would be to add a shortcut to each iPad that takes the child to an Edmodo group's public page:
- each teacher logins to Edmodo like they are used to;
- they join a group I have created called iPad Resources;
- they send a message to that group and their class with links/images attached;
- they mark that post as public.
This has several advantages: the teacher is only sending material that they share anyway via Edmodo to another group (taking only seconds), the children can still access the material that they are using in school on the iPads at home and best of all it requires no changes to be made on the iPads themselves beyond the initial adding of the shortcut.
You can view the page here - http://www.edmodo.com/public/ipad-resources/group_id/1174343