There has been some negative press about the iOS6 upgrade to iPhones and iPads, and Apple certainly deserve to be castigated for the poor map for the country I live in, the UAE, compared to the old map. However, one standout improvement is in the choices we now find when we wish to actually send a document or Keynote to someone. Those of us using PC’s had few choices about how we accessed assignments and shared materials. In the past my only choice was to ask students to email it to me or place it in a folder via WebDAV. The first option would clog up my inbox, and the second was pretty clunky and only accessible at my college, not at my home. The students had the same problem. Then I found Box.com.- it was a great improvement on those choices once I had investigated it. The best thing about it is that each folder can have a specific email address and url. This meant that I could get the students to send assignments to one folder by email, and drop material into another one for them to download. The students didn’t need to have a Box.com account, nor password to send an assignment or fetch the material.
What iOS6 has achieved is to allow users to send their Pages or Keynote creations to many more places.
The choices before the upgrade were these:
The third and fifth options were, in Apple’s words, “discontinued”. The iTunes option seems to apply only to sharing with Macs – I certainly can’t see any documents after I send them to iTunes when I log into my iTunes account on Windows. That left two real options: WebDav and email. WebDAV is OK for me as a teacher as it leaves it in a shared drive at my college which I can access from my work PC. For students though, it isn’t any good if they want to see it in their PC, as it is at their home. They can’t access WebDAV from home because they haven’t been given the necessary settings to allow this.
The good news is, with iOS6, we are now spoiled for choice:
In iOS6 there are now 15 possible options spread over two screens from my iPad. This number will vary for individuals as it depends which Apps they have downloaded. Despite this, I still prefer to use Box to get projects from students and to send them material. However, for other teachers, especially those who want to use Dropbox, this is an upgrade to be delighted about.