With Google Docs being a royal pain, I’m thinking Mobile Me might be the way to go when it comes to transferring files and maintaining emails etc. I’ve been playing around with a trial account today and I’m impressed, very impressed. There are probably 1 or 2 steps too many on occasion, but I can live with that.
Google Docs, I discovered, are uneditable on the iPad. I’m not sure if it’s an Apple thing or a Google thing, I think the problem lies with Google. Even if the docs were editable, the web interface isn’t too pretty and doesn’t do the iPad any justice, so until they fix that up, I think I’ll stay away.
I decided to stick my toe in the water and see what Mobile Me had to offer. I’d been using a Mobile Me account for my own personal email for about 3 years, only recently choosing to close it for financial reasons. I regret it. It was great, very handy, very useful, seamless. The perfect solution for syncing 26 iPads.
Now, bear in mind, at this stage I’ve haven’t deployed Mobile Me across the iPads so I’m hypothesising throughout this whole post.
The big dilemma is, how do I best get documents from my computer and the computers of my fellow teachers onto the iPads in the fewest moves possible? The default option would be; create the document, save it to USB, move it over to our base iMac, drop it into iTunes, sync each iPad one at a time. Painful. That would take way too long and I’d get sick of that pretty quick, especially the syncing part.
Enter Mobile Me & iDisk. Mobile Me is a paid service from Apple that allows you to sync all your devices to the one account, sharing contact details, calendars, emails, documents etc. iDisk is the app designed to access all of that data. I’ve added the Mobile Me drive to my own personal Mac and I’ll do the same for my colleagues. Then, it’s a matter of saving documents (whether they were created in Word or Pages or whatever) to that drive. Easy. So easy. Then the kids open the iDisk app on the iPad and there they are, ready to go. Even Word documents are editable provided you’ve bought the Pages app. What a winner. No syncing, nothing.
So the student has accessed the document from the iDisk app and they’ve opened it in Pages and done the necessary work. Now what? Simple. Hit the Export > Email buttons in Pages and send it to the teacher via the Mobile Me account.
- Teachers email addresses need to be in the address books on the iPads.
- Students will need to put their name in the Subject line as all the work will appear to be coming from the one email address.
- Pages cost $12.99
- Mobile cost AU$119.00 per year (or $89 if you buy a new Mac)
- iDisk is free.