Thursday, 6 December 2012

Workflow Exercises Us

A number of vehicles have been explored and one of our favoured ones currently is eBackpack. Fiona has made innovative use of Wikispaces too.

Workflow - advice welcome

From: Lucy Gallagher
Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 at 7:54am
Hi Fiona
So sorry you're having to spend so much time on this. Another lovely Fiona - Fiona Hunter - has been in touch and has offered to look into webDav for us. I really like your idea of using WikiSpaces and I see you have already done a great deal to populate it. I love the Reading Conferencing notes particularly -  a great reference for the pupils, and also for parents. Great way to set homework tasks too. Well done innovative thinker!
You have cleverly set it up to be closed to your community only, with restricted access to different members in place, depending on task and materials. I hope you won't mind me posting this is Basecamp, but I think workflow is a crucial element in the project and one that would be good to seek advice upon to get right since there are so many ways to go about it. I've had a wee look and tried out some things on your iPad Discussion page. Once you click Edit you can copy and paste text from Pages to the wiki but it loses the formatting.  To add a file, image or video you upload and then click on the one you want before clicking embed. It will show up on the page after you save. Looks like it will do what you want it to do but I'm not sure if there is a limit on file size when uploading. I had no idea you could add video and audio to a wiki - how fab!
It may be that purchasing iFiles is a way to go too because workflow has to be manageable and not take up inordinate amounts of your time. Thank you for all your hard work on this and it would be good to sit down together this week and have a proper chat about it.
Hi Lucy,
Sorry to keep going on about this but...
I have spent HOURS on this now and still have no working solution.
I have created a private class wiki (free for educators!) and (partially) set it up for a couple of things, one of which is reading conferencing. I have a project for each reading group and wanted the kids to do their work in pages or some other app then either upload their pages file or upload a screenshot from whatever app they've chosen to use. No need for emails - each child gets a username and password. Will add you to it for info.
Sounds good so far?
BUT it doesn't work.
Firstly I can't find a way to upload a file from Pages. Can get around this with kids entering their work direct onto the wiki page; this can be a bit fiddly from the iPad, but is a way round for plain text.
Secondly I can't upload a photo. Tried to get around that with <copy photo> then <paste> while editing a page on the wiki. The photo appears at first but is then replaced by a question mark when you save or preview the page. Can't find a way round this. I'd hoped the iPads would allow the children to select different ways of completing tasks/demonstrating what they know, but it's no good if they can't share their work.
I've had a look for an App to help, c.f. Blogger/Facebook/etc, but I can't find anything.
From trawling the web it would appear that there are several American schools using iPads, so there must be a way to make this whole sharing work business work. Perhaps we just have to go with email/apple ids?
Re using GLOW emails- some of my class could not get into Glow when we tried to use it in the first term. We might need to look into that again?
Is there a decent storage allocation on their email accounts?
Would we be better to have the parents create them an email then they have the password and can check their child's account any time? That's how we handled email with our own kids.
Re video content- looks like we'll have to get them to upload to Vimeo? Perhaps we could set up a private-to-the-class Vimeo site/group/whatever it's called.
Am well fed up with this.  :(

Yes Google Drive needs email accounts. I think we should issue their Glow email accounts which would work an we would have a copy. We could also request council individual email accounts or you could use their council class email account for generic things. We have free WikiSpace account for educators already and it's free.
Learning>At Home>1:1 for our Wikispace.

Won't google drive require the kids to have email accounts?
I looked into setting up a class wiki. It can be done without them having emails BUT looks like it would cost (not sure exactly how much) if we wanted it to be completely private. I think it ought to be private when there is a possibility of kids uploading personal information accidentally, eg putting their own address in a letter they're writing,... Perhaps I worry too much?
Simon told me that Standard Life host their wiki in their intranet. Don't suppose the council have anything similar that you know of?

Just had email about Google Drive for online storage - 5GB

Do I have permissions/ access to create the new Class account? (see below)
If so.. How do I do that? It's not obvious (one of my main feeling about glow).

This is from the 'aye learning' blog:
Here is a solution using Glow. However it will work equally well with any other WebDAV server. (Other posts will look at how this may be set up.)
First we need to set up the server in Glow
Create a generic class account (pupil) in glow.
Turn off everything. (email, etc)
Enable web hosting.
Log in to Glow with this account and request a website (see Glow help)
Get the site approved and at the same time ask for a reasonable amount of space. The default 50 Mb is a bit small
Now we need to create a folder for each pupil on the Glow server.
Using an FTP programme, (FileZilla or coreftp lite) log in to the web space and create a folder for each pupil using their first name. (No capital letters or spaces)
Also create folders for the teacher. Eg. Homework. Etc..
The FTP address will be
Now set up the teachers iPad

Hi Fiona
Not that easy to find but was comment  in response to 'note of caution with workflow'

Hi Lucy,
I've had a look through BaseCamp and I can't find the stuff about GLOW that you were talking about.
Can you help me find it please?

Lucy Gallagher Mon, 7 May

Hi Fiona
Had a wee look on my Dad's iPad and I can see how you're getting frustrated! I have a MobileMe account - though it ends in July - so can save to an iDisk and I can also share files via iWork but that ends soon too. I think Dropbox is good option to have in toolkit. You can have more than one - you just 'unlink this computer' and you can sign in and out of them. I've got three - one of my own and then one that Kevin set up for project and one for 120th iBook. You could use your own email or class email account? Your Sciennes email address, like mine, only lets you have access to Kevin's Dropbox until you sign out and unlink.
I notice there is also an option to save to webDav in Pages. I think this looks the most promising.  I'm not sure how to do it but have asked Richard Burgess and Fiona Hunter. I reckon we'll have to set up a phantom account using Seemis. We used to have P1D, P2D etc classes and could have used them. Angela, would you be able to create a phantom class account for P5C and P6A specifically for transfer of files - calling it P5 Workflow and P6 Workflow?

Lucy Gallagher Mon, 7 May 

I'm not sure how iCloud fits with this - Wendy had that operational on the first set of iPads but we reckoned the automatic syncing was slowing up the network.

Filing pupils work

From: Wendy French
Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 at 10:59am
Hi everyone,
I thought it might be useful to share how I am filing pupil work.  I have decided after playing about with both apps that I prefer Readdledocs to iFiles.  Readdledocs can be temperamental in that it freezes sometimes but that is easily sorted by shutting the app.  I can't quite remember why I pulled away from ifiles.  I think it was because I preferred being able to open emails in the Readdle app and that it seemed to be easier to open more things in Readdle.  Apologies if I am being unfair to iFiles and just haven't persevered with it long enough.  
In Readdledocs I have opened up the email that the children send their work to and have also created a file for each child.  Just to make it easy to find things I have created sub files in each of their files e.g. Olympics, Maths, Language, Art.  I then created a spreadsheet so that I could see whose work I had and what was missing.  There are about 6 or 7 people in my class who only got their email set up last week so I will catch up with them and sort them out tomorrow while they have Spanish.
I now have two things to sort out:
 How they will file their work on their devices?
What to do with video which takes up a lot of space. 
 I am thinking that I might use one of the free hp printer apps for them to use as a filing system to avoid the excessive cost of buying an app 30 times, or having to pay for a bigger memory allowance on Dropbox.  Cost issues certainly help a teacher to look for creative solutions (which are good to share as they can take a bit of time to find), I think we will put our videos on Vimeo and any that they are not willing to share in Dropbox.  
Any thoughts or suggestions always gratefully received.

Fraser Speirs Thu, 10 May

Hi Wendy,
When it comes to “filing work on devices” there’s a bit of a philosophical answer to that question. The model for document storage on iOS is that the document lives ‘inside’ the application that created it. To get your Pages documents, you open Pages; to get to your presentations, you open Keynote, etc.
It’s been my experience that this model for document storage is, in general, far superior to the idea that you have a filing system outside of the applications and I’d encourage you to try and see if this model can work for you. I hope I didn’t misunderstand the problem you’re trying to solve here.
As for getting files off the device, if the app supports printing and you have a Mac somewhere, you might want to look into Printopia – it creates a ‘virtual printer’ which, instead of producing a piece of paper, can produce a PDF and send it straight into Dropbox.

Jenni Robertson Fri, 11 May

Hi Wendy, you could also use 'send to dropbox'. You set up an email address for the Dropbox account you want the work to go to (when collecting it in for example) using the site You then create a contact for the email address it generates, call it 'Teacher' for example, share the contact with the class, then when they want to hand in or you need a piece of work they can email 'Teacher' and it shows up in your Dropbox in a folder called 'Attachments'. I use this for my own stuff and it's lovely. Jen x

Jenni Robertson Fri, 11 May

Hi Wendy, forgot to say, sendtodropbox (i.e.emailing) allows you to share audio and (shortish) videos... Jen

Gillian Rae Fri, 11 May 

I also use dropbox for filing pupils work. It gives me access to it on my
desktop computer and from there I can put in into folders and print the
things I need. I hadn’t heard of sendtodropbox which sounds good. Just
tried it but can’t access it from a school computer. Never mind.
My own school email is also good for the children to send things to. I
can then organise pupils work in folders on my online space.
Gillian Rae

Andrew Jewell Fri, 11 May

Relative to filing children's work via your email I've found setting up smart mailboxes, a trivial process in mail, really useful to keep the various emails from my class organised and accessible.

John Johnston Fri, 11 May

While we are talking about dropbox another useful service is
This lets you use dropbox (and other cloud services) as a webdav server. 
Once set up, you can export/import  pages and keynote files to and from your dropbox using as the server address as the webdav server and your otixo account username & password. The free set up allows 250mb of transfers a month.
We have also noticed that looks like it might be a useful dropbox addon.

Lucy Gallagher Fri, 11 May 

I first saw you speak at ITSU eLive when I was a D.O. there - 2005? - and you were so influential about blogging and webby things you were doing at Sandaig. We're intrigued but a bit clueless about how to set up webdav! It seems like a tantalising solution for us but we're not sure how to go about it in Glow. Could you advise on using it in Glow or otherwise? I like your otixo recommendation and will have a wee play.

Lucy Gallagher Fri, 11 May 

Wappwolf very nifty! Not sure if there are any security issues but certainly for our purposes it's non sensitive data in terms of pupil workflow. Dave McKee spoke to ICT Co-ordinators in Embra recently about the potential benefits of being able to classify different types of data used in schools.
I'm likely being incredibly obtuse, John, but I still can't seem to figure out webdav. Could you spell out the instructions above for the hard of thinking?

John Johnston Fri, 11 May 

Hi Lucy,
Pages & keynote let you save to and import documents to a webdav server. 
otixo lets your dropbox act as a webdav  server.
So you can access files in keynote & pages from your dropbox.
So for example you click the + in keynote to make or open a presentation. I've attached a iphone screenshot.
If you have set up otixo you choose  webdav put in your otixo username & password and you can open keynote (or powerpoints) from your dropbox.
I'll try to write a more detailed /screencast over the weekend.

Wendy French Sun, 13 May 

Hi Fraser,
I have a mac in school but it is quite an old one.  I can print from emails if I email work to my work account on the Mac.  Would there be an advantage to having printopia?  Does it automatically send attachments?  

John Johnston Mon, 14 May

Hi Lucy,
A wee bit late but:
is a screencast of setting up otixo on the ipad and movie files to and from a dropbox to keynote. 
Not very polished, first try at grabbing the video from an ipad onto a mac via Reflection.

Fraser Speirs Mon, 14 May 

Printopia essentially takes your existing non-AirPrint printer and makes it available to iOS devices. When you ‘print’ to printopia from your iPad you can have it send that straight to the printer but you can also have it, instead, send a PDF to the Dropbox account that’s set up on the Mac.
It’s not the same thing as having a WebDAV server set up – you can’t save a Pages document to Dropbox this way. You’re basically rendering your document through the iOS printing system and saving it as a PDF in Dropbox.
The big upside to Printopia is that it’s incredibly easy to set up (for the teacher) and use (for the kids – just print it).
If I can help in any way with getting something set up, drop me an email and we’ll set up a call/VC.

Lucy Gallagher Mon, 14 May 

John, you're a star! Seeing is understanding - thank you very much for taking the time to set up the screencast (impressive in itself). Otixo certainly helps solve one problem in how to access iLife docs via Dropbox.
Still interested if anyone knows how to spell out suggestion of how to use Glow for webDav.
Fraser, you have also usefully added to the solutions possibilities and thank you to you, too.

John Johnston Tue, 15 May 

Cheers, Lucy,
As to using Glow for Webdav this is what I know, I've tested most of it.
  1. You need to set up webhosting in your my glow. Add the Web Hosting webpart.
  2. The LA, approve this request.
  3. The website can be public or private.
  4. You connect to it via webdav and can upload and download files.
Each site can only be accessed by one user via FTP or Webdav. The site can be accessed by anyone, for public sites, or a set of glow users via the browser.
Limited to a max of 200mb
A while back I requested that glow changed to allow group ftp or webdav access to a site but this was turned down as no one else was interested;-)
Could be used as a way to distribute files from an ipad:
User sets up glow site, added files from pages or keynote.
Others access via web.
Problem is there is no directory listing for sites so you would not get a list of files uploaded the others would need to know the full URL to files.
You can also mount the webdav on your desktop (at least my mac can) but again this is limited by glow username & password.
I guess a special shared glow username & password could be created by your ASM but this sems a lot of bother for 200mb diskspace.

John Johnston Tue, 15 May 

Did another quick test:
is a glow website. I created a pages doc and saved as a pdf to this server.
Made an index file with textastic. This, is not really practical for pupils, so would have to pass on full url to pdf, eg:

Lucy Gallagher Tue, 15 May 

Great, John. Thank you so much for looking into this so carefully. Bit manic at school just now but will try out your suggestions asap.
Much obliged

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