A guest blog post by Mike Banks, teacher of geography and a digital leader at Abbey Grange Academy.
Don’t get me wrong;I have always been a teacher that uses an academic planner to map out my lessons. I have spent a considerable number of hours trawling through its pages and tirelessly filling in teaching periods with lesson activities.
When I received my first iPad I thought “wouldn’t it be great if I could use this to plan out my lessons?” I spent some time looking at the free Apps out there but I always had issues with their lack of functionality and I soon felt resigned to sticking with the paper planner that has, and still does, serve many teachers well.
When I received my first iPad I thought “wouldn’t it be great if I could use this to plan out my lessons?”
I continued with this for another two terms and then eventually something changed. That change came from Twitter of all places. I had always maintained that I was going to stay Twitter-free in my life and that it served no purpose for me. Oh how wrong I was – I have been bitten by the Twitter bug! Not on a personal level but by the sheer scale of the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) available.
It was on Twitter that I first came across people talking about an app called iDoceo and how it had revolutionised their planning. This came at just the right time because my disdain for filling in my paper planner had reached an all-time high. Why was I constantly filling in the same information every fortnight? “This new child in my class cannot go in alphabetical order because I wrote the classes’ names in pen and have already been filling out my mark sheet for a term and a half.”
iDoceo comes at a price – £7.99 – which certainly puts it up there amongst the pricier apps available. But since I haven’t eaten chocolate for about two years, I thought I must have at least saved that sum and decided to take the plunge. The app lived up to the reviews that I read but I did notice early on that something was missing.
What I really wanted was for iDoceo to allow me access my files through Foldr.
I mainly use the app to record a brief account of what I will be doing each day. I always thought that being able to add a PowerPoint presentation to each period would help to remind me of the content of that particular lesson. Previously this required that I use one of the supported cloud providers or WiFi share. Whilst I am sure that these options work for some, I did not see how they would integrate with my current working practices. What I really wanted was for iDoceo to allow me access my files through Foldr. Lo and behold the update from iDoceo 3 to iDoceo 4 has brought about the ability to add files from other apps and I can now import PowerPoint presentations and Word documents to my planner. This is a great feature to have as I can now map out a full week of lessons with resources and then teach from my iPad and display resources on the Apple TV in my classroom.
This has provided a number of benefits such as the freedom to move around the classroom and have students annotate the class PowerPoint presentation on my iPad whilst displaying it on the board. It also frees up my classroom PC for admin tasks such as taking the register.
This is another way that the iPad enhances my everyday routine and make things easier to manage and it would not be possible without the seamless integration between Foldr and iDoceo to help facilitate these improvements.
…it would not be possible without the seamless integration between Foldr and iDoceo…
I thought I would outline the steps that I take to upload work using Foldr, just to highlight how easy it is to integrate the two apps.
1. On your planner screen select a lesson which you want to attach a file to.
2. You will be shown a page where you can add comments to your lesson. By tapping the paperclip you can add files to individual lessons.
3. After tapping the paperclip you will be provided with a list of options. From here you should press Add Cloud File to access Foldr.
4. When this dialog appears you need to tap Locations. The first time you do this you will need to tap More and select Foldr. Once done you will be able to access your Foldr account.
5. You will then be able to access your files just as you would in the Foldr app. You can navigate through your folders to where you have your work saved. Select the document you want to attach.
6. You will notice that a second paperclip has appeared on your lesson in iDoceo, which shows that the file is attached. Tapping on the paperclip will open a preview of the file, in this case a PowerPoint presentation, and allow you to open it in PowerPoint or any other supported app.
Already using iDoceo? Want to attach documents to your lessons like Michael? Why not sign up for a free trial of Foldr for your school to see how easy it is to access your files from any device?