The most frequently asked professional development question from educators embarking on a 1:1 adventure is, "How do I handle assignment workflow in a digital environment?" As many teachers have discovered, this is not a one step, single-app process. However, here is how it can be done on the iPad by connecting the following applications; Google Drive, Notability, and Schoology.
- Each student needs to create an email address for creating app accounts and for backup communication. (Google / Gmail)
- The instructor needs to create a cloud-based repository for class documents and files. Students will need to create an account with the same service in order to access learning materials. Working, or collaborative, documents can be shared and modified as Google Docs. However, final copies to be used in other apps should be saved as PDF files. Student Gmail addresses are needed to create file/folder sharing in most cloud storage services. (Google Drive)
- Each student and teacher needs a web connected device. (Apple iPad) In this case, each user will need to create an Apple ID using the previously created email address. Be sure to walk through the set up process together. Make certain your students enable "Find My iPad", and "iCloud sync / backup".
- Depending on learning level and classroom practice, I recommend a note-taking / annotating app (Notability) ($2.99) for the iPad that syncs with your cloud service (Google Drive) and your LMS product (Schoology).
- I highly recommend that teachers utilize a classroom LMS (learning management system) product that serves as the communication, information, organizational hub for the class, as well as, the tool that enables a completely reciprocal work flow solution (Schoology). Both +Google Drive and +Schoology have iOS apps (FREE) that have been updated and greatly improved during the past year. The browser version of Schoology offers the most functionality, and works like a charm in Chrome.
Creating Assignments in Schoology - One minute video
Grading Assignments in Schoology - One minute video
Returning an Assignment in Schoology - One minute video
How to complete an assignment in Schoology / Student View - Two minute video
Favorite 1:1 iPad resources
Comprehensive list of learning objectives supported by iPad apps - edtechteacher.org
There are other excellent applications (Dropbox, GoodReader, Edmodo) that can be substituted for the products described here. However, this is the iPad workflow solution that nearly all of our 1:1 teachers and students prefer, primarily because of the efficient workflow capabilities, and the ease of use. For consistency in training and implementation, this is the workflow process that we will encourage and support as our 1:1 iPad program expands. As the learning evolves and becomes more transformational, the reliance on this process will decrease.
In addition to promoting connected, personalized learning, this digital workflow process also conserves natural and financial resources by committing to paperless instruction. Two final bits of advice, start simply and methodically as to not overwhelm yourself or your students, and strive to make the technology transparent, yet supportive of your students' learning.
- How does your digital workflow differ from the one shared here?
- How can this process be improved?
- What's the biggest technical challenge that you and your 1:1 students face?
I hope that you found this post to be helpful. I welcome your suggestions and comments.