Problem: We are deploying iPads in carts at the high school. Students will only have access to them once per day but we want them to work on projects. How can we make it so that students can log in at the start of the period, then out at the end of the period? We are trying to avoid paying for a solution like eBackpack.
|A free (and no-cost) open source solution|
Are you involved in an iPad deployment with students/staff? Then one of the fun challenges you’ll encounter is how to handle documents on the iPads. While GoogleDocs would be a perfect solution, unfortunately, GoogleDocs and iPad’s browser just don’t quite like each other. This dissonance between the iPad and the Cloud pushes you in some inevitable directions, probably by design (since it makes Apple $$$). Those directions include the following:
- Use cloud-based storage (e.g. Dropbox, Box.net) to store files via WebDav created with iWorks apps like Pages and Keynote.
- Come up with your own WebDav solution on a server and save files that way (not hard).
- Pay for an Otixo (or similar) service to enable WebDav to GoogleDocs
- Use eBackpack
The question occurred to me, how hard would it be to connect the iPad via WebDav to a district server-hosted OwnCloud.org installation?
- To get this going on UbuntuLinux, I typed in the following commands:
sudo apt-get install owncloud
- Then added webdav support with this command (admittedly, I may have loaded the kitchen sink with this one):
sudo apt-get install webdav*
- I copied the owncloud folder from /usr/share/owncloud to the /var/www folder with this command:
sudo mv /usr/share/owncloud /var/www/
- In Keynote or Pages, I tapped on the button “Copy to WebDav”
- I entered the URL provided in the screen below, which is common to all users, but each users employs their own credentials (username/password) to login to OwnCloud via WebDav:
- Once you have typed in your webdav address/URL, username/password, you will see a screen that looks like this…the copy from your iPad to OwnCloud has begun:
This allows you to determine the format (since I’m in Keynote, these are the choices) Copy is in progress….
- Here’s what you’ll see next:
- And, here’s what it looks like on the OwnCloud web site running on your computer (which could be a full-blown server or a laptop running in a classroom, right?):
One of the neat things about WebDav access is that you can open files saved in OwnCloud using your iWorks app. Here’s what that looks like:
What Happens at the end of the period when the student needs to turn in the iPad?
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