AirDrop in Education: Supporting iOS Video Production in the Classroom

Video production in the classroom is a way for students to document learning and demonstrate understanding.  The video production process itself is an exercise in problem solving, collaboration and teamwork.  Determining what you need to show and demonstrate to create an engaging video that an audience can follow and understand is an authentic application and extension of the writing process. (see

iOS devices such as the iPad and iPod Touch have become increasingly popular tools for recording and editing video in the classroom.  iMovie, Explain Everything, iStopMotion and Green Screen are but a few of the many apps that extend the video production potential of the iOS device.  However, a relatively recent feature introduced with iOS 7 has provided a critical piece in changing how these devices can work within and across working groups of students.

AirDrop allows for the wireless sharing and transferring of media files across iOS devices.  This now provides a very convenient and easy way for students to coordinate around one project using more than one iOS device.  AirDrop now answers the challenge in having a working group of students trying to edit a video around one iPad (or dare I say one iPod Touch).  With AirDrop there is increased flexibility in how iOS devices are used and coordinated in both the production (recording) and the post production (editing) of video in the classroom.

AirDrop in iMovie
Using AirDrop in iMovie allows students to share iMovie projects between iOS devices.

For example…

  • A larger group of students (5-6) can record footage for a video project and then using AirDrop, copy footage to another device (or devices) so editing can take place in smaller groups. Depending on the task and the length of the project, the smaller editing groups can each edit their own version of the project or be responsible for editing a specific portion of a larger project.
  • Classrooms that make use of iMovie for iOS can also share iMovie video projects across iOS devices through iCloud and expand on the idea of smaller groups collaborating on a single project.
  • AirDrop also allows for the possibility to easily support video productions that would benefit from a multi-camera set up. In this particular application, 2 or more iOS devices can be used to record a scene or presentation from different angles, perspectives and/or distances. Afterwards, footage can be pooled to one or several iOS devices using AirDrop for editing.
  • AirDrop can support a differentiated approach to media creation where students can create media that attends to their own learning strengths and interests. Taking advantage of the incredibly diverse range of apps for iOS devices, students can choose to contribute to a project by using a format and style that appeals to their learning needs. Whether creating an info-graphic, animation, stop-motion video or presentation, if their product can be saved to the Camera Roll, it can be sent via AirDrop to contribute to a larger project.
  • Finally, the process of submitting video projects is much easier with the AirDrop feature. Not only can students wirelessly submit their projects to the teacher for feedback and assessment, they can also share their projects with each other for peer review.

Tip of the iceberg

These are merely a few of the many possible applications of AirDrop in education. Apple’s iWork (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) and iLife (iMovie, GarageBand & iPhoto) applications for iOS also take advantage of this feature. AirDrop also provides a convenient bridge between Mac computers and iOS devices. Keep in mind that this feature is available through iOS 7 and OS X on the more recent versions of hardware.

How to Air Drop

If you are new to the AirDrop feature, have a look at the steps involved in using this feature.


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