Using AirDrop to share files between iOS Devices in the Classroom

AirDrop is a feature that was introduced to the iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch with the release of iOS 7.  It is Apple’s solution to wirelessly share media and files between iOS devices.  Before AirDrop, users would need to rely on iTunes in order to sync files between devices.  This was a clunky process involving the connection of devices to a common PC or Mac with iTunes.  Originally available to Mac users, AirDrop for iOS devices (iPhone 5 or later, 4th generation iPad, iPad Mini and the 5th generation iPod Touch) brings the ability to wirelessly share files quickly and easily.

This is a critical feature for classrooms that do not have the time or luxury of being able to sync media between iOS devices through iTunes.  AirDrop connects two iOS devices wirelessly by having them create their own wireless network.  As a result, this will work within classrooms that do not have existing wireless networks.

What you need to know:

  • AirDrop is only available to iPhone 5 (or later), 4th generation iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and the 5th generation iPod Touch.  These devices also need to be running iOS 7
  • Because AirDrop will create local wireless network between iOS devices it is important to have the devices in close proximity to each other when attempting to connect and share files between devices
  • Your iOS devices will need to have both WiFi and Bluetooth turned ON
  • AirDrop will allow you to share media (photos and videos) from your Camera Roll as well as files created in iWork (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) and iLife (GarageBand, iMovie & iPhoto) iOS apps
  • You can wirelessly share files to more than one iOS device at a time

What you need to do if you want to share a media file from your Photo App (Camera Roll):

Lets name the iOS that is attempting to share a file, “Device A” and the receiving iOS device will be named, “Device B’.

On both Device A and Device B

1.  Turn ON WiFi and Bluetooth.  These settings are found quickly by accessing Control Center (swipe up from the bottom).

Turn ON WiFi and Bluetooth

Access Control Center in order to quickly turn ON Wifi and Bluetooth

On Device B

2.  Again by accessing Control Center (swipe up from the bottom), select “AirDrop”.  For simplicity sake, I often set the discoverability setting to “Everyone” particularly if I do not keep an up-to-date Contacts list.

 

Set AirDrop discoverability to "Everyone"

Select and open AirDrop settings

To keep things simple, set AirDrop discoverability to "Everyone"

To keep things simple, set AirDrop discoverability to “Everyone”

On Device A

3.  Open the Photos app, find and “Select” the file(s) you wish to share.

4.  Select the sharing icon (box with an arrow pointing upwards).

5. Select the AirDrop option and wait for Device B to appear.  Once Device B appears you can select it.  (Note: You will need to refresh and unlock Device B if it has automatically powered down.  Other devices may also appear if they are discoverable for AirDrop.  In this case, look for the appropriate name of the iPad that appears under each icon)

Pressing the "Select" option will allow you to select one or more media files to share.

Pressing the “Select” option will allow you to select one or more media files to share.

 

Select media files

Select the media files that you wish to share

Select the AirDrop option to start

Select the AirDrop option to start

Find and select the destination iPad (Device B) - it may take a few seconds for the device to appear

Find and select the destination iPad (Device B) – it may take a few seconds for the device to appear

On Device B

6.  You should see an AirDrop pop-up window on your screen asking for permission to accept the file(s) from Device A.  Select “Accept”.

7.  Upon accepting the AirDrop, you should be taken automatically to your Photo app where you will now be able to view and use the file(s) on the Camera Roll

Select the "Accept" button when the pop-up button appears on the receiving iOS device.

Select the “Accept” button when the pop-up button appears on the receiving iOS device.

In a classroom setting where you may have several iOS devices in proximity at once, it will be important to name (Settings –> General –> About) and carefully manage devices if you are looking to have students (or yourself) sharing files to certain devices.  For example, you may only want to temporarily turn ON AirDrop discoverability when you are looking to share files and then promptly turn it OFF once it is done.  This will help reduce the number of devices appearing on your AirDrop menu when you are looking to connect to a specific iOS device.

 

– K. Takahashi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: K. Takahashi

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  1. AirDrop in Education: Supporting iOS Video Production in the Classroom - Teachers Tech Blog - […] If you are new to the AirDrop feature, have a look at the steps involved in using this feature.…

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