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iCloud syncing of files

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Started by Carol Kendall 28 Oct 2011 11:59am () Replies (12)

I had a bit of a test at school yesterday, of our new iPad2s that I've been setting up, before they're handed over to teachers. I have created a common iCloud account, AND a Box.net webdav account for the school (currently 10 iPad2s and 2 iPad1s). I created a Pages file and a Keynote file on each iPad, and sent each file to Box.net, as well as watching to see if it synced to iCloud. These were all small, basically blank files.

I suspect we're going to have to untick syncing of files to iCloud because I don't think our wireless or internet is going to cope with a class creating files in Pages or Keynote and having them automatically appear in iCloud AND sync to each iPad as well (along with a whole lot of other computers being online). It worked really well with just 2 or 3 files to sync, but with 1 from each iPad then syncing to each other of the 10 iPads, everything slowed down enormously and syncs seemed to stall (watching them sending and then all 10 files appearing on each iPad).

Box.net worked really well though. I created folders on the Box.net website for each iPad, each class involved (2) and each teacher involved so they have a choice of where to save and find files. Not quite as seamless a process though. And I haven't yet tried actually opening files from Box.net onto another iPad, only tested the uploading.

These two pods of iPads (5 in each) are being used in a couple of Junior classes (Year 1, and Year 2-3) this term so we need the ability to save and sync to be as easy as possible. Using Box.net will require students to save to the Webdav option I've set up (needing to be set up within each app involved as well).

Carol Kendall


  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 9:37am ()

    Hey Carol

    I have got my free 50GB of storage by downloading the Box.net app on my iPad. I would like to set up the webdav side of things. I have no idea at all where to start. Can you help me??

  • Peter Eaton (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 9:45am ()

    If internet data quantities are an issue, you can (or your IT guy) can configure webdav pretty easily on wither a mac or windows computer(server usually, but doesn't have to be) so that you are just storing the files locally. It could be that you specifically want them in the cloud, in which case ignore me...

    Can post some links to how-Tos if you like.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 10:39am ()

    Thanks Pete Smile It was actually the internet speed that I noticed for now (assuming that's what was causing the files to sync so slowly (progress bar was creeping) - it may have also been an iCloud issue, I guess. We're with Scorch. I like the idea of setting up webdav on the server, and we'll certainly look at that option soon, once we've decided whether/when we're getting a new server and set-up.

    Yes please, I'd love the webdav set up info for a server (likely to need to be for a Mac server).


  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 10:45am ()

    This is a good point Peter, especially for schools.  I do not want 100 iPad devices all syncing their data up to iCloud, DropBox or Box.net.  Our internet connection just isnt that solid, and I dont want to pay for all of that data!

    We have WebDAV setup at school, so all of the share points (shared folders for students and teachers located on our server) will be accessible from that soon.  This means fast data transfer speeds at no cost.

    As well, we have had great success with a Mac app from the Mac App Store called Media Master Server (free).  Media Master Server allows you to set your own Mac up as a WebDAV server at the switch of a button, so you can wirelessly transfer files back and forth from your iPad to your own Mac wherever you are!  I am using an iPad app called WebDAV Nav (free) to transfer things outside of WebDAV enabled apps.  Using Media Master Server means we could get WebDAV up and running at school before our tech guy came in to sort out the more robust, server enabled solution.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 12:04pm ()

    Two things I notice here, Matt.

    Firstly, with all your various apps for transferring files between other apps etc, this is not going to be easy enough for young students to do - I'm looking for as few steps as possible because I'm talking about wanting Year 1-3 students to be able to get their creations from an ipad and to their teacher, without needing to be physically connected to the teacher's laptop (which actually isn't the master laptop for those iPads anyway).Box.net (once set up for each app that can use it) looks to be easier even than email. And it saves a teacher having to email back (although they can still do that). I've noticed on the iPad, that some bigger files can't be emailed...

    Next, being involved with Christchurch schools, having files stored on the Cloud (in whichever Cloud form that may be) is very important. So, this may be the one and only disadvantage of setting up webdav on your own school server? Those files could be lost if something happened to the server in a quake. Another thing that's occurred to me, we're trying to free up space our server and just have things like iMovie or Garageband files on it, and everything else perhaps in something like Google Docs. But having the webdav on the server, alot of our files will be back on our server.

    It seems like we're between a rock and a hard place, now that I think about it - do you pay for data traffic and risk slower internet because of files being on the cloud, or do we (in Christchurch) risk losing files by using webdav and traditional systems by continuing to use our server. Maybe we need a mix of the two - children's files on the webdav based on our own server, along with bigger movie/music files. But teacher documents in the cloud...

    Thinking on my feet (seat).


  • Peter Eaton (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 12:40pm ()

    Just a wee comment on the suggestion that storing files in the cloud means that we don't have to worry about backups. You still have to have protection from issues with your cloud provider: they may go out of business or lose your files - you still need to make sure that you have your data in 2 seperate places that you have access to if that data is important.  

    That schools lost data as a result of the earthquake suggests to me that there is an underlying issue of schools not getting sound, practical advice on how to store and backup data.  I spent 10yrs in the corporate IT world and someone would have lost their job if this happened... It is neither expensive nor ardouous to do this properly!

    My suggestion would be both:  use a local webdav server and have the server backing up to box.net regularly and automatically.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 1:08pm ()

    All true, Pete.

    And personally, I can't see myself having my own files completely stored on any 'Cloud', I like them ON my laptop as well, in case of powercuts (in earthquakes or otherwise).I'm rather anxious about how my Address Book and iCal are working at the moment, since I started using iCloud...

    PS - There were reports of some high schools in Christchurch not being able to access their servers because of the earthquake.


  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 1:35pm ()

    Very true Carol.  Our thinking at school is that admin stuff is critical to backup, teacher stuff is desirable to backup, and student stuff is nice to backup.  :-)

    With WebDAV, transferring files across is really easy if the app supports it, easy enough even for Year 1s to do, once the account settings have been entered.

    Of course, iCloud looks to be the ultimate solution, in a school with unlimited bandwidth and a very fat internet pipe.  Which is not the case in many NZ schools!

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 10:33am ()

    Sure, I don't know a lot about webdav, only just having set it up, but I think I get the idea. Would you like to call me on Facetime - madmacnz@me.com - and I can tell you what I've done.


  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 11:09am ()

    I got this through a Google Search and it worked......

    If you download the Box.net app before the end of October you get 50GB of storage!!!

    "Just thought I would share this with everyone. I just found out I could do this.

    You can send your PAGES documents to your Box.net account using the COPY TO WEBDAV feature in Pages.

    Choose the COPY TO WEBDAV option and you will be prompted for your WebDAV server information. For Box.net it is as follows:


    iPadDocs is the name of one of the folders in my Box.net account.

    The double // is important. Also enter your username and password. That's it. You can now upload documents directly from Pages to your Box.net account. Pages also gives you the option to convert the document to PDF or Word format or keep it in Pages format when it copies it."

    Easy as. It worked but I'm not quite sure what to do with it now. I used to just email Pages docs I had made to myself for use on my laptop. Now they are in Box.net it sort of adds another step to it. I will now see if I can share the docs from Box.net.


    The lawns will never get mown at this rate!!

  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2011 1:36pm ()

    Haha!  I'm painting celings at the moment.  This is my 'down time' so my arms and neck don't snap off!

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