Education app of the week: mobilEcho for iPad

Do you need to give your pupils access to the Windows file servers they’re used to using on Mac and PC, but from their iPad? mobilEcho lets them do just that, and really easily too, which is why we’ve given it our coveted ‘app of the week’ crown…

What is mobilEcho?

mobilEcho is a solution that’s essentially made up of two components – software that gets installed in your school’s server to give you access to Windows File Servers, SharePoint and NAS systems from your iPad devices, and then the mobilEcho app (Acronis, free), which we’re reviewing here. It’s important to point out, you can’t access your file servers using the app if your school hasn’t purchased the server software (see below for how to get one of these through us).

How easy is it to use?

It’s incredibly easy for your pupils to start accessing files using mobilEcho. Once the app is installed on all your iPad devices (either by downloading it from the App Store, or by getting an IT admin to send an invite with instructions of how to install a pre-configured version), mobilEcho connects up to your school’s file servers, then pupils have access to everything they need. There’s no new navigation to learn – all same folder structures appear just as they would on a laptop or desktop computer.

How could it benefit the classroom?

Having access to files on the server has obvious advantages – instead of having to email round worksheets, you can get pupils to access a centralised folder on the server and grab the file from there themselves, from anywhere in the school. But you can also use mobilEcho to push those files out to iOS devices if you need to make sure everyone receives the same file.

It’s also really secure, as you’re able to use the software to authenticate user profiles, give pupils access to their file shares on the servers, approve a list of apps that you’re happy for pupils to move files into for editing, or prevent high security documents from leaving the mobilEcho environment. If, for some reason, an iPad gets lost or stolen, you can even remotely wipe the mobilEcho app and all the data contained within it.

What’s the best feature?

What we really love is the two-way sync folder – this is a folder stored on a shared server which staff can drop files into, then whenever pupils access that sever through the app, the new files are automatically pushed to their device to be stored locally and accessed offline. It’s a fantastic way to keep your class up to date with work!

How much is it and where do I get it?

While the mobilEcho (Acronis, free) app is completely free and available from the App Store here, you do have to pay for the software side. For an idea of how much this might cost your school for a full site licence, get in touch on the details below. Or if you’d like to try out mobilEcho for free for 21 days, head to our mobilEcho page here.

– Missed last week’s app? Read our review of Frog Dissection for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

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