Always looking for ways to expand the storage capability of iPad, I’ve been testing Maxell’s AirStash wireless flash drive. This little device lets staff move up to 32GB worth of files wirelessly to and from their iPad, while still being small enough to carry in your pocket.
Essentially, AirStash is a USB-dongle-shaped device made of a durable plastic, which has a slot at the end furthest from the USB connector into which you can shove an SD memory card. While it’s connected you can copy files to it just like any data stick or pen drive.
Moving and sharing files over WiFi
Here’s the good bit. Pressing a small button on the AirStash activates a battery-powered WiFi chip, allowing Airstash to broadcast its presence over its own WiFi network without even being plugged in. You can then connect your iPad, Mac, PC or any other WiFi computing device to that WiFi network (it’s called Airstash by default and has no security, but you can change that easily via an app, or utility on your computer).
On an iPad it acts as a webDAV server, and you can push and pull documents to Pages, Numbers and Kenote using the ‘copy to/from’ webDAV functions in those apps. You can actually move any content you like on and off AirStash using file management apps like Goodreader and iFiles.
Strong security, simple charging
For security, AirStash can be configured to be visible to everyone for use in a primary school, or non-critical meeting, or can be WEP-encrypted for more sensitive information. The use of SD cards for memory is inspired, as users can carry lots of data for different events and scenarios at very minimal cost.
To charge, you just plug AirStash into your computer and let it power up its internal battery, which takes about two hours if it’s nearly empty. Reassuring lights tell you what’s going on there. Once charged, you can just unplug it and take it away.
Recommended for teachers
There are very few snags to AirStash actually – only eight users can connect at any time, and at present you can’t connect your iPad to AirStash and your internet WiFi connection at the same time – you have to manually switch. However, Maxell are working on a technique called SideLink to try to overcome that one. I’d recommend AirStash for anyone who needs to move data from a computer to multiple iPad devices, particularly where they won’t ever be in the same place as the computer. Teachers, especially, will welcome this one.
For more information on AirStash and other mobile storage devices for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our classroom technology news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.