This year I have become fascinated with the idea of iPads as devices that host digital texts, and more recently I have started to see their possibility as “digital backpacks” full of school tools. Currently, I have undertaken a 1:1 iPad pilot while on a trip with students to Costa Rica to study the tropical rainforests here. So, I have a whole series of posts about the planning and realities of trying to make this experiment work.
So, how are we using the technology?
First, we are using it to view content. Yesterday was a travel day. Since we had down time in the airport (flight was delayed) and on the plane (4 hour flight), I gave the kids the following assignment:
- Read Chapter 4 on Ecosystems (in Environmental Science Text)
- Watch uploaded iTunes U lecture on Tropical Rainforest (on iPad
- Watch uploaded iTunes “Ecogeeks” Podcast on Rainforests (on iPad)
Second, we are using it to research and create content. We have great wireless access at each of our field sites (they are set up to handle American college and university researchers). After dinner last night, we went to a classroom and the students started working on their blog assignments on the iPads. Each has the following assignment:
- Start researching your taxa group (keep track of source pages!)
- Experiment with editing your taxa page in WordPress app
In addition to these group projects at our trip blog, each student takes turn writing an account of the day. You can read the first account here. I think I’m going to wait a few days before posting again, as the Life 1.0 experience is too amazing to miss. Heading out for a little birdwatching…