Last month here at SEP we’ve been trying to come up with new ways to utilize our iPads. We’ve been struggling to find a good way to uniquely use them. So in the pursuit of greater knowledge we decided to “experiment” and incorporate them into a two of our PCR workshops. Each group had 13 and didn’t know they would be working with iPads until they showed up.
We expected them to be able to use the iPads as a reference tool. So to encourage this we preloaded a few videos onto the iPads. Like the one below.
We set up a Google Docs spreadsheet and had everyone record their results from the lab onto the spreadsheet. This seemed like the best way to use the iPads. Their small size allowed them to be used within the labs without getting in the way of the actual work. They also work as a good tool make quick reference and lab technique checks.
The results of our iPad “experiment” were mixed. I’m still convinced that the spreadsheet/data collecting is a great way to use the iPads with science curriculum. However, the end result wasn’t as positive as it could have been. Not everyone recorded their results and the ones that did often put them in the wrong category and had incomplete results.
Our mixed results were mostly due to the fact that they were required to enter all their information at the end of the day and, much like their student counterparts, many of them were eager to go home after the long day in the lab.
We’re definitely going to revisit the Google Docs angle. It’s a solid and approach that is uniquely utilized with the iPads.