iPads on the beach with Glacier Peak High School

Jean Ingersoll over at Glacier Peak High School has gotten an opportunity to take her students out to the beach courtesy of the Seattle Aquarium.  There they worked with some staff marine biologists to survey parts of the beach at Mukileo Lighthouse Park.

She then had the idea that her students could use the iPads in order to collect and record data.  This is the first time we’ve attempted to have the iPads used outside of a classroom setting and the result was interesting.  Instead of using the pen and paper they were carefully take notes on the iPads as well as inserting pictures of their findings and measurements from the beach.

I uploaded all their notes and pictures to Dropbox back at the office because there was not internet connection out on the beach.  This added extra time for me but only took an hour or so to get everything up and running.

The outdoor beach environment was a little uncontrolled for our loaner iPads and one of them went missing.  We discussed ways to make sure that the iPads are more secure in the future as we only have an limited amount and already less than a class set.  We came to the conclusion of a sign out sheet, and while the sign out sheet won’t stop someone from taking an iPad if they wanted it does add an additional layer of accountability.

This missing iPad was a lesson in preparation and while 99.9% of the students we serve are honest we always need to prepare for that extra 0.1%.  Hopefully our new measures will do the trick and we’ll avoid any future problems.

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