Friday, 21 October 2011

iPad Update October 2011: Science, Technolgy and Health

Ironically, I couldn't post this using the iPad because it wouldn't allow me to select 'Your Stories' from the category list (wouldn't scroll the list).

Anyhow, so far the iPad has been used during timetabled sessions, with some great outcomes...

Session 1: The iPad was used during a formative practical assessment in the exercise physiology lab' in JHB. The session involved the students rehearsing key practical competencies (that are later part of a summative assessment). The iPad allowed for their rehearsals to be very easily filmed. The students were then able to watch their attempts immediately after completion, at which point feedback could be provided (including pausing, rewinding, etc. etc.). Doing this with a usual camcorder is much, much more awkward. We were saving the files and then playing them simultaneously to highlight improvements. Students liked this a lot!

Session 2: Another practical session, which involved continuous data collection, which is often difficult to record. Old fashioned pen/paper can get muddled (large data sets), and using a desktop (obviously) or even laptop can be cumbersome due to moving round the lab/area of data collection. So, we used the iPad to allow for complete freedom of movement whilst collecting data (both me and the students). We used Google Docs, which ALMOST worked well. Aaron has since helped with the problem, but it seems that Mobile Safari and Google Docs does not like converted MS Excel spreadsheets. We were attempting to add data as it became available, which would continuously update calculation cells and graphs associated with row/column ranges. However, it wouldn't allow us to save or share the document, which meant typing all the data cell-by-cell onto a desktop after session. Apparently it's a Mobile Safari thing, and using a 'form' - like the Elevate SARE questionnaire - associated with row entry in a spreadsheet is a better method of attack! Hope I've described that well enough Aaron. Still, at least the actual continuous data collection was made easier - just need to iron out the sharing process.

In the coming weeks, I am going full steam ahead and attempting to create some tutorial videos with ShowMe - like YouTube Education videos.

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