iPads for field work

By using iPads and a 4G network, the University Library supports education on location. Students are given the opportunity to work in the original environment, both with each other and with the teacher. This allows them to learn to look and compare better than usual, in addition to the theory learned in the classroom.

Fieldwork teaches students to look differently, complementing the theory learned in the classroom.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to deliver large files on location for educational purposes during fieldwork. Stacking multiple card layers on top of each other with different transparencies, for example, is not easy. Although most students have smartphones, the screens on them are often quite small for a map and due to the many different types of smartphones, not everything works all the time. In addition, accessing these types of files requires a lot of bandwidth. Not all students have an unlimited 4G connection.



That is why the University Library makes iPads available for on-site education. The University Library has been supporting education in this way for more than 7 years. With this experience, we can advise teachers on how to provide interactive content for activating education. We can send PowerPoint presentations directly to a student's iPad, integrate questions into the slide, enable on-site team assignments, etc.

But also things like marking places on a map and adding additional information such as descriptions, images or videos. These can then be tracked on campus in real time by the teacher, providing live feedback to students in the field.


Currently, iPads are used in many different ways throughout the year, including:

  • The students collect information about hiding places that were used during the Second World War and put it directly in Geoplaza.
  • Students explore the history of buildings that played a role in the slave trade. In teams, they edit their findings into an interactive map while the teacher follows the process live from the campus.
  • Soil drilling in the Veluwe where students mark on the map where they drilled and attach photos of their soil profile.
  • The history of the city center of Amsterdam, in which students, after an introduction by the teacher, make assignments on location, also on location.

Want to know how iPads can improve your on-site education? Please contact the UBVU via addressed to Rogier van de Blaak & Sylvia Moes.