iPads for field work

The university library has iPads available to support location-based education, such as fieldwork. This allows students to work in the original setting, both with each other and with the teacher. This gives them the opportunity to better learn how to look and compare, in support of the theory covered in the lesson.

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

During on-site education, it can be difficult to provide large documents for education. For example, it is not easy to play several cards geoplaza with different transparencies. Although most students have a smartphone, its screens are often very small for a map. Moreover, technical support is difficult because there are many different smartphones and apps do not always work equally well on every device. In addition, giving access to large files requires a lot of bandwidth and by no means all students have unlimited data.

That is why the University Library offers iPads for on-site education. The library has been providing this kind of support for more than 7 years. With that experience, we advise teachers about offering active education through interactive content. 

We can let students work on location with interactive maps via the ArcGIS tools. This allows them to add points on a shared map, including text, images or videos. And all this can be monitored by the teacher, even from campus, providing live feedback to students in the field. An example of a recent application is the fieldwork of Earth Sciences: students can save the location of their soil drilling via the I-pads, including a photo of the profile and comments. Another example is the Historical Amsterdam course, in which students make assignments in the historical city themselves with the I-pad. 

This is just a selection of the possibilities. The iPads can (and have been in the past) be used in many more ways to support education. Do you want to know how iPads can enrich your education on location? Or do you have an idea that the iPads could improve teaching in the classroom? Please contact the UBVU via question.ub@vu.nl, addressed to Linde Voorend or Kim Dibbets.