Meg Stewart, Academic Computing Services Consultant for GIS, Vassar College
Keri VanCamp, Ecological Preserve Field Station Manager, Vassar College
(Get PPP to post on the blog)
-Got a grant from Hewlitt Packard – got 21 tablets 2004
-Enhanced GIS program
-Teaching with GIS
-with money from the grant – they got GIS software
-Spring 2008 – they purchased new tablets.
-got grant from HP in 2008 to make a video to show students how to use the tablets.
-students worked in pairs – one has tablet, the other has GIS
-can digitize – using pen to mark land use. Pen integrated seamlessly with “ArcMap(?)”
-have aerial photo as base and can annotate – diagram sediment distribution.
-did mobile mapping workshop for faculty.
-understand a geomorphological concept – meandering stream.
-have students use an emerging tech.
-TC1100 – early tablet that they used with a GPS receiver.
-collecting wave points every few seconds.
-mapping change in course of stream.
-advantage of tablets – mobility and power; interactivity with GPS; stylus is vastly more efficient.
-have students participate in long-term ecological research during a series of lab assignments.
-study invasive plant species
-problems with traditional methodology – eyeballing inconsistencies among researchers
-inability to verify findings
-plant id is time consuming
Tablets could obviate these problems – photogrid!
-data collection more consistent among users
-a photographic record of plot is stored
-could use custom field guide for site using web browser.
-easier plant id
-point id is simpler
-participating in long-term research was useful
-using 10 tablets – collating data from all
-battery life – poor
Still it is a useful tool.
-enhanced scope of Ecology projects
-allows for increased complexity of projects
-could use excel in the field to record data.
-ease of use
-ability to combine data sets of various users.
-stored info for long-term project
-involvement in actual research = boon for students.
-actual experience of in-field research informing choice of major, investment in field of study.
-cataloguing everything from the site that they found in their field session.
-could do complete record of excavation – could take records from each tablet and collate.
-more like apprenticeship in real life sit., than theoretical/abstract.
Evaluating student outcomes.
-understand student confidence level with tech.
-increase or decrease in student skill level (with tablets)
Faculty wanted to see decrease in transcription errors
Used Likert scale
Students needed demo
Longer battery life
Good for dift. learning styles
Like using an emerging technology
Faculty liked two scales of visualization
Link to Vassar NERCOMP Presentation