Friday, July 08, 2011

Student generated content on net tablets

The CPIT Foundation has approved a grant to purchase hardward for the interactive etextbooks on net tablets project. So, we are now able to move ahead with the etextbooks / eworkbooks on tablets project. One of the objectives of this project is to not only provide tutors with the opportunity to upload content, but for students to also generate content.
Katrina Fisher (barista tutor) and Peter Sauer (automotive engineering tutor) are the two tutors involved with this project next semester. Katrina and her students will use ipad 2 tablets and Peter's class on Android tablets. I have made a request to IT to purchase both the ipads and the asus eee pad IT will be investigating Android OS tablets and have made a suggestion with the Acer Iconia Pad which also as a Windows 7 OS version. So might work on a Windows OS tablet version of the project early next year with the Engineering manufacturing team who have learning resources in the Windows environment.
Having had an ipad to play with for just on a year, I have been able to test several apps for students to generate content. These include note taking (Bamboo Paper), sketching (Doodle Buddy), post-it notes (BugMe! lite), card sorts (iCardsort), pdf annotation (pdf-notes), audio note taking (live notes lite), mindmapping (SimpleMind+) and aggregators to bring together the various items (Evernote, Scribe Lite and Catch Notes).
The equivalents of the above I have tested on our Archos are note taking and sketching (free hand note lite), post it notes (bugMe!), card sorts (flashcard maker pro), pdf aggregators (ez pdf), audio note taking (Audio Notes recorder), mind mapping (mind map memo)  and the aggregators (evernote, catch notes, emobilenotes).
So there is a good choice of apps to evaluate as to fit for purpose and user friendliness over the course of the project.
Content can be uploaded by tutors on to any of the above, or on to the photo or video players on the tablets. Plus we can also use ebook readers like Stanza for the ipad and FB reader for the Android tablets. If all else fails, we will pay for documents to go, which is available on multiple platforms. Not yet available for most Android tablets as yet with only the Archos 5 on the list (but for free).
The overall objective is to keep things simple, to explore and study the use of the apps as tools for constructive learning and for archiving / recording the learning journey, and to build guidelines for how to best use this concept to engage students, enhance learning and help students become self-directed lerners.