GEOS 405 Geoscience in the Media - Dogwiler Beatty

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About This Article

This article describes how mobile computing, specifically tablets, was piloted in Professors Toby Dogwiler's and Lee Beatty's GEOS 405 Geoscience in the Media to transform teaching and learning.

Intended Audience

WSU instructors interested in past faculty experience with tablet devices in the classroom.

Spring 2013 iPad Pilot

Students in this course had access to an iPad tablet to use throughout the spring semester along with several apps selected by Drs. Dogwiler and Beatty for use in class and in the field.

How the iPads are Used in GEOS 405

GEOS 405 was designed as a one-time offering with the iPads in mind. Geoscience in the Media looked at current examples of geoscience-related news items and then challenged the students in the class to find an issue, design their own video documentary, and create it on the iPad.

The iPads were used in two very different ways:

  • The iPads were used to film and edit the videos.
  • They were also used to read assignments and discuss them in class.

The students seemed excited about them. They also seemed to think that shooting and editing the video on them went well.

Professors Dogwiler and Beatty set the following objectives for the iPad pilot:

  • Create and edit videos that communicate a scientific principle. Besides being entertaining, well thought out, and professionally produced, the final projects (the videos) were required to demonstrate proven scientific principles and critical thought.
  • Reduce the reliance on printed materials. Professors Dogwiler and Beatty intended to deliver all materials electronically for consumption on the tablets. This reduced the cost of the course delivery as well as make the course more ecologically friendly.


Changes in the classroom

Since this course was designed specifically as an iPad pilot project and was offered for the first time as that pilot, there were, strictly speaking, no changes in the classroom because of the iPads.

Looking at the bigger picture, the students were accustomed to writing papers as a means to document their thoughts and research. Using the iPads and recording their work in the form of videos gave them a new opportunity to express themselves and engage in the assignment.


Since the course went so well and was so well regarded by the students, Dr. Dogwiler and Dr. Beatty are considering running it again some time in the future.

iPad Applications Employed in GEOS 405

Professors Dogwiler and Beatty used the following applications in their GEOS 405 iPad pilot:

  • iMovie
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • YouTube

Descriptions, pricing, and links to iTunes for each of these applications is available on the iPad Pilot Applications page.

More Information

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