Draft:EFRT 459 Professional Educator - Reineke

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About This Article

This article describes how mobile computing, specifically tablets, was piloted in Dr. Jim Reineke's EFRT 459 - Professional Educator to transform teaching and learning.

Intended Audience

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

Fall 2012 iPad Pilot

All students in this course receive iPad 2 tablets to use throughout the fall semester along with several apps selected by Dr. Reineke for use in class and in the field.

How the iPads are Used in EFRT 459

In EFRT 459, students research the educational system. Traditionally, this has meant trips to the library to gather information for the paper. With the addition of the iPad, Professor Reineke augmented this research by sending his students into the field to interview, record, and analyze input from key members of academia. Interviews were organized, recorded, and analyzed on the iPads.

Dr. Reineke used the iPads to accomplish several key objectives of the course that would be difficult or impossible utilizing only traditional educational methods. The iPads and their associated applications enabled Dr. Reineke to:

  • Increase student engagement. By publishing materials through LectureTools, students have access to the materials from their iPads and the LectureTools application. Students can preview the materials, add their own notes to the slides, and store their annotated materials for future review.
  • Create new educational materials. Doceri allows Dr. Reineke to use the iPad to annotate directly over the top of anything on his computer as it is projected. These annotated materials can be saved, uploaded into D2L, and be made available to the students for download.
  • Promote new styles of research. In previous terms, Dr. Reineke required students to complete an extensive education-based research paper using materials from the library. With the iPads, the students now interview teachers, administrators, school board members, and community members as additional research. The iPad is used to record the interview, annotate notes directly over the audio, and organize interview data for analysis in the research process.
  • Introduce the students to the community. Added benefits of the students using the iPads to interview members of the community include meeting people in education, learning first hand how education and the community function, and building communication skills.
  • Collect student feedback and reaction. At the end of each class meeting, Socrative is used to poll the students for their feedback, how the class meeting went, any points that need more explanation, and general reaction to the proceedings.


Changes in the classroom

  • Increased engagement. Because students were able to connect more easily with each other, research by interviewing professionals in the field instead of just reading in the library, and provide immediate questions and feedback to their professor, they felt more engaged in the educational process.
  • Understanding of local educational system. Previously, research for papers in EFRT 459 was done through traditional resources like the library. Using recording, audio-editing, and note-taking applications on the iPads provided the students the opportunity to perform research in the field, talking to seated professionals in the region. This caused a deeper understanding of the educational field and the workings of local districts.


  • Professor Reineke proposed continuation of the fall pilot into the spring term. Additionally, he began to research using iPads as remote links into the classroom, hoping to broadcast class meetings to his pupils that are student teaching in the field.

Changes Made in Follow-Up Pilots - Spring 2013 & Fall 2013

Dr. Reineke has rerun the pilot several times in EFRT 459. Changes he has made in subsequent iterations of the pilot include:

  • Moving from LectureTools to Nearpod: There were trade-offs in the lecture platform. LectureTools supported note-taking directly within the presentation and Nearpod allowed the instructor to control the displays on the student iPads. Both supported audience polling so Socrative was no longer needed.
  • Moving from Interview Assistant Pro to Highlights by Cohdoo: The students preferred Highlights as it retained the interview in a single stream (Interview Assistant broke up the interview based on the questions) and supported the insertion of notes directly into the interview recording.
  • Introducing concept mapping: EFRT 459 tried both Inspiration and SimpleMind+ for concept mapping. The students preferred SimpleMind+ as a tool but Inspiration is supported on the laptops making it a viable option.
  • Using teleconferencing for student check-in: Adobe Connect, Jabber, and Skype were all used as means for students to check in with the instructor while they were in the field. While the concept is desirable, it was found these that applications were a little too glitchy to support it at this time.

The students truly enjoyed this pilot. They took their iPads with them to other classes for recording lectures and taking notes. The students did not want to turn in the tablets when the pilot ended at the end of the term.

iPad Applications Employed in EFRT 459

Professor Reineke used the following applications in his EFRT 459 iPad pilot:

  • Adobe Connect
  • Doceri
  • Highlight by Cohdoo
  • Interview Assistant Pro
  • Jabber
  • Lecture Tools
  • Nearpod
  • Simple Mind
  • Skype
  • Socrative

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

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