I’m off and running with students this week, and that means it’s time to work with the pill bugs again. I’ve done the choice chamber experiment… let’s say more than twice. However, it’s still nice to have reference materials for my own comfort and to ensure I don’t forget something each time I prepare the lab. My computer isn’t especially convenient to have nearby when I’m working in the lab, but my iPad can easily travel with me. That’s why I like to use a copy of Biology Rocks! in iBooks.
I do the same thing with most of my reference materials when I’m working with students or in the prep area. I also encourage students to do the same, especially since we’ve had the technology initiative that has put a class set of iPads in my room. Students will (and probably already do) live in a digital world. I not only want them to be comfortable, but I want to help them maximize their ability to use digital resources. Today one student group wanted to use food as an incentive for their pill bugs, but they weren’t sure what pill bugs ate. The iPad was available for them to do their own research, and even though I could answer their question I let them look it up themselves. We even got to have a discussion of reliable sources, and it’s only the fourth day of school!
So I have printed myself a hard copy of Biology Rocks! just in case I need a physical copy, but I encourage everyone to push themselves and get comfortable with more digital formats. You can load the PDF into iBooks by saving a local copy and then either emailing it to yourself or loading it into a cloud service (like Google Drive or Dropbox). Use your iPad to find the file and then choose to open it in iBooks. Viola, you now have a mobile copy. The more comfortable your students see you with digital resources, the more likely they will be to adopt the tools themselves.