iPads on an International Excursion

The Instrumental Music department of Nambour Christian College were selected to compete in the 28th Annual Pacific Basin Music Festival held in Hawaii. They rehearsed for many hours, days and months and it's no wonder that they arrived home with the Silver Medal.

Prior to their departure I was thrown the decision as to whether the students should be allowed to take their iPads on an international excursion. I had no hesitation, however, needed to pass the decision onto those in higher authority. Those concerned believed that it would provide an opportunity to test the value of taking an iPad on an international excursion and provide a model for future trips. I am pleased to report how the iPads assisted students on their excursion.

Unable to attend the voyage, I allocated a student from Primary School the task of documenting how the iPad assisted the students on the excursion. As she was not part of the musical ensemble, I requested that she use Evernote to record her observations and embed images within her records. At the conclusion of the trip, she emailed me the link to her shared file and I was able to have access to her findings. Her results have added the construction of this post.

Firstly, the music team stayed in contact with families by using Twitter. Parents 'Followed' the music team and were able to keep up to date with all that was happening. From the moment the students left the school to the time they arrived back at the airport, photos and information was posted. Rehearsals, day trips, dining experiences, an outing to Pearl Harbour as well as performance results were all included within the feed and postings. The iPad connected families despite the vast distance. Twitter proved to be a valuable form of communication and method of connectivity.

Needless to say the students installed games on their iPad prior to their departure to keep themselves entertained on their flight. Temple Run, Clash of the Clans, 4 Pics 1 Word and Iconmania were among some of the most entertaining applications for the music team. Music was also available on devices to fill the many hours of flight time. Various students installed movies onto their WiFi 16GB iPad4 and were able to watch some of the latest and greatest movies throughout the duration of their travel. The students were educated on the importance of Digital Citizenship before leaving to inform them of the importance of respecting the personal space of others and the inherit need to use headphones and ask permission to take photographs when necessary.

The iPad was useful for reading on the plane and also before bedtime. Students used Kindle, iBooks and Watt Pad to access various preinstalled texts and books. The slim design of the iPad and the ability to store loads of games and books on the device make it advantageous for every traveller.

In addition, to connecting families, the students were able to take photos with their iPad and post them to favoured Social Media. Instagram was a popular collaborative medium for the students travelling in the team. The ability to post images allowed students to be creative and share their experiences with friends while making the most of every experience in Hawaii. Students were able to record high definition video of various events to revisit in future years.

Students used Skype, iMessage and Email to maintain contact with family, friends and relatives. The applications provided students with the tools to share their daily lives with others. In the past this would not have been possible. Mobile technology has relieved the anxiety of many parents and made them feel more confident in allowing their children to venture abroad. Once upon a time, parents would have needed to wait for their children to return to see photos and hear about their stories, however, various Apps enabled open communication among family.

Students were able to use note taking applications to record journal entries. I suggested 'Clibe' as it offers cloud synchronisation and the ability to share journals. While journals may not have been a popular choice among the students, I feel that the use of the iPad for note taking was successfully demonstrated by my assistant who used Evernote to capture how iPads have assisted students on the international music excursion. The student iPads enabled students to capture moments in time and share their lives with others and the device provided a means of entertainment and creativity.

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