Livestock/4-H Extension Agent
Escambia County Extension Office
3740 Stefani Rd
Cantonment, FL 32533
(850) 475-5230 ex. 102
iPads. While that may seem like the most common word today, five years ago it didn’t even exist. The world has really changed dramatically and 4-H is changing with it in order serve every child. iPads are an important piece of technology that we can use to reach youth in our counties. Along with being extremely portable and versatile, they open a new world to kids that they can really touch and see.
Apple’s iPad has lots of uses within the education field, especially 4-H. Our ability o be creative and not constrained in program development allows agents the opportunity to take full advantage of many features that a traditional classroom would not. Apps are the main source of educational material and total in the hundreds of thousands to choose from. One in particular that students may already be familiar with is the various Stargazer apps. These apps allow the user to aim the device (iPad, iPhone, Driod) at the sky and identify constellations. The technology could be used in a youth astronomy program or twilight activity. Even on a cloudy night, youth can still see the constellations and identify the different parts of the sky. Apps also include recipe books, NASA educational information, drawing, and video software. Youth have thousands of options to choose from in order incorporate iPads into 4-H programs.
A second use for the iPads is with all our local county council and teen leader groups. We struggle sometimes with converting student minutes into a workable format or keeping track of all the business information conducted in their meetings. The iPads put everything at the member’s fingertips. They can keep minutes, take photos or videos, use to show information through a projector, as well as simply keeping roll on Excel. While it’s not the answer to every problem, an iPad does provide a compact source of information for our youth to utilize.
Tablets are a source of technology that allows the user to create their own path. iPads are a user driven device and can used in a variety of ways within our traditional programs. It is up to each agent or volunteer to determine the best program benefit from an iPad. With such a new technology thousands of uses are still to be discovered, but the available apps and features on the tablet open a new world of possibilities for our 4-H programs.