iPads facilitate training in the Pratt student machine shop

Linda Franzoni, Professor of the Practice and Associate Dean for Student Programs, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Pratt School of Engineering
Steve Earp, Manager of the Student Shop, Pratt School of Engineering

Project Description

ipadshopvideoStudents using the Pratt Student Shop now have more options for learning how to safely use the machines to construct their projects. The shop has 3 iPads, configured to access short videos demonstrating the proper use of the machines. Students can take the iPads to the machine, and reference the how-to videos right at the point of need, at the machine. Steve Earp (with camera operator Kaicheng Liang, Pratt Biomedical Engineering Graduate) created almost 50 videos to help the students. The iPads are configured to easily find and access the videos regardless of wireless access. In addition, he’s created a resource guide accessible on the iPads to help students find materials they need.

Steve says that students find it easier to learn from the videos while they are in front of the machines on the iPads instead of walking across the room to access them on the computer, then walking back and looking at the machine, then back to the computer, then back to the machine.

One student wrote:

Just wanted to send in some feedback about your shop information videos we watched before using the lathe this past Monday. The lathe guide videos were really helpful in getting us introduced to the lathe beyond what we got in safety training. The videos allow us to see the machine and rewind to reanalyze things that we need a second pass on. The videos really help reduce confusion on getting started with the machine with the visual component. The fact that there is an iPad to watch the video is the best part as we can watch the video while being close to the actual machine in the lab to better understand how to correctly operate the machine before turning it on. It really helps in regard to clearing confusion and making the lab safer.

Students can stand in the exact same place the video was created to get oriented as they watch the video while looking at the machine. In addition, the lightness and portability of the iPad makes it easy to use at the point of need.

Students in 10 different courses as well as independent study and student competitive groups have all benefited from the iPad and video combination as they create their projects in the student machine shop.
Start date: August 2010

Funding awarded: iPads

Andrea Novicki

Author: Andrea Novicki

Andrea helps faculty use technology effectively and efficiently in their teaching. She works primarily with scientists, using her biology background, love of science and teaching experience. Her current enthusiasms include online science education, active learning (especially team-based learning) and assessment.