The introduction of GeoPad technology into field courses will require a significant commitment of the instructors involved. Instructors must have or must acquire the expertise both to design the projects and to implement them in the field. In some cases, design and implementation (or portions of these tasks) may be accomplished by different instructors. For example, instructor X (GIS proficient) designs the projects and instructor Y (less proficient) implements them in the field. Ideally, at least one instructor implementing the technology must have sufficient training to troubleshoot a variety of software and hardware glitches that inevitably occur.
Instructor preparation should involve the following:
- research into the most appropriate hardware and software for the course
- development of expertise with the selected hardware, operating system, and software
- consideration of how to best integrate the technology into an existing or new project
- planning for logistical aspects of field implementation (technology inventory, charging needs, security, etc.)
- thorough testing of the equipment and the user interface before the course begins
Resources about Instructor Preparation:
- MIT field camp graduate instructor primer - This website from the MIT Center for Digital Geology (MCDIG) illustrates hardware and software used, how to pack a digital field camp for travel, and how to power a digital camp in a remote area
- Using ArcPad and ArcGIS to make Geological Maps - This web page by Ryan Clark at MIT provides an index pertaining to using ArcPad and ArcGIS to make geological maps. Included are links about preparing base maps, collecting data on the iPaq, transferring data from the iPaq to the computer, dealing with lines and symbology, finalizing maps, and dealing with specific data types.