This blog sets out to bring together experiences of archaeologists using iPads.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Course materials can be downloaded on to mobile devices and accessed by students wherever they are. Photograph: Mike Harrington/Lifesize
Students on the University of Leicester's new distance learning MSc in security, conflict and international development face more challenges than the average distance learner. For example, some students might spend weeks with no access to an internet connection, working in a refugee camp in post-conflict countries. How does the university make sure these remote students have everything they needed to carry out their studies?
"When you're doing that sort of thing, you can't be carrying huge folders of printed material," says Prof Adrian Beck, head of the university's department of criminology. "It struck us that we needed to find a way for them to transport our materials that is highly flexible but low-weight, and gives them access to all the material they will need while on the go."
The solution was to give every student on the course a free iPad, on to which they could download a bespoke app and all the course materials. Despite concerns from the university about security and technical support, the plan has gone smoothly. A few months into the MSc, no iPads have been lost or stolen and students have responded with enthusiasm.
There are still a few places available on the Easter archaeological study tour to Yorkshire. The Study Tour is organized by EMAS, the University of London Extra-Mural Archaeological Society, and is open to any one. You can find further details here...
Italy's famous Iceman mummy is set to hit iPads and iPhones with a new app allowing youngsters to learn about his Copper Age life and the stream of scientific discoveries made about him.
The application aims to provide "fun ways to get to know Europe's oldest natural human mummy", including games featuring his well-known tattoos - rumoured to have been copied by Brad Pitt - and "his extraordinary gear including his bow and arrow", said the Larixpress publishing house in the Iceman's northern Italian hometown of Bolzano.
Larixpress developed the app in collaboration with the Alto Adige (South Tyrol) Archaeological Museum, where the mummy is kept in a refrigerated cell. New discoveries about the 5,300-year-old Iceman, dug out of a northern Italian glacier in 1991 and also known as Oetzi from the Alpine valley where he was found, are being made all the time.
Last May traces of blood were found on him, the oldest blood sample ever found.
A year ago the first complete DNA map of the ancient man found that he was lactose intolerant, or unable to digest a sugar in milk. Read the rest of this article...