Science Professor Teaches All Her Classes with an iPad

Seton Hill professor Bobbie Leeper, Ph.D. has degrees in biology and anthropology. She has a research interest in forensic anthropology, and assists state and local police in forensic cases. She teaches in an array of Seton Hill’s natural and health sciences programs. And in every course she teaches, she uses an iPad. Why? Let’s ask.

Why do you use an Apple iPad to teach health science courses?

I find teaching from the iPad much easier than projecting images from my laptop, and then going back and forth between the screen and drawing on the whiteboard. Additionally, whiteboard space is typically limited. So, previous to me using the iPad, my drawings were crammed into the small whiteboard spaces.

Can you share a specific example?

I think that this technology is particularly useful in anatomy courses, where drawing and labeling anatomical structures in class is an essential part of teaching.  Drawing directly on the slides in class makes what is important much more clear to the students. I put my presentations on my iPad (using the GoodNotes app) and connect it to the AppleTV in the classroom using AirPlay so that I can draw directly on my slides with my Apple Pencil.  

I can add blank slides to my presentation and do drawings on a white screen rather than drawing on a whiteboard in class with markers (which may be hard to see). Having my slides on the iPad also allows me to easily zoom in on parts of the slide or smaller anatomical structures.

I can then post my drawings after class so that the students have access to them. Previously, they would take pictures of my drawings on the whiteboard to use to study.  

How do your students respond?

The students absolutely love my use of the iPad. I normally get several vocal "wows" on the first day of class when they see me draw directly on the slides and then zoom in on structures for them.  

“I use my iPad and Apple Pencil so much for every class, but histology especially. It was a great tool to complete the worksheet assignments and create helpful images for my studying. It is by far the greatest investment I’ve made for my study habits and success in school.” 

- Medical Studies/Physician Assistant major Savannah Bankosh