From Big Papi to Hannah Storm: Using the iPad in a Sports Media Course

I was very excited to use the iPad with my students for the first time in my Sports Media course. Last week I sent the iPad around to each of my 20 students.  I worked with a few of them on navigation, but most students were able to use the iPad with no direction, commenting that “it’s just a giant iPhone!”

After students seemed comfortable with the iPad, I asked them to find specific sites during our discussion. Last week we were discussing athlete’s use of social media, so I asked students to pull up Red Sox player David Ortiz’s (Big Papi) twitter page http://twitter.com/davidortiz and comment on his tweets. We were able to see that he promotes his charity work and plugs his endorsements through the site. I downloaded the Twitterific app to make Twitter viewing easier.  I allowed students to continually use the iPad throughout class to look up discussion related topics which included snowboarder Shaun White’s website http://www.shaunwhite.com/projectx/?fbid=zQ54XugPFxv, Michael Phelp’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/michaelphelps, Kobe Bryan’ts website http://kb24.com/ and the sports blog site www.fanhouse.com.  Here, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of athlete’s social media use.

I used the iPad again in class on Wednesday of this week.  Before class started, students passed the iPad around to look up the latest sports related current events so they could actively contribute to our initial class discussion.  This past week, there was a great deal of coverage on ESPN sportscaster Hannah Storm.  She had been criticized for an outfit she wore to the first NBA game of the season between the Celtics and the Miami Heat (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/01/hannah-storm-dress-criticized_n_776846.html).  While looking at Storm’s latest outfit on the Smartboard, I directed the student currently holding the iPad to search for other images of Hannah Storm in outfits that sparked debate. This led to a discussion of the challenges women face in the sports media profession.  So far students have been enjoying using the iPad in my course and I look forward to finding news way to incorporate the technology in my class. I am also hoping to post a photo of a student and I using the iPad so check back for that soon!

I am discussing the iPad with my student Amanda Shinn.

 The photo was taken by Martin Totland.

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