Students use iPad minis to record “body culture” on campus

Dr. Robin Veder, associate professor of Art History and Visual Culture and Humanities at Penn State Harrisburg will use iPad minis in her Interdisciplinary Humanities class for students to record “body culture” practices on campus.

The class, which combines theory, history, and creative expression, is currently discussing the “body culture” practices of America and other cultures, and exploring them through various art forms, such as literature, visual art, film, and performance.  Body cultures are historically specific practices and beliefs concerning how bodies work, move, look, and feel.

With the iPad minis, the students will not just study these art forms, they’ll also create them.

 “In all areas of the humanities, writers and artists have asked how our bodies shape our sense of self,” Veder said.  “This class is based on the idea that our answers – and our bodies themselves – are determined by the time, place, and cultures in which we live. New technology helps us to pay attention, to increase our awareness, in new ways.”

Working in small teams, the students will use iPad minis to record the body cultures that are all around them - what people wear, their body language, their favorite activities and their interactions with technology.  

Veder won a Media Commons Mobile Media Pilot award to use the iPads in her class.  The Mobile Media Pilot provides iPod touch or iPad mini devices to students so that they can film, edit and publish video directly – all on one device. The pilot attempts to explore the benefits, challenges, limitations and affordances of a mobile video workflow.

The pilot program is made possible through Media Commons, a University-wide initiative to enrich teaching and learning through multimedia technology, classroom training and direct support for students, faculty and staff.