Having become the working tool of today, iPads now have entered the workforce with ISU Recreation Services.

Nathan Pick and Andy Laughlin from Recreation Services spoke Friday, Oct. 12, on the benefits of integrating technology at recreation facilities in the Big 12 and Friends Conference in Ames.

The seminar, called #RecTech, discussed the importance of iPads expanding communication and recreational possibilities in Recreation Services.

“We’ve learned from going to conferences or talking to our students that that’s how they communicate,” said Laughlin, assistant director of facilities and aquatics.

Recreation Services owns seven iPads that student staff are allowed to use while working. The tablets connect the staff members through calendar reminders and emails.

"We believe iPads are going to revolutionize how things are done on our campus,” Laughlin said. 

Recreation Services also has used YouTube to create instructional videos for employees.

RecTube, a private channel used for internal purposes, has been set up to teach employees about proper lifeguarding in the State Gym pool, intramurals, using the duress buttons at the gym and other important training activities. 

“We try to inject a little humor into it, but it's educational at the same time," Laughlin said.

Fitness instructors are able to create injury reports and email them out to student health, to recreation services administration or to whomever might need them. They also allow staff to take pictures of the participant to include in the filed injury report.

“Having the injury reports on the iPads allows us the ability to share information very quickly from student employees with the professional staff when an injury occurs,” Laughlin said. “This is beneficial: If 911 was called, further followup is necessary or if the injury or incident happens in the absence of professional staff. Also, the ability to document the injury via a picture versus a generic description is a great feature to have.”

The iPads even have a first aid app in case staff members need reminders while helping students who are working out.

Maintenance requests are also loaded onto the devices and can be filled out and emailed to the maintenance crews at any time.

“When something in our facility broke down in the past we took a form and put it in a mail box, that machine might be broken for days before anyone knew about it,"  Laughlin said. "[The tablets] have really improved this.”

The intramurals office is using iPads as well. They have eight tablets available to officials and athletes.

“We try to make videos as reminders and points of emphasis,” said Pick, intramural coordinator for Recreation Services. “We send it to the iPads [people are using] out on the fields and we try to have them look at these videos as a refresher before they go out and play.”

Pick can also send out PowerPoint animations to remind officials and newcomers about game rules.

“It’s very basic, just using some PowerPoint and some animation stuff, but it gives the incoming freshman some knowledge,” Pick said.

Officials for the intramurals will also be using the tablets as score cards. The devices have all of the team names and rosters preloaded before each event.

“I showed this to my boss, and he liked it, but he said ‘what about a clock?’ There is a live clock app on the iPad,” Pick said.

Student employees and staff at Recreation Services have been very pleased with the ease of use and ability to connect with people in all the facilities by using the devices.

“For us this has worked, and I’m hoping it will be the up-and-coming way that we do things,” Pick said.

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