Ipad rove feedback

I submitted the google form for ipad feedback, but thought it would be good to post our answers on the blog also.

Here is feedback from Walter and Georgina:


Feedback on iPad Roves

Here are some ideas for sharing impressions on your experiences with the iPads. Read over the questions, have a good conversation with your partner, and capture as much detail as you can to share with the iSWOOP project team.

* RequiredTop of Form

Name *

Walter Planitzer, Georgina Jacquez

Bottom of Form



Dates covered *


August 10-18, 2014


Images / Animations used

Please say which images and animations you used (fly through sequences only, other iSWOOP cart images, etc.)

Walter used the ipad to interact with visitors at the bat cave sign on the Natural Entrance trail. He used the following images and animation from the iSWOOP cart, in the order listed: Image of Brazilian Free-tail at rest / Animation of BFT circling from within Natural Entrance  /  3-D scan virtual flight animation to bat cave / Animation of bats roosting in bat cave / Thermal animation of bats dropping from ceiling of bat cave and preparing to emerge / slow motion of BFT in flight / computer model of natural entrance with red dot bats emerging.

Georgina typically uses videos while using the ipad to rove. She will either use the videos of the bats in flight (real time and in slow motion), video of point cloud as we move through the cave, and the thermal videos of the bats in the cave.


Do you use all three animations, or do you tend to stop after one or two? Please explain why.

Walter used all of the images and animations listed, but would generally cut short the video of bats roosting in the cave. He is trying to give the public near bat cave a look at things they cannot otherwise view during their visit, including a virtual look at bat cave. He also hopes to give visitors a sampler of the key technologies, including 3-D scanning, thermal imaging, and high speed filming.

Georgina uses certain videos depending on where the conversation is going and what questions are being asked. She lets the visitors interest direct what to show and talk about. If they ask about bats and where they are, she will show them the video of the laser scan into Bat Cave and then might show them the thermal video of the bats in the cave and we can discuss where they are and potentially what they are doing.



Interactions with Visitors

Your approach *

Did you usually start conversations with visitors, or did they usually approach you first? What percent of interactions would you say are initiated by you, versus by visitors?

Walter generally started the conversations with visitors, initiating contact about two-thirds of the time. Georgina will usually begin the conversation and decide on whether to use the ipad according to the visitor response and if they are interested in the bats.


What questions did you ask to initiate a conversation with a visitor?

Walter’s method was to rove in the area near the bat cave sign and, when visitors stopped there, he asked if the individual or any members of the group were particularly interested in our bats here at CAVE.

Georgina describes her approach as follows: As I rove the cave and I approach groups I will say hello and ask them how they are doing and if they are enjoying the cave.  This usually helps them warm up and invites them to talk to me. I will then ask them if they have any questions. Depending on what they say I will then use the ipad or not. If they have questions regarding studies in the cave, or the bats I will use the ipad.


Give examples of questions that generated dialogue.


Did any of your questions flop? If so, give an example(s).


Visitor responses

What kind of responses did you hear to information you gave to visitors? (For example: Wow! I’ve never seen a map like this.)


Walter got responses like: That is amazing! I didn’t know you could film the bats like that. Thank you for showing us this.


Georgina has heard visitors say: Wow that is interesting. That is really cool.




Give examples of questions asked by visitors. (For example, Who made that? How long did it take? Why are those lines there?). Note whether these were questions you could or couldn’t answer.

Visitors ask why the bats are so active in the roosting film, they ask how people were able to get back to the bat cave to do the virtual scanning, and whether they can download any of these videos online.



Challenges and Opportunities

Using iPads on roves is new. What challenges do you see? (For example, showing the screen to very tall/ very short people, or trying to have an educational interaction in this way.)

Walter finds it challenging to manipulate the ipad in terms of selecting images and stills from the template. He would like to be able to build his own presentation with only the material he listed above. It is also difficult to show the screen to more than 3-4 people at a time, especially a mix of children and adults.

Georgina says this about the challenge of roving with the ipad: Along the self-guided trials people are walking along on their own and sometimes they want to keep moving. They do not want to stop and talk or they just say they don’t have any questions.


What value do you see in this approach? Would you say it changed your roves? How so?

Walter sees great value in using the ipad in certain places where visitors are going to be receptive to engaging with rangers about the bats. He thinks that the best locations are at the bat cave sign, and within the visitor center and exhibit area in the afternoon hours closest to our bat flight program. When visitors are receptive and genuinely interested in the bats, the ipad is a great tool for providing a virtual experience of things that visitors will not otherwise experience and for enhancing their understanding of the bats. It also allows rangers to get out the message regarding the interesting research being done here.

Georgina has these thoughts about the value of roving with an ipad: I really like being able to show visitors interesting images and videos of the bats. The videos of the scans of the cave are also really neat because we can see what other areas of the cave look like virtually and discuss how technology has changed the way we look at things and study them.


If you gave feedback on using the iPads previously, what (if anything) has changed since you last provided feedback?

Have not given feedback on the ipads before.




If there are things you’re looking forward to trying or refining, please describe them.

Walter looks forward to continuing to engage visitors at bat cave and also to roving in the visitor center on busy afternoons. There is great potential for rewarding encounters with our visitors.

Georgina wants to try new ways to engage visitors with the ipad but doesn’t want to take away from them experiencing the cave.

3 thoughts on “Ipad rove feedback

  1. Hi, Great job you two.
    Thank you for all the details.

    I particularly like the reflection on the trade-offs between giving visitors a little extra and not interfering with their enjoyment of the cave.

    I also am impressed by your low-key ways of introducing yourself and the iPads. No inflicting interpretation.

    If you had to say how many people have asked about downloading a video or image, about how many is that? Anyone else hear that? I will use the numbers as rationale for a bigger effort to get this in place.

    Thank you again for the careful write-up. Anyone else have comments?



  2. In the time that I have been using the Ipad, I have had two different contacts ask about being able to download the videos that I showed them. I have been using the Ipad since 7/17/14 and I use it on 75% of my roves.


    • Hi Georgina,
      I wish Sara had had a chance to catch you with the iPad. Maybe I’ll get to see you one day soon (Friday-Wed is when I’ll be around).
      Did you check out the QR landing page. It’s on the project website under locations. At least there is one cave animation.


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