Using iPod Touches in the classroom

Today I moved significantly further in my aim to use iPod Touches in the classroom. Since my initial training at H2L2 in Aberdeenshire at the end of January I have been gradually initialising each of the 20 iPods I left with – a time-consuming process but essential to ensure there are as few glitches as possible when I begin to use them with my pupils.

Yesterday I upgraded the last of the 20 to iOS 4.2.1 and noted down all the administrative details required (serial number, MAC address for wi-fi, asset number). Today I brought out the Parasync – a cumbersome device which allows up to 20 iPods to be charged and synchronised by a single MacBook at the same time. Despite its clunky appearance, it worked extremely well and I feel that, once I begin to work with other teachers and subjects to help them use the devices with their own classes, it will save a lot of time in backing up pupil work and ensuring each iPod Touch has the software required by a particular subject.

I also had a chance to investigate the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo Microphones which were included in the resource pack. These I think are fantastic and worked well despite some worries about compatibility circulating the Internet. I haven’t had the chance to try them with any other app than Voice Memo but I can see an immediate use for them with my S3 class who are about to record a voice-over for their classroom design videos. Having the portability of the iPod Touch linked with the high quality audio recording of the TuneTalk will have an impact on those pupils who have reservations about talking into the microphones at their desk. It also opens up future use for outdoor learning opportunities.

Now the administrative work has been completed I can begin to plan how I use these resources effectively in my classroom and how I can share best practice with other teachers in my school and beyond. Thanks to H2L2 I have two days development next week to work on this and I intend to share my thoughts and experiences on the blog.

Ideas I’m interested in exploring next week / in the near future include:

* Using mind mapping software to aid note taking in class
* Using Voice Memo / similar software to enhance learning
* Using Evernote software to aid note taking and summarisation
* Using collaborative software via wi-fi (or an ad-hoc network created using AirPort) to enhance group work in class
* Using pre-recorded videos and podcasts to enhance learning
* Using graphic novel software to enhance learning in the English classroom
* Using audio recording / music generation software to enhance learning / allow pupils to create their own content for the iPods in the Music classroom
* Using XCode / GameSalad / Flash CS5 to allow pupils to create their own content for the iPods in the Computing classroom (and other subjects)

If you are interested in finding out more about how iPods are being used in primary / secondary education in Aberdeenshire there is an internal Aberdeenshire iPod Development Group in GLOW but, as that has restricted membership, I set up a wiki where educators from anywhere in the world can read (or share) their own ideas or experiences of using iPod Touches in the classroom.


2 thoughts on “Using iPod Touches in the classroom

  1. Hi,
    It was great to read this as I’m a keen user of the iTouch in primary school. I volunteer teach one day a week and have done some exciting projects so far as we (the kids, school and I) have began exploiting the potential of this amazing handheld device.

    You can see a flavour of my work here
    NB. most of my work is captured in photos and videos (in some Keynotes) that I’d happily share. Part of my work has been with reluctant readers/writers… using the iTouch to stimulate and support tangible written outcomes. I also work with whole classes on video, animation, comic making and more

    I’m looking to make connections with other iTouch users so we can share ideas, experiences and such. I work in English schools so cannot get into Glow to see your iTouch Group – unfortunately.

    I’d love to hear back from you if you are interested in sharing ideas/experiences etc

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