What do you do with your iPod?

During lunch today, a few of us were bouncing around some stories about how teachers were using devices like PDA’s and MP3 players in the classroom.  I realized that while I’ve heard several stories and have a bit of knowledge on the subject, I really haven’t talked to too many teachers that are actually using iPods in the school setting.

I know that several schools, particularly higher education schools, have provided their students with iPods.  Some are recording lectures and making them available via podcast, and others are using them to provide students with all the forms and documents they might need in one easy place.  Other schools are having students use their iPods to transfer documents from location to location and as a means for keeping important data on them as they attend classes. 

Additionally, I’ve heard about some schools that are using iPods to support their foreign language programs.  Students are able to take home their lessons and hear them read aloud by their teacher.  Some are even so sophisticated as to use the iTalk accessory to allow students to record their homework aloud and turn it in as an MP3 file. 

Apple has a ton of these ideas on their web site, but I’d be really curious to know who’s actually doing this stuff?  Do any of you with portable multimedia devices (yes, there are some that aren’t made by Apple!) use it for school?  If so, what are you using it for ?

I’ve seen some great ideas for using this stuff on the internet, but I haven’t heard too many stories from people actually doing it.  Got a story?  Please share it!


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  1. John Pederson said:

    I had the pleasure of spending a good amount of time with Tim Wilson (http://technosavvy.org) this past week at the TIES 2005 conference here in Minnesota. Podcasting was *the* hot topic, filling up sessions unlike any other. It’s still a fairly new thing for education…ideas are just starting to sort out among educators. I know there were some folks video taping and doing podcasts of Tim’s session…I’ll link them when they make it up to the net…Tim had a few real world examples as well as a few “what could be” types in a very powerful presentation.

  2. Patti Flanary said:

    We use PDAs in our Elementary School to give the Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI). The program comes from Mclass. This one item of technology has been the biggest hit with my teachers. They love how easy it is to use and how quick they can access reports.

  3. Aaron Smith said:

    I’ve started using portable media every day now.

    When I taught my Art lessons, I used to find examples online (Creative Commons is a wonderful thing) or on my hard drive and print them out to show my students. This worked pretty well, although whenever I came in and found out the school’s printers were out of toner I had to scramble for a plan B.

    Now, however, I’ve got a nifty video iPod and a camcorder cable. With my current lessons I sort my examples into folders and hook my iPod up to the TV in whichever classroom I’m teaching. I can go through the examples one at a time while I’m introducing the lesson and when the kids begin working I can even set it as a random slide show with some mood music (Creative Commons again) playing through the TV’s speakers.

    Yes, I know I don’t actually have my students using portable devices, but at least it’s a start.

  4. Karen C. Seddon said:

    I use my iPod as a timer. When I get the students to work on a particular task, I tell them they have 2 songs worth or 3 songs worth of time to get finished. “Con te Partiro” by Andrea Bocelli is by far the most soothing and peaceful song I’ve ever used in the classroom. Using an iPod is a great way to introduce classical music or other genre you want to expose your students to. To make it most effective, create a playlist with songs that add up to a certain time boundary that you want to keep your students on. They really like it and are amazed by the power of nanotechnology.

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