I synced the iPod touches over the first two days of class, and I learned a lot in the process. First and foremost, I reinforced the fact that I hate reading directions, and that not reading directions adds time to tasks if you are unsure what you are doing.
To ID and sync the iPods, the computer walks you through the basic steps on the iTunes interface, so I was supremely confident that I did not need the manual. I was so confident that I timed myself during the set up and hit a consistent 6 minutes per iTouch to ID the units. I even “Tweeted” the fact that it was so easy. I completed the ID of about 15 iTouches on Thursday afternoon and finished the process Friday morning.
After all 25 were ID’d I plugged in the cart to sync the first 20. The cart holds 20 in a drawer with each drawer having its own USB cord to connect to the computer. This is the step where I realized that I should have read the manual. When I plugged in the USB and turned on the cart, every single application in my iTunes account began loading into the iTouches. This was an issue, because I have my daughter’s apps on my Macbook too. My high school students did not need letter tracing and beginner puzzles on the iPods. I had to go back in and reset the application tab to “Sync only selected apps.” This allowed me to pick and choose which applications I wanted on the school iTouches. It was not a major problem, but I should have done this when I named each iPod.
At this stage, I also made adjustments for podcasts,which I will be using often in class. I set the iPods up for selected podcasts. At a later date I will push podcasts over to the iPods for the students to use. I repeated the process for the remain 5 iPods in the bottom drawer.
I now know to read directions, but more importantly, I realized that I can use the iPods to differentiate instruction for my students. I can adjust the content on each individual iPod depending on the student, then I can push information through, or sync up to 20 at a time. It is a pretty cool set up.
So overall, if you set up the iPods properly from the beginning, it should take about 10 minutes to ID an iPod and set the upload criteria for all apps, photos, and podcasts. It is still a small amount of time for a major benefit. I lost a bit of time doing things my way, but in the end, I learned a fairly good bit of knowledge about the iPods.