I am going to take a step back and outline the project I will be blogging about over the upcoming school year. This year we are piloting a project that will utilize iPod Touches as a computer in the classroom. I believe we can use them in place of a laptop, for the most part.
I have been researching mobile technology for learning for the last cpuple of years in graduate school. I believe it is the next step in integrating technology in the classroom. Many colleges and universities already use them for educational purposes, as do several school districts in Pennsylvania. There a number of my colleagues throughout the country who are also working on such initiatives, so I have a strong network for support. Our representative from Apple is also a huge help with this project. If I get permission to use her name, I will name her later.
Our set-up consists of twenty-five iPod Touches, 8 Gig, and one cart to synch them all together. The iPods are engraved with an ID number for tracking. I have researched many apps for student use, there are many and they are all free, you can pay for an upgraded version, but for now we are working with the free levels.The nice thing is that we control all of the material that goes onto the iPods, they will be synced to my account. This will prevent the students from downloading content to them without permission.
We are going to purchase over the ear headphones for the iPods, they are relatively inexpensive, but students will be encouraged to use their own earbuds. I will purchase about ten microphones so we can record onto the iPods. The way the iPods will be set up will allow students to surf the Internet, create documents, create audio files, upload and save content to the district’s Google Domain. They will also be able to access content that I place on the iPods at their own pace. If a student needs to review a video or audio file, a picture, or some other multi-media they will be able to do so on the iPod Touch. Students will also be able to take notes in class, using Evernote, and synch all information to any computer they use.
This is the basic plan, more details will follow throughout the year.