Music on the iPods: a minor setback

I have been planning on putting music on the iPods for my students since before we rolled them out. I wanted to see how the students would work with the technology before giving them “perks.” Well, for the most part, the students have earned the right to listen to music while working in class.

I proposed my idea of music for the students on the class set of iPods with two conditions. The two ground rules were; 1. No inappropriate music on iPods, 2. I do not want to hear sound coming from their iPods.

One of my students brought up a very valid point, no matter what music I placed on the iPods, the students would complain, because of the selection. The students suggested Pandora as an alternative. Pandora is an online music site that allows users to customize the songs they play by title or artist. I love using Pandora, it has all of the music I need without having to pull the songs off of CD’s or downloads.

My only concern was how the bandwidth would hold up with 25 iPods streaming music and transferring information over the Internet. I pushed out the Pandora App to the iPods and we ran a test in class.

Bandwidth was not an issue, but the idea did not fly. The issue is that if you run Pandora, you cannot work on any other apps. It does not work like regular music you place on an iPod Touch, which will play in the background while you work on other Apps. I tried some other music Apps I have on my iPod, such as IHeartRadio and Wolfgang’s Concert Vault. The result was the same.

My fall back position will be to place a variety of music on the iPods from my collection and let the students listen to music they may never have heard of before. I have some ideas as to the eclectic mix I would like to set up, jazz, classical, some big band, to War, and They Might Be Giants, along with some New Wave. After all, the music is an added bonus, not the reason why we are using the iPods. I hope to have a post about the continuation of this issue soon.

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