Music on the iPods: Moving Forward

I previously wrote about my attempt to use the free Pandora App to allow students to listen to music in class. It did not work, because unlike the iPhone, the iPod Touch does not allow you to run multiple apps at the same time. I decided to push out a variety of music to the students from my library. Using student supplied music would be too time consuming with the need to listen to all of the tracks before I uploaded them.

I chose to present what I considered an eclectic mix of music to the students. Here is the first batch of music I pushed pushed out: a Big Band CD of Desi Arnaz and Chico Marx Orchestras, Dave Brubeck’s “On Time,” Bo Diddley’s Greatest Hits, a Blues Compendium, “The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Blues,” War’s “The Best of War and More,” Donnie Iris’s “King Cool,” and the last selection from another local band, The Clarks “The Clarks Live.”

To set up the music, I pulled the music off of CDs into iTunes. I created a Playlist folder entitled, “Class iPods” and listed the individual playlists by genre.  I did have to initially set each iPod under music to “Sync Selected Music” and check off the “Class iPod” folder. This allows me to adjust the music within the class folder on my computer without resetting each individual iPod. I can now move playlists in and out of the folder as I choose, and the music will automatically sync onto the iPods.

At first, it created class discussion as to what was I thinking, the students had not heard fo many of the artists, except the two local groups. This was a nice little lesson unto itself, just getting the names out there was important in my eyes. Too often, we tend to ignore topics outside of the state standards, or standardized tests in public education.

The students are little by little sampling the music on the iPods. They run one earbud, volume on low, and take notes as we discuss the class curriculum. I keep tabs on their progress during the discussion, I am a natural pacer and usually move about the room throughout class. I will continue to monitor the progress of the effort and adjust accordingly.

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