My iPod cart is back in the hands of my students, albeit in a limited basis and with strict conditions, which I will not get into now. But I will accept the conditions, since we are once again moving forward. The iPods have been rolled out on a consistent basis with my Honors Civics class, a good group of 9th graders with a wide array of technology experience. They have another 3 years in the building and the experience will help them throughout their stay. The other classes will gain access to the iPods, not on as consistent a basis as I would like, but we are again moving in the right direction.
This also makes it easier, and much more logical, to reincorporate the iPad into the classes. There was no sense in having a single iPad to be passed around as a toy between students. Now it can be rotated around on a daily basis, along with the iPods, so students can become familiar with the mobile platforms. Last year proved that if the iPods can be used on a regular, almost daily basis, the novelty wears off and the students goof off less. The students still need to be monitored, they goof off with pencil and paper, so it is not necessarily the iPods that are the distraction.
The entire process will hopefully build momentum and experience with the students, where they can not only learn the course content; but they will also learn how to utilize the tools they already have access to appropriately, effectively, and creatively. The added experience on my end will hopefully allow me to continue to grow as an educator and improve upon creating a student centered and driven learning environment.