Thursday, September 27, 2007

iPod touch for students

We are considering a one-to-one iPod touch pilot project for a single classroom of students at the high school. I did some more experimenting last evening and came up with a few worthwhile discoveries.

I wanted to see if Discovery Eduation Streaming would work on the iPod touch if I chose the Quicktime and "embed in browser" option. A few of the items seemed to work while streaming, but, since the iPod touch does not have Flash capabilities and the iPod touch browser did not support some formats natively, most items did not. I found a great free video converter on the Web that worked just perfectly for taking either the downloaded WMV or MOV files and turning them quickly and easily into MP4, the movie format of the iPod. I was able to put the videos into iTunes and play them on the device.

I next took a slide presentation, saved it out as JPEGs, and put it in the photo section of the iPod. With the large screen, you can easily read the slides, and could share information with a small group. With the cable output to video coming soon, students could use the iPod touch as a presentation tool.

I have not yet found a "regular" online word processing option that works. Zoho has an option for the iPhone, but I cannot seem to get it to work on the iPod touch. However, Gmail, Google search,, and many other of the online Web 2.0 applications seem to work just fine on the device A student could do word processing directly within an email message, blog entry, or wiki page to have it accessible once he or she is out of the classroom. As long as there is a text entry box available, students can use it. (This seems like a workaround, but I am sure students would have no problem with it!)

I then started thinking about iPod do we allow the students to sync at home and also offer content to them at school? Luckily, some great Apple Distinguished Educators have written a guide outlining these processes already! The bottom line is, to allow syncing of an iPod to multiple computers, the account at school has to be set to "manually manage content" and items can simply be dragged over to the attached iPod. I know there are hardware options available, too, for multi-syncing and charging, but these iPods will be going home and can be charged there.

Well, this is the latest installment of using the iPod touch to support teaching and learning. If only it did Flash....


PS I heard, through the Twitter grapevine, that people were saying I had an "in" and was able to get the iPod touch before anyone else. Rest assured, I have no "in" with anyone, and I just ordered online it the second it came out! I was lucky enough to get it very early and get the model that did not have the initially reported video color problem.

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