There are a number of posts from individuals interested in using iPod Touches for teaching and Learning. At Culbreth Middle in Chapel Hill, NC we began a pilot this past August to place the iPod Touch in the hands of staff and students.

Our staff development for faculty to roll out the new technology centered on teacher coaches leading their groups in exploration through professional learning communities.

Our AVID students use the iPod Touch in the AVID classroom and in all other courses. They have piloted this program, using the iPod Touches daily for note taking, keeping individual agendas, translation for world languages, and accessing research through the Internet. In addition, our AVID students use many of the apps that teachers sync with these mobile devices. As student leaders, they’ve understood their responsibility to work and share this learning tool in collaborative groups.

This winter we were able to add iPod Touch labs for each of our seven interdisciplinary teams and two labs for our exploratory and resource teams. The interdisciplinary grade level iPod Touch labs are housed with each team and shared among the four content teachers (math, language arts, science, and social studies). These teachers plan together so that their students have access throughout each day. They access the internet as needed and use many apps as well.

Teacher current app favorites include: WordBook, Thesaurus, USA, Countries, Brain Tuner, Blanks, Whiteboard, CoinToss, Lose It!, Word Warp, FlipBook Lite. Of course they are using the included apps: Calendar, Calculator, Notes, Clock, YouTube throughout each day.

We held an iPod Touch Day last week with visitors from all over the state and from across the country. We even had a group from the UK come see our students and teachers in action with the iPod Touch. With almost 400 iPod Touches now in use at Culbreth, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned and what we’re learning.

Tags: Touches, iPod

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This is fascinating! I hope you keep posting to this discussion or perhaps blog about this experience on your own page. Is there another place I can follow what you're doing?
I'll keep posting here. You can also find information on our school webpage http://www2.chccs.k12.nc.us/education/school/school.php?sectionid=4

It is exciting work for our entire school community.
We believe now as we enter our 8th month with iPod Touches in the classroom that they offer unique advantages, especially for middle level students. To begin, our environment is not exclusive to a singular device. Our course we have desktop and laptop computers. For composing and production those devices are necessary. We did look at the netbooks and those appear to be a good choice for some although not something we've chosen. The iPod Touch offers something in addition for our environment and offers some critical things to the middle school learner. The "in your pocket" mobility is where our kids function, what they're accustomed to and the technology they're most comfortable with. This is apparent each time our students pick up this device and use it with ease. The touchscreen/touch keyboard and their ability to take notes in much the same way they text is compelling for students. Immediate access to the internet in their pocket and the "on the go" field research in various content areas including Science and even PE they're able to conduct are just a few of the reasons this device is working so well for us. Of course the apps once synced that then do not need to access the net are a huge draw of this tool. We'll keep sharing what we're learning. Thanks for asking!
We have done a similar pilot but have been limited to a classroom set of 30. With both a mobile laptop lab and the iPod Touch lab, the students much prefer the iPod Touch for many of the reasons Susan points out. Operationally, it has been easier for us to maintain and keep the iPod's running smoothly in comparison to the laptop lab and especially in terms of power considerations. This month we are piloting the next big step with take-home iPod's and the implications in the classroom with students in more control of the content on their devices. Well done Susan. Has there been any research into the effectiveness of one tech over the other (laptop vs. iPod) for your students? How has it changed the classroom pedagogy if at all?

We are also wrapping up a few projects for the pilot to roll out with a typical camera-enabled cell phone. I'll post more as it develops.
I think it had more to do with the fully-functioning (for the most part) browser experience and the success of the app store and its developments. Many people are still looking for the haptic response in the touch screen or a full keyboard so I don't put as much beef behind the touch screen (though it deserves credit). The iPod Touch also took the success and relative ease of the iTunes/iPod experience and placed it in a high-end video playback device and gaming center.

The click-wheel definitely feels very turn of the century:)
Indigo and Benjamin,
I've been following your discussion and think it all fascinating. There are many tools out there and of course the one I can talk about in great detail is the iPod Touch. I do think there are a unique combination of factors we've found to make it the right choice for us including- the size of the unit; the customization of apps for teachers to choose from; the student voice in their app interest and motivation to share this with their teachers, then to see those apps and tools so easily appear for their use; the touch screen with the resizing ability and gyro feature; the access on and off internet for information.

The unit is absolutely cool, no question, but it brings amazing functionality to hand as a learning device.

The conversation is great!
Thanks,
Susan
Hi there,

Just jumping in:)

This spring, our middle school bought 100 iPod touches to replace middle school social studies textbooks. I have two main questions for you: How do you handle responsibility (signout, security, recharging, etc.) of the units and how did you offer professional development to your staff to help them actually use the new technology?
Some more insight, we built educational apps for the device and one of the reasons I think this device caught-on is the user-experience. When we build educational apps that integrate multimedia - the usability and maneuverability of the content is very elegant. We built similar apps for other devices but designing integrated pedagogy is much more elegant on this device. My opinion anyway.
Could you describe some of the apps you have developed? I am very interested in 'personalizing' the software on these devices, but alas I am not a programmer...I would like to hear what is being created out there though!
Derek - the app is called MindWire, it is a Flashcard and Quiz app with a twist. Instead of an open app it is a platform with a authoring tool so it is a closed app for ACU students and the teachers have the ability to author learning resources like cards and quizzes using text and media. The biggest advantage is the relevancy, e.g. if I'm a student I download the app and subscribe to the content that is identified by my classes and the content gets pushed to my device - my teacher is constantly updating this and I get the latest and relevant content.

We designed the system so we could install apps for individual schools and the authoring control and access would be for that school and content access would be for the students of that school only. The site is not yet live - there is some basic stuff at http://iphone.emantras.com - but will go live in 5 days with videos etc so you can see how the system works.
Supra,
That is really exciting and very cool to think about even at the middle level. We expect to be at a 1 to 1 as the 09-10 school year begins with iPod touches. Given that pushing assignments, homework, readings, comments, feedback directly to individuals and/or to groups of students is a basic and outstanding use of the tool. I can't wait to hear more.
Thanks!
I can share a couple at the elementary level, we'll have updates soon but take a look at Countby and Timesby. They provide basic tools we use all the time at the elementary level, an interactive touch 1-100 hundreds board and a 1-9 times table. I'm interested too in hearing about what people are developing to provide the tools we need especially in the K-12 environment.
Thanks!

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