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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With those figures, it sounds like insurance would cost more than simply replacing what's lost.

Susan, over the two years, how many iPod touches have been lost or broken?
Tony, our loss has been minimal, maybe 14 units. Breakage is less than 30. We're working with a company to repair screens now, expecting the first 15 back this coming week. I'll give an update on this as we receive them back.
So I checked the website: pricing is outrageous - $37 per iPad. It covers loss, theft and damage. I'm guessing the price can be negotiated but the starting point makes it too much to consider. Where this insurance product may have traction is if parents are told they have to assume the liability for loss or damage. Then a parent would probably be interested in personal coverage which is available from this company. However, our school district has not yet made this a policy-but I could see it happening should we go 1:1.
Just do the math. Figure out how many machines would have to be lost, stolen or broke and compare to cost of the warranty/insurance. We don't usually go with warranty/insurance anymore. We end up buying machines that we can get as a result of the cost savings of warranty/insurance and keep them in reserve.

I do wish we could talk some you in schools in this thread into helping with IEAR.org a little bit more ... Just begging....
Scott - what specific help do you need?
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but why not just use books, pencil and paper instead? I just feel like the use of the ipod touch in the classroom seems to create more problems than it does to help. I feel like these devices would only cause more distractions. You have to worry about keeping students on task and making sure they aren't damaging or stealing these devices. Purchasing ipod touches for the school or even for a few classrooms just seems like a lot of money being wasted.
Anything put into the hands of a student could be potentially distracting and subject to damage or theft from pattern blocks to calculators. How do you prevent this in your classroom? You make it purposeful, you set expectations, you model and you connect it to what they are learning. With this, it is no different.

With mobile technology, it allows me to create a 1:1 learning environment with students who can record and edit video (great for oral presentation), listen to podcasts created by other students, access the web, use engaging math games, look at planets in a 3D virtual environment, capture learning conversations, collaborate on share notes, listen to audio books, blog, record reading fluency, just to name a few. All of these are accessible at their fingertips. Through all these, students are learning invaluable digital 21st century skills and using technology that are going to use for the rest of their lives.

Can your pencil and paper do all that?

I would recommend watching this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l72UFXqa8ZU&feature=player_embedded
Great answer Mark! Jennifer, I suggest you read http://pencilintegration.blogspot.com/ as well.
Jennifer, I recommend watching these two videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tahTKdEUAPk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8

Most of the careers we are preparing these children for use technology - whether they are auto mechanics, meter readers, bankers, or a software engineers. Computers and hand helds take readings and issue digital results that workers must be able to filter and weigh and program back in to get refined results. We must raise children who are prepared to meet the future and be able to build on it. It is also our role as educators to manage the student's environment by setting up rules and boundaries that teach them to respect the tools we give them and yet still enable them to be creative and take a risk to invent with them. This is the same behavior we followed with pencil and paper and just as some strayed with doodles and note passing some will get distracted with the lure of technology.

But in the end, teaching is about the content - not about the device to get to the content. Teachers like you who are passionate about their jobs, and love their content, can teach with sticks and stones on dirt. It is the love of connecting and helping others, the energy we get when we feel like we have helped students see things in themselves they never saw before that gets us out of bed in the morning and eager to walk in to class. And for some of us we do that with pencil and paper and for others of us we use technology and, I think that is OK.

I agree that most careers use technology.  Students need to know how to use these handhelds and how to respect them. There are rules for using technology in the work place and it is part of our job as educators to set rules for using technology in the school.  When we choose the right technolgy for the content, students will be able to treat the tools with respect and not just a game. 

What a great opportunity to teach appropriate use and engage students in a deeper level of learning. Way to go!
I think using touches in classrooms is a brillaint idea. I can only imagine the students will gain more information in a more intersting way using this new technology. I would hope that evetually all schools will have the reasources to bring such a useful tool into thier institutions. I am curious if the use of these touches has showed any improvement in either grades or interest in the material, can someone share their experiences?

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