Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going Mobile

While I may be a little slow to get in the iPod touch/iPhone in education movement, I can clearly recognize the value of putting the devices into students' hands. A number of recent events have sparked my gaining enthusiasm for promoting their use in our classrooms here at OHS. First was the purchase of a lab set of iPod touch devices (20 plus a Bretford charging/syncing cart). It is true that many students have access to these devices at home, however to truly expect educational outcomes, it is imperative to provide equitable access to all kids. Secondly, updating to the 3.0 OS with the ability to record audio through an add-on mic. This feature which enables students to create content, not just consume it on the iPod touch, has opened my opinions of the mobile devices immensely.

These events, along with attending recent Apple education seminars and working with a great team of Apple Distinguished Educators to create an "iPod in Education" exhibit on the Apple Learning Interchange, have led to an increased amount of time discovering, exploring, and applying ideas about learning on these mobile devices. I have started a collaborative blog specifically for teachers using the iPod touch lab in their classrooms to visit links, integration ideas, and apps suggestions all in one place. It can be found at: http://ops.esu8.org/users/ipodtouchlab/. As the teachers make their own discoveries and find successes with students, they too can post to the blog.

In addition, I received the following question via email today and so I am posting my response to share with all interested.


I was looking at your explanation for creating flashcards for the iPod
Touch through iPhoto.

Is there a way to export so that you can hear the sound from the Keynote?
Can links on a Keynote be made active?
I'm really interested in having students "create" using the iPod Touch.

Thanks! Your website is also amazing!


Thank you for the compliment and the questions! You could export a Keynote file as a Quicktime movie and it would include sound on the iPod as well. You would just add it to iTunes and sync and it would be in your Movies on the iPod. Clickable links I'm not so sure of. I haven't tried it, but don't think it would work with a Quicktime movie export, anyway. You may be able to open the actual Keynote file on the iPod touch with some other app, but that is a really great question!

It should be noted that both of the above situations where kids are creating content for iPods are where the kids create on computers and then transfer to iPod (as opposed to actually creating on the iPod touch). There are several cool apps for actually creating on the iPod touch itself; my favorite is a recent find that I love called Sonic Pics. My own kids went crazy creating little enhanced podcasts after I showed it to them one time. As of today the app is $2.99, but what you get is a simple, clean interface to add photos to a project and then record your voice narrating them. For the images you could use photos from the web, synced from your iPhoto library, or screenshots you captured right on the iPod itself! I'm looking forward to trying out this app with students for projects like digital scavenger hunts, vocabulary development, book talks, school tours, technology tutorials, etc

If you discover any additional apps or ideas for using them with kids, please share! Thanks again for the email,

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