iPods in the classroom?

Question: Some of our teachers have asked to purchase iPods for use in their classroom. Aren’t iPods just music players that have no place in schools, or can they have viable educational uses?

The IT Guy says:
Certainly iPods have become the number one portable music player in the United States because students of many ages enjoy listening to music on them. iPods can be used in many authentic ways in the classroom, however, and should be regarded as a viable “platform” for content delivery as well as content creation.

Duke University’s Duke Digital Initiative is a case in point. iPods can be used by students to time shift and place shift their ability to listen to audio content, which can go far beyond (but also include) recorded lectures.

According to WikiPedia, Podcasting “is a method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s).” An amazing wealth of podcasts are now available online, including some created by students themselves. One example featured in the New York Times in August 2005 is Room 208 Podcasts From Maine. Think of podcasts as TiVO for Internet radio, and a way for parents as well as other community members to have a virtual window into the teaching and learning environments in schools.

Tools like iTalk by Griffin Technology allow teachers or students to use an iPod as a voice recorder, which can be invaluable when creating classroom podcasts.

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