Our school in 2009 is looking at using iPod touches for students in year 5-8 and also for staff. I was hoping to hear from like minded educators to see if anyone else was already using iPod touches in the classroom and how/what they were using them for etc?

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Richard,
Our Touches sync with our Firstclass mail/calendar system. I use mine for all calendaring, notetaking in meetings using the Notes that came with it although there are many apps that handle and organize notes. I've found the Notes program that comes with the Touch to work fine for me. I often email my notes back to my office or to staff following or even during meetings. We use Google docs for doc storage. The management is terrific with the Touch. The iProcrastinate app is a favorite list maker for many of my staff members.

In addition a few apps we're using school-wide frequently right now include- Blanks, its a vocab builder that's been out for awhile, simple but good; Whiteboard, very handy for pair-share activities; Brain tuner, again out for awhile but the kids like to compete against each other and staff; apps that include primary documents. There are many more. We're finding this to be a tool that enhances learning and increases student engagement at every level.
I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this b/c I didn't read all of the responses as thoroughly as I should have, but an Escondido, CA school district has some great success using iPods (not touches, but nanos) for helping students improve their reading and oral language. When I say great success, I mean the data is really impressive. It's worth checking out.

Their program is called iRead. Here's a link to pdfs of some of their presentations . Here's the link to their website.
Jason,

Just thought I'd let you know that I plan on recording audiobooks myself using Audacity software; were I to have iPods, I would simply sync them all to my iTunes library, and all students would have a copy.

I've recorded myself reading short stories in the past using Audacity, and my students loved hearing my voice when they read along.

Good luck!
I love this idea, and I investigated doing this last year. My district has gotten much more intentional about following copyright laws, and here's what I learned. Orally reading a book and recording it without the publisher's permission is a copyright violation. Lots of books are now available for purchase in MP3 format, so it's sort of like ripping someone else's CD without purchasing your own copy. Teachers have done their own copyright piracy behind closed doors for years, and will continue to do so, but I'm trying to be a little more careful about what I do. Sorry to sound like a wet blanket!! Anyway, as a result, I've spent a good bit of time searching for free iPod content online. Here's what I've found so far: http://bit.ly/11yjp
I'm still searching! There are also lots of great videos on YouTube that can be converted to MP4 files as well.
Copyright breaches really only exist if you are doing it for personal gain. Educational use of copyrighted items isn't breach of copyright.

It's interesting that you suggest saving YouTube videos - that is not really any different to copying someone's music or text!

We had a presenter from a company involved in this type of area who could tell us how to do such things (like copy YouTube videos) but couldn't actually show us how to do it, because she would be doing for the benefit of her company, who we were paying.

I live in Australia where the chances of being sued are far smaller than in the US. but copyright laws worldwide are similar when it comes to educational use (check out all the p2p sharing places that use a "for educational use only" clause to abdicate legal responsibility.

I think, as teachers, we should set a good example, though, and try to use creative commons licensed material (material that the owner has specifically declared as being copyright free) as much as possible..
Jason,

I see you use Audacity. Have you ever used WavePad (free)? I find it super easy to do quick tasks like recording a voice quickly with out so many extra feature that you get bogged down.

I just posted a list of audio podcasting software on my website with a ton of software. Check it out if you like at my blog site. NoParentLeftBehind
That sounds cool - I would love to use iPod touches in class! I'm not sure how it could work but the idea is awesome :)
Hi Sian - there are quite a few over here in Australia using iTouch's actually - at different stages. There was a big trial in Victoria recently - go here to explore:
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/teachingresources/i...

By the way, are you going to uLearn 09 by any chance? I'm heading over and doing a presentation. Cheers.
Hi again Sian - so we'll get to meet up at uLearn - cool. I was lucky enough to present on using hte iTouch in education at a recent Innovative Technology in Schools conference over here - I've put some of my resources up on my blog at http://ulearning.edublogs.org as well as on my iPhone in Ed evernote site: http://www.evernote.com/pub/jnxyz/iPhoneinEducation. At uLearn I'm presenting a range of opinions on what being an tech educator means right now! See you there - oh and do you have a blog etc for your iTouch project?
Jonathan,
Like many others on this discussion, I'm looking for ways to utilize iTouches in my classroom. I checked out your blog & I LOVED the presentation. I especially found the learning in hand podcast to be helpful. Thanks for sharing. I'll be posting my thoughts, on how the iTouches are working, come next school year (August).
great yes please share your learning around them!
Jonathan,
I just visited your blog and had the chance to think again about the management tools of the iPod touch. When we began handed this tool to all staff in our middle school last August management apps for the K-12 environment weren't yet written. Today there are many to choose from. Again and again we believe we made the right decision with the iPod touches for our school

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