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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Elizabeth,
I know of several teachers who have gotten some funded through Donors choose.org. They have a cap on the amount you can ask for but it can at least get you started.
This has been a great read!

I started allowing my middle school students to use their smart phones in class this year mostly for notes and internet searches. Its amazing I have students actually asking if they can take notes today. We found awesome note to be a great app. My students have the best organizes notebooks I have ever seen. Notes include pictures, web links and even short recorded clips from class.

This has made us question can an ipod touch replace their paper notebooks? Could we go without backpacks, no pens, no paper, no hardcover textbooks? We are seriously considering this; is our current concept of printed texts and hand written notes obsolete?
I so agree with Roger! We have a small set of ipods (21) that we are using constantly in my Primary School.
I have just had talks with the boss suggesting that we almost do away with the booklist for our year 6's next year and just put an iPod touch on it with a few incidentals.
The students can then be responsible for their own and be taught how to use them responsibly and appropriately at school.
We use many apps from Pre Primary through to Year 6 - some favourites are: chicktionary, story kit and Jirbo match. They are all free apps - in fact I have only paid for 3 apps (out of 64) for a grand total of $10.47 - (thats for all of the iPods, not each!).
Not sure that I can see the value in the new iPad - 3 times the price - yes it's bigger but.......is size everything? (Food for thought!)
Ditto Roger and Denise -- I've been following Susan's thread for almost a year now and I find it incredibly valuable. I'm a complete n00b though, I have only used the iPhone and older iPod touches in a university lab.

I have a question for all of you -- Has anyone done any sorts of "geocaching" or scavenger hunt type activities with your students and their iPod Touches?

I think that it doesn't have a GPS, but I've heard about a new "GPS cradle:" http://www.gpscradle.dualav.com/cradle.html that is supposed to be great. I think this would make a great activity, coinciding with say, a National Park Service "WebRangers" activity (http://www.nps.go/webrangers/) ...

What are your thoughts?
Mark Hooft does scavenger hunts. He will be leading two at the Mobile Learning Experience April 6, 7 and 8 in Phoenix. This is a three day conference JUST on mobile learning. In fact, Susan Wells, the host of this forum will be presenting as well.
It's not just the size. It is a lot easier to read on (I mean a lot), it is much easier to create content on using keypad, and functions so much better when trying to write on (especially is doing math problems). I would say that if my choice were neither then I would rather have the iTouch than nothing, but the iPad is a game changer in my opinion.
Roland, I agree with what you said but ... I just took 12 of our middle schoolers to compete in the Science Olympiad National Tournament at the University of Illinois (4 days and 2120 miles). All our students had their smart phones plus we brought along 2 ipads. The ipads were the focus of interest for the adults but hands down the students wanted to use their phones on the plane, bus, hotel and on campus. They took photos and videos, searched the web, communicated and studied. The mobility and convenience of the Touch is just hard to beat.
I do agree that the smartphone has more application in that setting: more mobile, wireless connectivity, ability to take digital images for sharing experiences. Even the iTouch in that setting provides remarkable mobility (although not having a camera in my opinion is severely limiting) because of the size.

My thinking is for classroom, homework use on topics that require or at least benefit from the increased screen size. For example examining graphs in a mathematics class and the accompanying data set is impossible to do at the same time on an iTouch b/c of size constraints. Looking at maps or primary source images and accompanying text is not easily done on the iTouch, where as on the iPad you can do both and take notes or make annotations in some software situations (using multiple pages on a browser for lack of a better example). Also, consuming larger text pieces is more palatable (in fact I would argue fun) on the iPad. I have not been successful getting students to read larger pieces on the iTouch and be able to effectively make annotations or take notes.

I can see students being willing to engage with more content for longer periods of time in a "school setting" with the iPad. I would love the iTouch (if it had a camera) for augmented classroom application, but I don't see the iTouch as a vehicle for my only or primary communication tool with students around content.
Recommending the right technology and applications is a struggle. I have a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss our plans for the 2010-2011 school year and I'm still torn. The basic direction is towards cloud computing and mobile technology. I don't think anything meets all the requirements yet. I agree that the Touch screen size is small and a camera would be beneficial. The iPad's screen size is better but it doesn't have a camera either. Plus the cost is higher and you lose some of the mobility. Clearwater High School in Florida is going with ereaders for their students next year to replace textbooks. That's really crazy an iPad is the same size and does so much more. Some are saying we should go with lap tops for each student but I can't justify that, although I do think we should have some in each classroom.

On the app side, I'm in the process of setting up our Google Apps for Education account in an effort to put all our students and classrooms on an even setting. I have been using Google Docs for about a year and some of my students have used it since January. Students, parents and teachers found it helpful so our plan is to roll it out to all our middle schoolers next year.

Google Docs does provide its own set of issues with mobile technology in that most will not allow you to edit any doc type other than spreadsheets. I have heard that Documents to Go does but it is a more expensive app. Has anyone used this?

For the Touch we recommend Awesome Note. My kids use it for classroom notes and they love it plus It does sync with Google Docs. I haven't found any app that allows students to take notes in math. How do they type equations, indicate a square root or show geometric figures?

It looks like 2010-2011 will be a transition year for technology use in our classrooms and I'll keep you posted on our progress. Now all I need to do is convince my fellow teachers that this is a good thing.
Thanks for recommending Awesome Note. Seems like a perfect app. Is it collaborative? I assume so. Also, just heard that we are just weeks away from Google Docs being able .... We are also using Google Apps for Education at our school. Would love to talk to you more about this.
Also, we just put in an order for the new ipod touches (video and camera). I'm SO excited about this. Finally, students will be able to create more content! Also, gets rid of the need for mics since they are built in!
About to order one or two to test at school. Our Year 6s will come with them next year, so it will be interesting to see how much more effectively they can be used - presenting information will be become easier... but ensuring appropriate use will become harder...

Convincing teachers and admin that 'having a video camera on hand at all times is a good thing' might be difficult...

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