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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Hi Stephen, As the ap working at Culbreth with Susan at Culbreth, I'll chime in:
- We have not found the need to enable controls. I imagine some student may in fact have downloaded some music or other (free) apps, but not any that have come to our attention. And of course, since they are synched at day's end nothing survives except teacher-managed content
-Again, we have not run into that issue as of yet. If an app gets downloaded (yes, it would have to be by staff), teachers have explored its potential and already planned as to how to use it
- Yes, when we sych them they are set up identically
- We have not reimaged anything thus far at the end of a marking period. Since this is the first year of implementation, we will have the discussion about what comes off and stays on more toward the close of year. What goes and what stays will be a team decision.
- Right now, student created content gets sent to the student's email account as soon as the notes (or whatever it is) are done so that they do not lose them at day's end. We have not had any content loss either through mistake or malice
- nope
- The staff development was one of the many inspirational pieces of this. Staff was given the device and told to explore. They did. The conversation immediately turned to classroom use and how to best use this tool to enhance instruction. It remains, of course, an on-going dialog where our professional learning communities are building on each others' knowledge
Stephen, We have 11 labs, each with 30 iPod Touches. Each lab is housed in a cart with a laptop. (You can see photos on this site.) We download the apps to each laptop from iTunes, and push the apps out from there via these laptops. All labs share many apps, but then each lab has its own set. Maybe that also helps explain how there is some autonomy regarding the different apps for each grade level and/or team. Does that answer your question?
First of all, thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion. I too am investigating an iPod Touch lab for our school district's high school, and this discussion has been a huge help. Those of us in our tech department have been brainstorming and researching different methods, but we keep running into the problem of licensing.

Your method of syncing a group of iPod Touches to a master computer seems like the best approach, but it doesn't sound very legit to purchase an app once, then transfer it to 400 devices. However, the app store doesn't offer any support for "site-licenses," and you can't purchase an app more than once on a single iTunes account.

Did you run into this licensing issue, or is it legit to just purchase and copy?

Thanks for your help.
I talked to Apple reps during one of their last events, and they said that based on their licensing structure as long as you have purchased the app through an account, you may connect multiple devices to that account. It may be something they review again in the future, but for now we get the benefit of excellent affordable classroom software.
We've talked to Apple about this. At this point we actually purchase an app for every five devices its used on. That's the model of course used with the iTunes music store and follows the directions we've received from Apple. Hope that helps.
How do you manage all of your individual iTunes accounts?
Sean,
Each interdisciplinary team manages their account for now from their macbook located with their belkin cart. We do have a server we're moving to for the upcoming school year. I can get our tech guru to ring in on how that's working.
I emailed our district's Apple rep yesterday and I'm still waiting for a reply. I'll let everyone know what the final say is.
I got in touch with our district's Apple rep. We were told that an app needs to be purchased once for every 20 devices it is installed on. This would result in 2 iTunes accounts per lab cart, which I feel is totally manageable.

We also discussed Purchase Orders for apps, and how it would be inconvenient to make a new one for every potential app purchase. It was suggested that an iTunes Gift Card should be bought upfront to handle the purchases until it runs out (resulting in 1 PO).

Now that we have those problems taken care of, it should be easier to start moving forward with this project.
Hello Sean,
Unless something has changed in the iTunes store, you cannot use a gift card for App purchases. If you know of a way to do this, or anyone else has any suggestions, they would be welcome as I have been working on this issue myself.
You can indeed use a gift card. We've been doing it all year. The store itself walks you the process of setting us an iTunes account without a credit card. We can give you a step by step or direct you to the specific pages with instructions. We were worried about that too at first because we didn't want staff using their personal credit cards to start accounts. Let me know!
My mistake, that is an issue with the Canadian store. I was actually told by a rep at one point to create a 'fake' address for management until the issue with the Canadian store were figured out. An interesting workaround ;)
Still working on the logistics at my location.

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