Anyone using the Apple iTouch in the classroom?

I visited a middle school in another district today that are using them on a limited basis. The types of educational applications was impressive. With the WiFi feature studnets access the Internet from anywhere inside the building- and even some areas outside.

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Tags: iTouch

Comment by Amy on February 12, 2009 at 9:11am
We are looking into this as well. Where did you get your cart with that drawer for your iTouches?
Comment by John Patota on February 12, 2009 at 9:25am
Sorry to say that the pictures are not of our cart. I took them when we went on a visit to Culberth Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As I remember, the itouchs, the laptop and cart was one complete package.

Good luck. Keep in touch with your progress.

Thanks 0 John
Comment by Joyce Paisley on February 20, 2009 at 7:13pm
We are also considering the iTouch as a possibility. I just visited Culbreth Middle School and was very impressed by the way they were being used in classrooms across the curriculum. One point that was made by their panel of teachers was the increased opportunities for professional collaboration-teachers don' take their laptops to the cafeteria but they do tend to take their iTouch.

Does anyone have experience using the iTouch and SmartBoards together? Are their any aps that will allow the iTouch to serve a student response system?

Comment by John Patota on February 23, 2009 at 6:19am
Good Morning Joyce. The one constant I have found as I learn how other school system use technology in the classroom is that everyone has a different idea on how to do it. Each one of them has a different approach, yet each one is passionate in the technology they selected.

My view on iTouches in the classroom is that they can have limited benefit compared to a mini laptop. The cost of an iTouch is $200, compared to $300 for a mini laptop, and very small price difference for a great deal more functionality. A mini laptop has a full keyboard and much large screen. I can’t see students being productive and creative on a small iTouch.

The best use of instructional technology I have ever seen was laptops on student desktops in a middle school. Of course the technology is just a part of the overall learning experience. What also was vital was the placement of the desks. They where arranged in pods of 4 (2 sets facing each other). That allowed for kids to collaborate with each other while doing research and creating original content. The teacher spent no more than 10 minutes in front of this classroom. The rest of the period was spent walking around to the different student pods facilitating the work.

I hope this helps further the discussed.
Comment by Eric Federspiel on February 23, 2009 at 8:45am
I'm wondering about the specifics as far as iTouch use in the classroom goes. I'm thinking right now that they'd be ideal for sharing audiobooks of novels read in the ELA classroom. I could also envision students listening to a school podcast or composing their own classroom blogs.

Any specifics that you can share? If not, is there a contact person at Culbreth?

As far as the advantages of the iTouch versus laptops, it seems to me that this is a more 'authentic' way of addressing students' own personal use of technology. I know that I, for one, often use Twitter from my mobile phone to blog or in order to get quick answers from teacher colleagues that I follow. Parents in my school district who are struggling financially have found a way to purchase mobile phones for their kids, even if they don't have a computer at home. And since the iTouch is really just a version of the iPhone...
Comment by John Bartlet on February 23, 2009 at 9:15am
Check this site out for more info on using an itouch in the classroom.
Comment by Joyce Paisley on February 23, 2009 at 11:47am
Many thanks for a wonderful link. Learning in hand answers several questions that we've been thinking about-how to control student access, Apple's app policy, and web apps. I can't wait to explore it more tonight.
Comment by Eric Federspiel on February 23, 2009 at 1:44pm
Agreed -- the Learning In Hand blog was a really helpful starting place. I know that I'll have to convince my technology department of a couple of things that this site has already anticipated:
a) this isn't a case of 'technology for technolgy's sake'
b) the benefits of an iPod Touch versus a traditional laptop.

I'm also curious if that part of iTunes' DRM-free initiative will involve audiobooks. Hmm...
Comment by Susan Wells on February 24, 2009 at 7:34pm
I'm principal at Culbreth in Chapel Hill and would be happy to talk with anyone interested in using the iPod Touches. We have about 400 units in use and find them really incredible tools for teaching and learning. We made a careful decision to use this device precisely for its mobility and opportunities for differentiation and customization. As one of my science teachers explained, this is the ultimate lab tool. And as one of my 8th graders puts it, the iPod Touch is 100 tools in one.
Comment by Eric Federspiel on February 25, 2009 at 9:16am
Fantastic, Susan! Thanks! I just sent you a Colleague request, so hopefully we can chat!


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