Tag Archives: iPods in the classroom

iPod Project: Sound Track of my Life

I was speaking with @kimsten earlier this month about her year with our 1:1 iPod (Touch) in the classroom project. I was really impressed with the ‘Sound Track of my Life’ project that she planned for her students and wanted to share an overview.

Project Overview: Students were asked to identity 8 important events or experiences in their life. Next, the students were required to find songs that suitably represented each of the identified events. Students then authored a written description explaining the connections between the events and songs. Students also produced artwork for their project. Sample artwork included a CD cover design and a concert flyer for the event sequence. The project culminated with a presentation to the class of one selected event and the artwork.

iPod Integration: The iPods were used for song and lyric research via the wifi connection in the classroom. Students also had options to use the iPods for project details using the Notes app and creating the artwork. Apps that could be used to create artwork were listed in an earlier blog post.

Teacher Perspective: The project integrated research and writing skills, creativity through the artwork creation and presentation abilities. The iPod was used in a natural integrated manner as part of the learning process. This project also created a learning situation allowed the teacher to learn a lot about each student in a very individual way.

Student Perspective: My daughter, Charlotte, has had the good fortune of being in @kimsten’s classroom the past 2 years. Wearing my ‘parent hat’, I was quite interested to see the level of student engagement with this project outside of the traditional school day. She also felt the learning situation was designed to allow personal choices within the learning process. On the iPod side of things, search engines such as Google and Bing worked well on the device. Charlotte  indicated many students used the iTunes,  Tune Wiki and Lyric Wiki in their research.

Hat’s off to @kimsten for designing this effective integrated project. Based on her success, you might like to try this in your classroom.

Related Resource:

The WRDSB iPod project wiki. Thanks @susan_watt.

~ Mark

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Student View: iPod Guidelines

The first day back after the holiday break is complete. At dinner, we talked about what happened today. My daughter, who is involved in a class iPod project, mentioned they had a class discussion about developing some iPod use guidelines. Naturally, I was interested to hear about the dialogue. I took the role of the reporter, prompted the discussion with a couple of questions, but mainly tried to sit back, and listen to a student version of the outcome of the class discussion.

My transcription of the conversation:

  • Be prepared
    • The unit and headphones should be at school each day, fully charged
    • Required apps must be installed timely, as required
    • Units will be kept on the desktop ready for action
    • Be responsible
  • Manners and etiquette
    • Be considerate of others. Give them your attention when they are talking or presenting. The iPod should NOT be a distractor.
    • Use when asked (there may be non use activities)
    • Text communication will not likely be required
  • Applications and Content
    • Apps should be appropriate for school. Any games should be educational (problem solving etc.)
    • No illegal music
    • Note: I must admit the last comment made my heart smile – nice to see copyright as part of the discussion!

To me, it sounds like they had a good discussion and captured the important points. My daughter seemed confident that this approach would work well. I think this set of guidelines would work well for adults too, especially the point in blue italics. 🙂

~ Mark

iPod Touch Classroom Project

Last Friday we  held the kickoff meeting for our iPods in the Classroom project.

iTouch

The meeting provided an opportunity to bring teachers, administrators and central staff together to talk about the purpose of the project, complete some initial training, look at logistics and set next steps and timelines in place. The purpose of this project is multifaceted. Our comprehensive approach will:

  • Investigate the impact on teaching preparation, roles and instruction in a setting where each student will have a wifi enabled mobile device
  • Use iPods as an integrated learning tool in alignment with our identified instructional strategies and high yield tools
  • Align the use of the mobile devices to technology integration frameworks including:
  • Infuse a Digital Citizenship component concerning appropriate use, expectations, responsibilities and security with an eye to aligning to our existing Acceptable Use Procedure
  • Learn about the logistics of using mobile devices: charging, syncing, content management, device reliability etc.
  • Look at the use related resources: video cables (iPod to TV/data projector), document cameras, listening centre hardware (linking and daisy chaining audio)
  • Support the professional learning with research based evidence of the impact on student engagement, learning improvement and student assessment

The selected schools will provide an opportunity to examine the use of the iPod in the following environments:

  • a technology focused JK-6 school
  • a JK-8 school with an emphasis on grades 6-8
  • a congregated enrichment class

The day provided a good opportunity to familiarize staff with the operation of the iPod Touch units and explore some of the potential applications to be used. Alignment with our Board’s key learning strategies and the technology frameworks will keep us away from using the ‘drill and kill’ style applications.

A highlight in the training was conferencing in an Apple Education Expert to instruct over our Adobe Connect web conferencing system, licensed for use in Ontario schools. We anticipate using the web conferencing throughout the project to facilitate sharing between teachers at the selected schools. I am hopeful we can establish a protocol to use the conferencing to facilitate viewing a live ‘model classroom’ environment once the appropriate understandings re privacy and protocols have been put in place.

It was a great day and we are excited to have this initiative moving forward. I will share what we learn in future blog posts.

~ Mark

iPod Resource: iLearn 2

The great thing about traveling the ‘blogosphere’ is that you are constantly learning. The learning takes many forms: new resources, new sites to bookmark and revisit, new sources of information, new people to add to your PLN or RSS feed. There is constant reinforcement of the rich content, thinking, sharing and collaboration that occurs in our online world. 

During a recent blogosphere trip, I came across references to iLearn 2, so I bookmarked it and have gone back to revisit the site a number of times. iLearn is organized like an online book which can be viewed in magazine, presentation or paper views. Contents of iLearn 2  include:

  • a 21st century learning framework
  • ideas for choosing a particular iPod model
  • mobility in learning
  • podcasts
  • slideshows
  • video
  • text files & eBooks
  • internet usage (iTouch browser)
  • a comprehensive list of applications with brief descriptions organized by subjects
  • digital storytelling
  • lab management tips 

In my view, iLearn 2 is is an excellent resource and I recommend that you take the time to have a look if you are using or planning to use iPods in your classroom. Enjoy the learning.

~ Mark