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iPods in Class... Hurray!
The iPod Touch was not designed to be used in an educational setting. It was meant as a multimedia device for the masses. However, it didn't take long for tech savvy teachers to find ways to use the iPod Touch in the classroom.
It is portable, interactive, and might not cost as much as you think. What follows are the best reasons for using the iPod Touch in education.
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Class sizes at my school are not getting any smaller. We are getting more students, which is great, but our classrooms are still the same size. In short, space is a premium. The storage space required for 25 iPod Touches is significantly less that needed for 25 netbooks, or 25 laptops. They also take up less desk space. Students can have textbooks and notebooks out while using their iPod Touch, store them temporarily in a desk, or use them in any room of your building with ease.
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What school does not want to save money right now? An 8GB iPod Touch costs around $220 right now and comes with a camera and HD video recorder. When you compare this to the price of laptops, or even netbooks, you are going to be able to purchase a lot more for your money. This means that instead of 2 or 3 children sharing a laptop, they could all have an iPod Touch to use for the same or less money. You will save at least $100 per device. Netbooks or laptops admittedly have more functionality than an iPod Touch, but the growing number of free web 2.0 tools, coupled with a seemingly endless supply of apps from the iTunes Store, means that the Touch is not far behind. Besides, your school likely already has a computer suite that is furnished with macs or pc desktops. The iPod Touch would complement that, not replace it. So forget the laptop vs. netbook debate, and see what the Touch can offer instead.
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Ease of Use
The touch screen interface of the iPod Touch is very user-friendly, and can quickly be learned by even the youngest students. It is intuitive, responsive, and highly motivating. The tactile experience that the device offers means that it will work well with visual and kinesthetic learners. Photos, videos and music can all be stored and played back with just a few taps on the screen, and the ability to return to the home screen at any time helps students instantly feel at ease with the user interface of the iPod Touch.
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The iPod Touch is a very versatile device.
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As of November 2009, there were around 100,000 applications that could be downloaded for the iPhone or iPod Touch at Apple's iTunes Store. Today, there are still more. This is a staggering number of apps, but a number that is testament to the popularity of these devices. Many of these apps are geared directly at using the iPod Touch in education, and while others are not, many more can still be seen to have educational purposes. The remaining articles in this series include a collection of the best apps for education.
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Don't Miss Out
Using an iPod Touch in the classroom has many advantages. They are cost efficient, space saving, and easy to use. Student motivation is high when using these devices, and the number of apps for educational use is on the rise. The time to talk to your school administration about using the iPod Touch in education, is now!
- iPod Touch image courtesy of Apple.
iTunes image is a user generated screenshot.