Tuesday, January 29, 2008 by Jethro Jones
There is so much you can do with this little computer. It would be cheaper than an XO Laptop or an Asus Eee PC, and it would have about the same functionality, but with a little more. Here is the setup:
In my desk drawer, I have a rack that holds 35 iPod Touches (sp?), those are all connected to a series of powered USB 2.0 hubs that slim down to one USB cord that goes to my computer, allowing me to sync new content onto all of them at once. With webclips and the customizable home screen, all the stuff we need will be right at our fingertips. Each student will have a Google Apps account for their email, document publishing, calendar access and editing.
Each student will also have a personal wiki where they can post their assignments, and other stuff that interests them. There will also be a class wiki, much like what I have now, only hopefully better, where they can get assignments, complete assignments, and take polls/surveys, and tests. Hopefully, we will also be able to integrate Moodle and hopefully we can access that easily on the iPod Touch.
We will use the stocks widget and have the students check stocks every day that they have "invested" in and "comprehend the informational text" (one of our core standards).
This is just with the stuff that is already available on the iPod Touch. With the SDK coming out, there is really no end to the possibilities. There are tons of apps out there for the educational Mac, and the SDK will give them an opportunity to make apps for the Touch.
Some Potential Problems
Battery. I don't know how the battery life is on the Touch, but I think that it could make it through a whole day being used, especially if I had a prep period in the middle of the day to give them a little extra time to charge.
Misuse. We have computers that kids probably mess around when they use them. Our district does have a filter that is not computer-based, so that will help. The biggest concern is cyberbullying. If that happens through chatting, email, or the wiki, that would be very bad. Hopefully, I can teach them to avoid that lame stuff.
Right now, I can't think of anything else, but if you can think of anything good or bad, let me know.
If anyone knows of a grant I can write, let me know about that, too.
Have a good life.