iPod Touch in the Classroom

I have a wonderful idea, and I know I am not the only one. When the iPod Touch was released, I thought it was pretty cool. It was basically the iPhone without some of the features. Now that they have released some of the features of the iPhone, it is so much better.

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.


    Right now your biggest problem probably wouldn't be a grant, it would be getting permission to order them from the district. iPods have not been determined by district admins to have educational value at this point. We have argued this for nearly two year.


    KD, You are probably right. At our school, iPods are completely banned. The way I see it, this would be almost equivalent to getting desktops or laptops for the classrooms, only cheaper. Sure, there are other things that make that an unequal comparison, but it is still pretty close. Most of the teachers don't even understand the available software on the laptops, so most of the money on those computers is in a large part wasted. How can I get them to let me try it out and see if it there is an educational value?

    That is what I want to do. If it does have educational value, it is much cheaper than computers for everyone. If it doesn't have educational value, then we blew 10K, like that has never happened. ;)

    Another issue you might run into is daisy chaining USB hubs together. Now, I haven't even come close to trying this but I've read that it doesn't work. Plus, it looks like there is a limit on how many you can connect to iTunes and one time. Just some things to look into.


    I'm starting a pilot with a K-12 district this Fall. Participating teachers (5 total) will each receive a classroom set of 28 ipods (8g ipod touch). The primary focus is language arts, but other content areas will participate as well. I've started a wiki to help others - http://ipodclassroom.wikispaces.com

    Just found this awesome little gem:


    Looks like things are moving forward!