That an Ipod touch is a teaching tool?
It’s true! All around the world, teachers are making use of these mini-computers. They are perfectly designed for small hands and are mobile, rather than portable. That might sound strange but a mobile device (think about your mobile phone) is always on, always ready to go, whereas your portable laptop can be easily carried but needs to be turned on and booted up. Mobile is always available and easy to use.
I wonder if you have ever seen a pre-school child play with an iPod touch or an iPhone? Last week, I watched in awe as my friend’s 3 year old taught herself how to open, close, scroll, zoom and pan on my iPhone – I timed her, it took 3 minutes! That’s it! All the learning about the tool was done and she was then focused on the dancing unicorns and the counting patterns on the screen. As teachers, it’s great when the ‘how do I use’ stage of a new technology is replaced with ‘what can it teach me’!
Since the first iPod was launched in 2001, Apple have sold over 250 million of them, and the iPhone is catching up fast (not to mention the iPad – which I admit to coveting badly!). This time last year there were 50 000 apps (applications or tools) for the iPhone and iPod touch – today there are over 250 000. The apps that are used in a classroom setting vary depending on the content but I recently saw an art teacher use iPod touches to teach her class about Impressionist art. The students selected their favourite image, used another app to annotate their ideas and thoughts onto the paintings, then they uploaded their image and notes to a website to share with the class. Finally, they used a dictionary and thesaurus app to choose 3 words to describe the painting and then used Google Earth to see satellite and street images of the actual landscape. Ever child was engaged, every student was working at their own level and every member of the class had their opinions heard and their ideas shared. Pretty exciting stuff, if you ask me!!