I have been promoting the use of ‘An iPod in Every Classroom’ at eTech Conferences and smaller venues for the past few years. I enjoy presenting the many uses an iPod offers in education, and the list continues to multiply each year. What began as a way to deliver audio and video podcasts to students quickly, and more importantly easily, has blossomed into iPods being used to document student readings, interactive personalized quizzes, SAT and ACT practice, PowerPoint conversion, and much, much more. Oh, so much more, but now the I believe even that glass ceiling has been shattered with the release of specialized iTunes Education Content and now, even more amazing, iPod Touch/iPhone applications focused on education. Things are about to get interesting.
In an earlier post I announced the release of iTunes University creating a special section for K-12 content. Educators now have a wonderful library of excellent audio and video podcasts to download and integrate into their lessons for free. Now not only can educators easily create excellent podcasts easily with an iPod, now they have treasure trove of resources.
Twenty-one iPhone/iPod Touch apps are currently in the iTunes App Store with many more about to be released. The current lineup includes foreign language study, flashcards, math simulations, eBook reading software, anatomy, other specialized science content, and more. Some of the apps are free downloads, others are small fees, and a couple are about the price of a good book. Students can study flashcards, create their own, or review with interactive quizzes. Some of the science apps and foreign language apps are just amazing by allowing users to have a pocket palanetarium, view three-dimensional models of hydrogen atoms, or record and play back foreign language practice. As if that weren’t cool encough, the app store isn’t even two weeks old yet.
Certainly more apps are on the way, but what I am really interested in is the ability to easily create my own. I read an article today that Stanford is now offering a class on designing iPod Touch/iPhone application design. I am hoping that an easy-to-use program for educators to create specialized review lessons, games, and other content will be released soon. (That is my hope; I have heard nothing. I don’t think it would be that difficult.)
I will be reviewing education apps independently on site, so keep checking back. If you would like to submit a review on an edcuation app or share how you use technology in our classroom, please send us an email to email@example.com.
Apple is billing this use of iPods in the classroom as Mobile Learning. “iTunes U and Mobile Learning: The road to knowledge is wider than ever.”