Bretford Cart Arrival

My Bretford iPod cart arrived today. Unboxing was easy, but I spent over an hour trying to figure out the best place to keep it in the classroom that would have access to power.

Also, the cart already has a nickname: Cart2D2.

Photo of my new Bretford iPod cart

Photo of my new Bretford iPod cart with the drawer open

 

Mobile Learning at a Tipping Point

Link: Mobile Learning at a Tipping Point

Story summarizing findings presented by Project Tomorrow at the Speak Up conference held on October 29, 2010. The study shows that student access to mobile technology in the classroom has tripled in the last three years. Also, 62% of parents surveyed said they would purchase a mobile device for their students if they were allowed to use them in school. The full report is available, but it requires registration on their Blackboard site.

FaceTime Call

Screenshot of my dog in FaceTimeI’m starting to make more progress with my initial setup of the iPod Touches. I don’t have my laptop at school yet, so I set up a “classroom” account on my home computer that I’m using to sync a couple of the iPods. Naturally, one of the first things I did was play with FaceTime. To enable FaceTime, I’ve created an email account for each iPod {ipod01, ipod02…} at my classroom domain and set up IMAP accounts in Mail on my computer. The addresses are all in Address Book, so it is easy to call one iPod from another.

To be honest, I don’t see any real educational applications here, and I might end up having to disable FaceTime on the devices if my students mess around with it. Since it is so easy to turn it on and off, it’s worth learning how to set it up. Also, it might be helpful to have the email address for each iPod since so many apps can send content that way.

Evaluation Rubric for Educational Apps

The Evaluation Rubric for Educational Apps has some great questions to for teachers to consider when selecting iOS apps to use in a classroom. It seems unlikely that anyone would really run through this whole rubric for each app. However, it could also be used by teachers as a framework for explaining why specific apps are worth the investment, both for purchasing and for class time. I greatly appreciate that “differentiation” is one of the criteria, and I think “authenticity” could easily be overlooked without using this rubric.

What the iPad Allows…

What the iPad has allowed us to do is to bring digital resources up to the same level of availability as paper resources in our teaching. It’s unthinkable that pupils would only have one or two hours of access to books each week, yet that was the position with digital resources before we deployed the iPad…When pupils learn with the iPad, they are learning in their own technological vocabulary. Personal computers – whether Windows or Mac OS X – are not most teenagers’ common experience of personal computing.

Fraser Speirs – iPads, Curriculum for Excellence and the Next Generation – also check out the section “What Technology Should Be”. I think his arguments also hold true for the iPod Touch, thought it will not be as easy to use for many students.