1-to-1 iPod Project???

Apparently a school in Chapel Hill is attempting to get funding for the purchase of an ipod Touch for each and every student and teacher in the building. The goal of the project is to develop curricula around the use of the ipod Touch.  This is an amazing idea to me, considering the ipod Touch has more power than most school’s computers did even 5 years ago.

One of my concerns is that I’m not sure if the school has a clear direction in place for the program.  What is the need they are filling by purchasing the ipods?  Sure I can think of a dozen ways I could use them in my own classroom: audio textbook, student created videos of class concepts, harnessing the power of the Web in the classroom…but is the ipod Touch the best solution for this?  At $229 each (lowest price I’ve seen for an 8GB Touch) are the students going to get as much for the money as they would with a $299 Asus Eee PC (Company site/Wikipedia entry)?  Which are they more likely to be using in the future for computing?

What are your thoughts?  In what ways could you see using an ipod Touch in the classroom, for educational purposes? Which do you think would be better the Touch or a netbook computer?

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60 comments so far

  1. nick on

    that was the cooliest thing ever

  2. tristan on

    I think that geting ipod touchs would be cool. cause it would be like having a portable textbook for every class. and it will help remember better for test cause you can remeber easier from fun experiences.

  3. Tyler on

    HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!.
    I think th idea is a good idea because the kids would me iterested in the ipod touch than the desk things.Because there potable what tristan said and well i know i will pay more attention and thats amazing because sometimes i dont pay attention not most of the times just sometimes.Also i think that it will have a good experience.BBBBBBBBBBBBYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tyler on

    I’m saying hi to all of my classmates

  5. LexAn on

    Hey Mr.Williamson! 😀 I think the idea is really good because we have a way to keep stuff because some students don’t have a way to keep homework/essays/notes because they don’t have a computer…if we had an ipod touch then we would have soo much fun, and we would have a electronic/device to save our stuff in, but..if we had them, we could delete the essays or homework or notes and then you would know the way we lost it. So ha! Good idea huh? Yes. Yes. I know. 😉 I would also love to have the ipod touch. I mean, I have an mp3 player ,but ipod touch’s are cool too, and i like them. So, maybe just talk to the pricipal and ask her if maybe you and her and maybe some other teachers can maybe convince some people at Best Buy to borrow the Ipod Touch’ for a few days so maybe we could try them out..and if we go overboard on them, then send them back, and if we do fine…well,you probably know…GET THEM!! 😉 haha, but I’m gonna go…oh! And one more thing…nite nite! :DDD iloveyouhh!! bye bye. (:

  6. Brian on

    Yeah I think it would be a pretty cool idea to have ipod touches, but they would be realllly expensive and there is no doubt going to be accidents. On the bright side I think having one in class would be great. A lot kids would probably pay attention. I mean ITS AN IPOD TOUCH DO YA THINK THEY ARE GOING TO PAY ATTENTION?!?!??!? Yeah it’d be a pretty good idea.
    Ok now I am actually going to read the article.
    Peace……

  7. Brian on

    OK now that I have actually read the article, I think it would be awesome to make video documents in class. Why take notes if you can just watch the video you took of the experiment or what ever it is. Instead of lugging around that big textbook you can just pull out your ipod touch and start reading. I mean HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!!! Really the cost and insurance has its ups and downs, but over all I think it is an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing that.

  8. toddwilliamson on

    Brian, those are some of the things I think could be really cool as well. Short video clips of activities, reading selections online, podcast downloads…I just checked out the online textbook on my wife’s ipod touch, it’s possible to read it, though it takes some navigating around the pages. I’m getting ready to see what my blog looks like on the touch. Thanks for your two, well thought out comments!

  9. mr williamson on

    Posting a comment from an Ipod touch. Definitely wouldn’t want to type a whole book on here!

  10. charlie on

    i think that that would be the best idea ever because we would have a mini portable computer in your pocket at every class. that would be sssswwwweeeeeeeetttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. charlie on

    sometimes i think, whats better, an ipod touch, or a computer. it depends on what you are doing. if you are taking videos, yea an ipod touch would definitley be better. but if you are going to be typing whole stories, a computer would be better. i dont really know what would be better for schools. probably a computer because you can always study in a textbook. but back to the ipod, i mean you can’t take a desktop to class.

  12. ryan on

    Okay Mr. Williamson I have posted a comment. Now you have to admit that you have created an excellent after school communication school based center.

    Basicaly, the blog is impressive.

    Now, I think that the whole i pod touch ordeal is a good idea but I think that kids would be a little distacted by all of the features that the Ipod touch has. A prime example of this would be the very obvious touch screen. Many features of the Ipod touch are very useful when used to there full potential. Some of these features are such as Mr Williamson and Brian already mentioned was the downloadable podcasts and video clips you can save and watch. The only thing I really don’t agree with is the fact that you could really get into this and “tape” a lot of notes and exspirements, you would run out of room for all of your data. But then i guess ou could buy like a hard drive of flash drive to save old stuff too. Now I’m going to read the article.

  13. ryan on

    Those Idaho kids are pretty clever. Well I guess when it comes to cheating but not so much when it comes to really learning there cirriculum.

    Alright I’m done.

  14. toddwilliamson on

    If by clever you mean, good at getting caught doing something that wasn’t too intelligent to begin with 🙂 The space issue on the iPods could be a problem, because I can’t see them purchasing anything larger than the 8GB model. The 32GB model is still sitting at $400, which really doesn’t make sense compared to a laptop. Things could always be uploaded to some online storage sites, YouTube or Google Video for video files, and Google Docs for document storage. That would free up the majority of the space for audio/podcasts and applications. Thanks for your thoughts!

  15. Joy! on

    yep. I checked out the article like you told us to and I thought that it might be a good idea to give each student and teacher an Ipod Touch. Maybe they could have certain restrictions on the Ipod Touches that doesnt let kids text or call (esp. during class) but maybe they could let kid’s parents get plans for their kids if they wanted to allow their kids to use the Ipod Touch as a communication device instead of just an educational tool that they only use at school. But then again, that would take ALOT of work and we would have to count on the parents to pay their kids bill on time or else the school will end up paying a $6000 phone bill because little Johnny felt like texting until 2am. =) Overall I think that it would be a pretty good idea to give each student and teacher an Ipod Touch. But then again, there is always going to be those few kids who will abuse their priveledges and possibly even break/wreck/crash the Ipod Touch. But we have to think about how much $$ this is going to cost and how we are going to teach these kids how to be “tech-intelligent” Yep. thats a/b it. see u in class 2maro. :p ~joy~

  16. toddwilliamson on

    Joy, and several other folks who made similar comments in class, the good news is the ipod touch isn’t a phone, so texting/calling wouldn’t be a problem. It’s basically the iPhone minus the phone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipod_touch

  17. Autumnnn!!! ;) on

    I think it would be a really cool idea for every student to get an ipod touch! Because instead of carrying books to every class you just can carry your lil ipod touch! And it would be really neat to be able to take videos in class because some people learn better by hearing and seeing things!!!! =D bye bye! night night!

  18. james Cassara on

    As i mentioned earlier, I think the use of Ipods could be a valuable learning tool. The key will be careful monitoring of their use. Banning Ipods because some students cheat makes NO sense; it is like banning pencils because some kids write on their desks.

  19. james Cassara on

    BTW, I should add that I am thoroughly enjoying the student comments. I continue to be impressed by how erudite the students at this school are. (First student to look up the word “erudite” come see me for a prize)

  20. Mr. Davis on

    If you treat this as a privilege earned & not given to all students carte blanc, then I could be convinced. My current textbook is already online & few students use this feature. Until students gain an ability to read, comprehend & use material learned, adding another layer of technology will have little, if any benefit.

    How will this be managed? Will teachers be required to go through each iPod daily to remove any inappropriate downloads? Will iPods go home with students or stay at school? If lost, will students be required to reimburse the LEA?

    Many wrinkles to iron out before inception.
    Neil Davis

  21. JOY! on

    hey mr. c. erudite means “learned or scholarly” ex: Mr. Williamson is very erudite. =) p.s. i like prizes!

  22. Ray λdaπs on

    I think that a small hand-held computing device would work very nicely with school, but I don’t think an ipod touch would really be that great for school.
    It was built from the ground up for entertainment, and not school. The only way I could see this work, is if they have some one at th school who can actually create software for the ipod touch. Otherwise, students would use it for downloading music, and other things of the sort.
    By the time the software would be made though, the question would be, was it worth it? I personally think that it would really not be.
    One thing that I’m wondering, is why has no one created a PC about the size, and fomat of a phone? Then you could easily load a more appropriate OS on to it.

    O.k. idea, but an ipod touch just doesn’t have the software to be used.

  23. ♪♫Meredith♪♫ on

    I think,
    that everyone having an ipod touch would be good for some of the kids. But the other kids would most likely not be paying attention when you were teaching. The ipods are touch; which isn’t good for some kids like me, because i’m clumsy and so are other kids and they are expensive so when we break them we would have to buy another on our own. If a not-so-money-owing family then the kid that broke it would be without one and if they have to do something with it then they would be left out and feeling bad and sad and mad and not so glad. HAHA I RYHMED! But maybe they just need to reconsider getting a real ipod or something more un-breakable than a ipod-touch. One broken is a lot of money that just went to waiste.
    -MereBear H.

  24. ♦♥Kristen♥♦ on

    Well i think that would be really cool! 🙂 But it depends… wheter you are just using them in a certain classroom….or if everybody gets to use one of their own.

  25. ♥Josie♥ on

    I agree with Joy that there should be some restrictions and that you should be able to monitor where we are but I think it is a good idea especially beacause we won’t have to lug textbooks and notebooks around.

  26. Gessica on

    Yo ((((((((((((((((((:

    Would the Ipod touches be just for school acitivites? Or could students bring them home?
    Thanks

  27. james Cassara on

    “hey mr. c. erudite means “learned or scholarly” ex: Mr. Williamson is very erudite. =) p.s. i like prizes!”

    We have a winner! Come by my room for your reward.

  28. toddwilliamson on

    Gessica, that’s a good question. I would think it would only make sense for them to be used outside of school as well. That leads us into a whole other issue of someone OUTSIDE of school taking one from a student. Also, they access the internet through wifi technology, which currently isn’t available everywhere. That leaves some students out in a project designed to put technology in the hands of all students.

  29. Jo Ann N. on

    Actually, Ray, there are very small handhelds that might have a good school application – Palm
    PDA’s – in fact, your principals have them and use them to maintain some student records. I do believe there would be value in the PDA’s or iPod’s, if only to cut back on the purchase, storage, maintenance and “carrying” of textbooks.
    Personally, I would like to own a Kindle (I think that’s what they call it) which is a hand held computer in the form of an electronic reader – stores 1000’s of books for easy portability.
    I agree with Mr. Cassara that schools cannot outlaw something because a few students may use it innappropriately.

  30. Jo Ann N. on

    Plus, I love my iPod as much as anyone and would like to be able to use it at school in a variety of ways!

  31. LexAn on

    Hi mr.williamson.
    The counselor read my comment.
    Wippiddeedoo. 😀
    I love your class.
    Ohkay;
    i’m in the library in 4th core.
    Bye bye.
    ;)))))))
    wooo.
    wooo. wooo.wooo.wooo. bye! bye! bye! bye! bye! bye! hi! hi! hi! -lexAnnn, 🙂

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! :DDDDDDDDD

  32. Kate on

    Well at first i thought that it was a waste of money and didn’t really care for the idea a t all, but then i warmed up to the idea. Now i think that it is a great idea i mean you to learn and have fun maybe if high schoolers do buy them there will be less drop outs well at least that is what we are writing abtu in Mrs. Brienza’s room. we are writing about school drop outs!1 well bye have a good weekend!!

  33. Brian on

    You know Im kind of agreeing with Ryan too. Kids would get really distracted. Not naming any names, but I have a few in my mind. Oh and Mr. Cassara I looked up first I just forgot to say something about it in art class today. You lots of big vocabulary.

  34. Brian on

    RAY… ARE YOU CRAZY??!?!??!??!

    Ok first of all, you could have an OS on the ipod touch. I mean it’s not the greatest, but it will still get the job done. Also Mr. Williamson told us today that you can download something from google to have something like microsoft word on your ipod touch. You dont think it would work in schools??? Ok read my other paragraphs and you can see how it would benefit in schools. Man these things would be so fun to have how could you oppose them??????!!? I mean you wouldn’t want to lug around a textbook, would you??? Oh and there is small hand held devices somewhere out there I just don’t where, I’ll let you know if I can find one.

  35. Brian on

    Ms. Jo Ann I don’t really know who you are, but I like your thougt of thinking. What are PDA’s??????

  36. toddwilliamson on

    Brian, let’s not accuse people of crazy on here 🙂 Disagreeing is fine, but let’s keep it civil. I’m thinking what Ray meant was that the operating system that is ON the touch is limited compared to full versions for laptops. I’ll let him explain more if I missed his point.

    And in case she doesn’t check back before Monday, Ms. Jo Ann is Ms. Norman, so you do know who she is!

  37. Delaney on

    ipods touche That would be great but thier are some bad things about that. You can just be doing a test and litsening to the anwsers. MHM?! thats cheating if i’m not wrong?! And what if you get caught if mr.wiest caught cha you’d be in troubleeeeeee! 😦 wut woh I kinda agree with kate and hi mr williamson!

  38. Brian on

    Oh, thats Ms. Norman. OK…
    Sorry, I just think it’s kinda wierd that he wouldn’t want ipod touches in the classroom.

  39. Curious and Interested on

    I agree with so many of the comments about these cool ipods each person would have: video recording experiments and stuff, storing notes and other info for quizzes and tests, downloading and listening and recording and watching and more more more.

    But I was wondering. How would you use the ipod touch to GET the info? Would you still need like a laptop or something or other to download what you wanted on your ipod. If so, then why not get ibooks instead of ipods to save money.

    Just wonderin.

  40. toddwilliamson on

    Curious and interested…That is a really good question. I think there is a limit to the number of ipods that can be synced to one account. I don’t know if the school plans to have an iTunes account for each student or what the plan is there. With the Touch being a Wifi device though, anything stored “in the cloud” could be accessed. That includes YouTube videos, Google Docs, I would assume hosted audio files as well. I’ll check and see if I can listen to our podcasts on one later today. Good questions! Anyone else have other thoughts along those lines?

  41. josh on

    I think the ipod touck would be a good way to keep up with students work and it would be easy to look up thing and keep them in the ipod so we would know were thay are well later

  42. Nicholas Toooooooouchton on

    I think that it would be pretty cool cause it would be a cool experiance to use an ipod touch and it would help you remeber your work better cause when your taking notes your having fun as your doing it so you pay more attention on what your writing down.So I’m just saying that it would be a really cool idea to try outtttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. sydney on

    no work would get done. And knowing me I would lose it or break it.

  44. ben on

    i think we should get the i pod touch because it is slik and cool it woud keep students attiotion

  45. kate:) on

    How the would yopu tell the difference in who’s is who’s and what if someone lost theirs and someone tried to say that it was theres!!!

  46. Autumn on

    Sooo…
    Could you a take a video with the ipod touch???

    My mom has an Iphone not an ipod touch but since their pretty similar I was wondering if the ipod touch could take a video cuz an iphone can not.

  47. kirk on

    I don’t think it is a great idea. people will download songs on it and it will not be used right

  48. ♪♫♪♫Meredith Leigh♪♫♪♫ on

    Mr. Williamson,
    I think that we should not get the ipod touch for education uses because if we have them then the kids will not be paying attention to you because they have an ipod and how would you be making sure that they were doing work instead of looking up cows on youtube??? I think that if we get the ipods for education then they would be a total waste of money and that we would take them for granite and not accually do anything that you tell us to do on them but if they are rich then they can go waste their money that’s their choice but if it was up to me I definatly would NOT be for education.

    MEREDITH

  49. Shay C. on

    It would be interesting to try it and see how well it would work out. It would be educational (when used in the right way :-D) but it could be pretty cool to see how everyone would react, if test scores go up, or if anything increased or decreased. I think some schools should get them. It would also show responsibility. They really don’t want to lose it because they’d have to pay for it.

  50. Emily on

    I think it is a great idea! The only problem is that the cost would be expensive! I would like to bring them home though! Also we could listen to music during the lesson. Kidding you know I would not do that!

  51. Josie on

    I like this idea because we could watch more videos on youtube and stuff, and we wouldn’t have to share the laptop cart. A lot of new opportunities would be available.

  52. Alexxas on

    I think that it is a good idea becuase if they could take it home they can do all the things that you showed them in class and that would be good for the students dont you think? Also if they would get it for the students they would be very happy and I think every school should do it because it is a very good idea and a teacher should go up to that exspectation for the students!!!!!!!!!

  53. amber on

    NO!! What if they break and the kids dont have the $ to pay the school back!?! THose are exspensive just for some hardy kid to break them. I mean laptops cost enough but i pod touchs are not as important if they want one they can by it. *<:0(

  54. TJ on

    I think it would be awsome if we got the ipod touch because its easier to move around it would be better if we could keep them too

  55. Brookie on

    I don’t think that the Ipod idea is a good one. Because first of all when you pull the internet up it doesn’t show the whole website. Second of all students would get lost in the Ipod!

  56. gina on

    i dont like it bacuse that money sould go to somethingthat need help or need work on

  57. Marinah Nicole on

    lets get some iPod touches!

  58. Ashley on

    Hey Mr. Williamson,
    I think this idea has it’s ups and downs. #1 I don’t think they notice that they (the school) are going to lose a lot of money. It’s a small school, yes, but it doesn’t have a lot of money then. #2 They are probably going to have problem with students listening to music when they aren’t supposed to.
    I would love to have ipod touches here, but it isn’t the best idea.

    Thank you for sharing this on your blog. I enjoyed it:]]

  59. Emilyy ;-) on

    THis is a good idea, but, tiny little laptops would be better for typing essays, and serching the internet. Also, students would be able to focus more, without having distractions of music. Pretty much. By the way love your class. you are very…. animated. You rock!

  60. sky on

    it’s the best idea ever awesome


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