So far so good with the trial of integrating iPod Touches into the classroom and the student’s learning. The students are really eager to use these devices and while there is a large number of things we would like to do on them and can’t, they have certainly been well used.
This post is just a quick rundown on some of the key apps we are using so far. I am very open to using a huge variety of different apps for a whole range of purposes. That is one of the great things about the app store concept, you can just go and search for an app to fulfill any particular purpose and there is almost always exactly what you need. Unfortunately some do cost but there some really good free apps that are worth looking at. At this point in time I am not looking at purchasing any apps for classroom use. So here is to the top four freebies we are using.
Firstly, the WordPress app. Great app providing the ability for students to create and write new posts in their eportfolios. Works really well once the students blog log-in details are set-up. Easy to add images that are stored in the image library either synced from iPhoto or saved from the web including our Flickr account. My only gripe with this app is that the latest version, which offers some great new features, is not compatible with the WordPress blog service we use so we are still running the old version (1.1).
iTalk is a great voice recording app that works really well. The sound quality is excellent and the big start/stop record button makes it really easy and intuitive to use. The app requires a syncing application on your computer which allows you to download your recording through your wireless network. The app requires that you purchase a headset that allows you to record onto your Touch any while this expense may put you off recording, it is well worth the money especially with Skype for the iPhone/Touch being released last week.
Safari for the Touch works extremely well but it is an app called Bookmarks that we use which really adds a lot more functionality and focus to our web browsing. It is a Delicious bookmarking app allowing your to stay logged in to your Delicious account and access your links. It does just what it claims to do. You can set it up so that you can save bookmarks to your Delicious account but I haven’t had a need or the time to investigate that yet.
Briefcase Lite is an app that allows us to connect to any computer on our network including our server. This is great for transferring or retrieving files and viewing them on the Touch. Most file are able to be viewed including Pages, Keynote, PDF, movies, images etc. The real potential of this is for those families in the class who do not have broadband at home to view the multimedia content in the eportfolios. A simple process will enable the content to be transfered to the Touch and then taken home for sharing. While we have not used it for this prupose yet, I know a couple of parents I have mentioned this to are keen to give it a go.
So all is well. Some of the potential is being realised but not all of it. Hopefully the upcoming holiday will give me some time to play and explore some more apps.