Friday, 18 September 2009

iPod Touch - enhancing learning for all

Following on from my post about the latest iPod Touch’s screen reading capability, the very size of this device offers a lot to schools. We often talk about the affordability and functionality of devices when selecting technology to enhance learning. What about the ergonomics of the device or the size and bulkiness of devices in particular in relation to portability?

I think about this in relation to the use of technology in a crowded classroom setting and all youngsters wanting to use devices at the same time and in many cases wanting to use them as they move around the classroom or around the school.

Youngsters grow at different rates and it could be rather challenging for a slightly built secondary school student to carry their personal device around all day and en route to and from school. Even more challenging for youngsters in the primary phase!
It is great to see the smaller devices extend and improve their offering in relation the technological functionality and also in relation to educational software that supports youngsters in their learning.

A school has recently used the iPod touch with a full class of youngsters in the primary phase and they have been really impressed by the way they were used.
The devices were configured to run through the school wireless system with appropriate filtering in place and pupils confidently and independently learned about elements of History and the demise of the wives of Henry VIII. Not only do the youngsters use the devices as instructed, they intuitively explore additional functionality and learn to select content from the internet and edit it in a word processing application.

The use of these devices would help all discussions with architects regarding heat generation and power consumption if they can accommodate the required educational needs in the many learning contexts.

The iPods have certainly captured the imagination of the youngsters, they learned to use them quickly and they clearly enjoyed their learning. Don’t take my word for it, have a look for yourself on the Learn 4 Life website.

Brendan Geoghegan