Archives For ipod

Apple’s announcement yesterday of a full software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone exceeded my expectations. As I followed along with Engadget’s coverage, I had two thoughts: Apple is making a serious play for the corporate enterprise, and we are going to see some seriously amazing mobile apps. They also announced that all of the iPhone goodies will run on the iPod Touch too.

I don’t have an iPhone (or iPod Touch), but I’ve toyed with one enough to know that Safari on the iPhone rocks. Once Google has its apps running fully, the iPhone will be awesome with the browser alone. Now with the SDK in the works we could have iPhone versions of Inspiration, all of the Omni apps, MarsEdit, iChat, Skype, and practically any other cool app you can think of.

Consider for a moment what a classroom full of iPhone/iPod-wielding students could do. I’d like to see that.

I’m an enabler

12 Nov 2007

I hear my share of horror stories from educators all over the country about innovative things they’d like to try with their students, but are unable to because of overly restrictive policies from their IT departments. Whether it’s blocked URLs or an unwillingness to load a particular piece of software on a teacher’s computer, IT departments have a lot of power to “regulate” the educational environment.

The IT department is an easy target, but most of the IT directors I know are doing their best to provide a stable computing environment for all the students and staff. The districts I know tend to run pretty lean in the tech department without a lot of extra staff to experiment on new technologies themselves. But most isn’t the same as all. Some IT directors are lazy. They refuse to consider anything new as they trot out the same old excuses about lack of money and time, network security, and the risk of rusting their servers’ router belts if they run open source software. There are some dinosaurs out there, and I’m afraid there’s not much that can be done with them.

But I choose to be an enabler. I choose to find teachers who are excited about technology so I can give them cool tools and see what they do with them. I choose to collaborate with teachers to find ways to maintain a stable network while the teachers experiment with online video, podcasting, and who knows what Web 2.0-ish site they find. I choose to trust teachers to make good decisions about what constitutes an educationally appropriate web site. I don’t have time to do all of that myself, and I’m not willing to be a bottleneck.

Enabling innovation doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. No one’s letting the inmates run the asylum around here. There has to be a wide open communication channel between IT and the teaching and learning department. (I meet regularly one-on-one with the Director of Teaching and Learning in my district so we can work in unison on initiatives.) Saying “yes” is so much more fun than saying “no,” so I don’t understand why any IT director wouldn’t want to be on the same side as the teachers and learners.

I write this less than a week after the voters in this community rejected three levy requests for additional school funding. Some nasty budget cuts lie ahead for us, and there won’t be nearly as much money in the tech budget as there would have been had the levies been approved. Now more than ever we’ll need to work together to set priorities and move the district forward. I want to be one of the ones moving forward, not holding us back. I’m more happy being an enabler.

Apple just released a new game for the iPod called iQuiz (iTunes link). It’s got four built-in games, but the potentially cool part is the ability to create new quizzes for it.

I’m not sure iQuiz is a compelling enough reason to buy an iPod on its own, but it’s a slick bonus if you’re already working with them in your school. There’s already a collection of user-contributed quizzes collecting at the Apple Learning Interchange. I think I’ll plop down $0.99 for iQuiz so I can give it a try.

My big question at this point is whether you can distribute iQuiz quizzes in a podcast feed. Anyone tried it yet?

Heading out for NSBA

12 Apr 2007

I’ll be in San Francisco this weekend for the National School Boards Assocation annual conference. I don’t think I’ll be doing any podcast recording, but I’ll be hanging out at the Apple booth talking with people about podcasting. I’m working the morning shift on Saturday and Sunday, and I’d love to talk to anyone who cares to stop by.

Presenting at IL-TCE

27 Feb 2007

I’ve arrived in St. Charles, IL for this year’s IL-TCE conference. I’m presenting a day-long podcasting workshop tomorrow and a spotlight session about Web 2.0 on Thursday and Friday. I’ll also be doing some recording for the new Conference Connections podcast channel I’ve been working on. Come say hello if you’re at the conference.

There doesn’t seem to be much blogging, podcasting, and tagging going on at this year’s TIES Conference. Scott McLeod put his lunch time session online in audio form. So far a Technorati search reveals a grand total of three different people who’ve tagged a blog post with the “ties2006” tag.

There are blogging and podcasting sessions throughout the conference schedule and yet no one is using the technology. I’m not sure how to make sense of this. We could have a whole parallel conference going on full of reflections on sessions, reactions to vendors, etc., but no one is showing up for that conference. Maybe next year.

ties, ties2006, blogging, podcasting, web2.0

iPod ideas

6 Jul 2006

I gave a half-day workshop this morning on iPods, iTunes, and podcasting. We generated a pretty good list of ideas for uses of this technology in classrooms and schools:

  • Collect field notes during a science field trip
  • Living museum, researching characters
  • “Radio shows”
  • Creating audio guides for local museums
  • Teacher powerpoints
  • Early language learners, (rhyming, etc.)
  • Staff development
  • Screencasts
  • Language learners recording assessments
  • Discovery Education videos
  • Science reports
  • Art projects
  • Digital portfolios
  • Weekly classroom news
  • Serial storytelling
  • Reflective journals
  • Summaries of school events
  • Broadcast school sporting events
  • Roving reporters
  • Capturing oral histories (family history)
  • Podcast vocab words and spelling lists
  • Flashcard practice with iFlash
  • Musical compositions
  • Soundseeing tours

A lot of these ideas could be applied in different subject areas around the school.

necc, necc06, necc2006, podcasting, ipod, apple, itunes

Here in San Diego

4 Jul 2006

My family and I arrived in San Diego last night, and I’m busily putting the final touches on my presentations for this year’s NECC. If you’re interested in seeing a session that I’ll be doing, check out one of the following:

  • Introducing the Read/Write Web: Challenges, Opportunities, and Implications, July 5, 2:00–3:00, Room 6D
  • Learning To Go: The iPod in Education (workshop), July 6, 8:30–11:30, Room 15B
  • Savvy Technologist Podcast, July 6, 5:00–6:00, Room 31B
  • Making Podcasts in the Classroom, every day, Apple booth

I doubt I’ll be making it to many other sessions this year. Stop by and say hello.

necc, necc2006, apple, ipod