Tuesday, January 4, 2011

iTouch Mania

  • We've spent the last month experimenting with a **BRAND NEW** iTouch cart. I forgot to take a picture, but our cart looks exactly like this (image from Mindshift). The cart is stocked with 20 32 GB 3rd generation iTouches and a MacBook Pro for management.

I'm mostly happy with the set-up, though the cords connecting the iTouches to the hub aren't of the highest quality. We spend a lot of time wiggling and giggling to make sure they're connected for charging and syncing.

In addition to the twenty iTouches on the cart, I sometimes supplement them with two library iTouches and a library iPad, bringing our device total up to 23.

Whenever we roll out a new technology, it takes a while to figure out exactly how to use it with classes. Honestly, integrating the iTouches has been almost pain-free. They seem to work themselves seamlessly into our lives, and I'm not quite sure how we ever survived without them.

Here's a list of the things we've used them for over the past month:

• In Global Studies teachers are using an app called “Hokusai HD" ($.99). The app allows students to access hundreds of original works by the Japanese painter Hokusai. Students are examining the paintings to draw conclusions about Japanese geography, religion and culture.

• In 8th Grade Science, teachers are using the “Periodic Table Explorer” app (free) and the “EMD Periodic Table” app (free) to first presearch, and then research an element for a project.

• In 8th Grade Science, students will "Ragdoll Blaster 2" ($2.99) to complete a physics lab.

• In 8th Grade English, students are using the apps “WDYK: 100 Influential Black Americans” (free) and “Then and Now: Black History” ($1.99) to presearch and then research a famous African-American. This is part of a long-term blogging project.

• In Global Studies teachers are using the iTouch’s bookmarking features and image capturing capabilities to explore contributions from Ancient Greece.

Stay tuned as we continue to find new uses for this great technology.

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