Just in case you didn’t hear about the original iPod here’s the deal. It’s a hand held computer device for listening to music. Here’s a more descriptive definition from the internet, and here’s a picture of an older one on the right. The next big device from the Apple Computer Company was the iTouch which featured wireless internet access, a computerlike operating system, the ability to play games, music and videos with a sleek touch screen interface. No doubt you have heard of the next big product to come from Apple, the iPhone which has all the features of the previous devices as well as faster internet access and of course a cell phone. Then there was there iPad which uses all the same technology as the previous devices but has a much larger touch screen surface area making much more complex tasks possible. In case you were wondering what comes next, check out the iWatch.
In schools all across the country more and more students (and staff members) have these handy devices and use them to listen to music downloaded from the internet, text and communicate. You might think of it as a digital update on the old “walkman” from years gone by. So what’s the big deal about all these Apple devices? Apple has always been know for it’s attention to design and quality craftsmanship. Their devices, especially the iPhone, hit the market at exactly the right time. It was the best smartphone exactly when the newest 3G network was making smartphones feasable. They are not without their competition but they do continue to be the market leader.
Such hand held video technology could be used for good in education also. For example the podcasting f iPod could give students an opportunity to create their own downloadable radio show. Here’s a link to more information about pod casting in the classroom. And here’s a link to some free MP3 versions of books that you can download from the Education Technology Clearinghouse at the University of Southern Florida