…and if there’s any software out there designed to help researchers wandering the stacks in the library, that’s a possibility…
…I wonder it it’s possible to use an iPod Touch as a kind of “Super Clicker” for taking quick polls on things.
I like this “hypothetical” situation, and I hope to come up with some better suggestions…]]>
At any rate, the iPod Touches would be theirs for the duration of the class.
The software updates apply to both, with (as usual) a $10 charge for iPod users.]]>
Are the changes coming to the iPhone software/firmware this summer also coming to the iPod Touch? (I’m not talking about the rumors of new devices; I mean the officially announced changes that will allow for things like peer-to-peer connectivity.)]]>
In order for these devices to be useful, activities must be student-centered and novel. There is no point in buying them if you are simply going to upload the powerpoints you would normally show on a projector, although having a database of them on the device for instant research is a great idea. Apple also has an imaging software to make the devices function and look as you see fit, so there is SOME control of what students can/cannot do.
There is now blogging software (wordpress) and content creation tools (impact edit and others) that allow this device to truly function as a content-creation tool. Students are adept at typing on the small screen, and I am willing to take a minor hit in assignment formatting to allow them the flexibility to complete assignments on these devices.
Some of the major texts used for high school english in my division are now available as ebooks and audiobooks. For students that struggle with reading, they can listen to the book as they follow along with the words.
I have purchased microphone enabled headsets for the touches, which will allow students to give voice-feedback and editing. I also plan to use the little devices for recording podcasts and tutorials.
I have much more to say, but this is already a long post. Please comment or leave feedback on my website, as I want to hear more about what people think of this idea.]]>
I wrote a series of blog posts a few weeks ago exploring uses of mobile devices in the classroom like this. You can see the whole series here. Parts 5 and 6 are probably most relevant to this discussion. I welcome additional thoughts on this topic!
As for using clickers (the “old-fashioned” kind, not smart phones) in a literature class, I think the key is not to think about multiple-choice questions necessarily having single correct answers, as they must when they appear on exams. Instead, think of a multiple-choice question as a way to begin and frame a discussion, particularly one that involves critical thinking on the students’ part. By posing a clicker question that asks students, for instance, to select from a set of choices why they think an author handled a topic in a certain way, you’re asking all students (whether that’s 15 or 50 or 500) to commit to the answer choice they feel is best. This warms the students up for small-group or classwide discussions in which they discuss reasons for and against each of the answer choices.
One could, of course, ask the same question and hear from a few student volunteers, but the level of participation and engagement among the students who don’t volunteer might not be the same.]]>
The *real* thing to worry about is that this hypothetical course would be the very last course I teach before a sabbatical. “Don’t bug me — go play with your iPods!”]]>