With iPods in the classroom,
students can be in two places at once
By Amber Grange
October 24, 2006 | Technology is exciting and intimidating.
As soon as you've mastered the newest technological
step, the technology world has pumped out new ideas
and tools. Apple's "iNation" is changing the way we
learn and communicate.
Today it seems that children are born with more technological
intelligence than before. Four-year-olds are able to
turn on a MAC, open the internet and watch their favorite
"Home Star Runner" video. Kids these days will never
know how to load film into a camera or have to wait
to see a picture until it is developed.
Some might look at convenience of new technology,
as inconvenient because things are easy, and not as
much work as they used to be. However, others are taking
these new ideas and running wild with them. Apple's
iPod has become a cultural icon changing the way we
listen to music, watch TV shows, and learn. Steven Levy,
a writer for MSNBC.com said, "To 3 million-plus owners,
iPods not only give constant access to their entire
collection of songs and CD's, but a membership into
an implicit society that's transforming the way information
will be consumed in the future. "
Victor Katch, a professor at the University of Michigan
said, "When you walk on campus, the ratio [of iPod Owners]
seems as high as 2 out of 3 people." With a ratio that
high on campus, professors are showing a new trend of
their own in virtual education.
Cali Scanlon, a recent graduate of Utah State University
said, "I love my iPod, I love being able to have access
to all sorts of music, podcasts, and TV shows. If I
had my homework on my iPod, studying would have been
Enter Podcasting. At Apple
they call it "Content to go". In the Article, "Podcasting
in Education", it says "there is a wide-range of education
content being developed and delivered by podcasting.
[Podcasts] can be regularly distributed over the internet
or within your school's network and access with an iPod,
laptop, or desktop computer." The article also said
instructors can easily create podcasts of daily assignments
and lectures and publish them for their students. Students
can also create their own podcasts to send to instructors
and other students.
In the article
"Podcast lectures for uni students" Bill Ashraf,
Ph.D., from Bradford University, said a move from traditional
lectures to podcasts will allow students to listen to
the lectures on their own time. Ashraf has eliminated
in-person lectures for his intro classes completely.
He records virtual lectures for students to download
as podcasts. The students can send him questions through
email or text and he answers everyone's question on
Zach Spencer, at Utah State University, listens to
MP3 files of his lecture material on his iPod while
doing regular activities like working or cleaning. He
said, "Being able to listen to your class material while
driving, or doing something like giving plasma, or going
to the gym, allows you to be in two places at once."
Spencer was able to study for an important exam while
waiting in rush hour traffic. Time he would have lost
if he didn't have that information on his iPod.
In an online blog discussion board, Tech
Dirt a user named Barry said this about podcasts,
"Instead of tired old lectures on bad days you will
have the best lecture [ the Professor's] ever given
on the subject, more so because its recorded and is
part of his legacy. You can start ,stop, pause, and
rewind, and do so in your PJ's at one in the afternoon
or two in the morning. Or group together as a class
or with your college buddies in the same curriculum."
Giving the student opportunities to listen to their
class material while doing everyday activities can help
students multi-task and help cut down their vigorous
student life schedule. They can study while long-boarding,
sunbathing, on breaks at work or relaxing on the Quad.
Students with children can listen to a supplementary
instruction session, without the stress of finding a
An easy-to-follow explanation of how to create a podcast,
when professors or students have something to say, is
or at Apple.