Wednesday, February 28, 2007

iPods in the Classroom

Last week we spoke about some of the wide range of uses the ubiquitous iPod is being put to.

In 2004, Duke University in the US gave all students iPods as part of a program to determine how iPods could help students learn. This program was successful and gave way to the Duke Digital Initiative, in which faculty encourage students to use hand-held technology such as iPods, tablet PCs and video cameras to collaborate on projects and in other coursework. As a result student are now creating multi media papers and podcasts. This is turn is influencing they way subjects are being taught and learnt.

This year, Stanford University launched Stanford on iTunes, which provides Stanford-specific audio content, including lectures, campus events, book readings, and even podcasts of Cardinal football games. Students at the University of Washington can download lectures and this trend is spreading to others such as the University of Michigan. Mansfield University uses the iPod as a recruitment tool to promote the campus.

As universities and schools start to embrace the iPod and developing technology the question comes back to the provision of the digital content. Importantly this increasingly must fit within a VLE environment that delivers the right material to the meet the right need at the right time.