Monday, May 29, 2006

Dad I need an iPod for school

Seven months ago, I would have thought the statement “Dad, I need an iPod for school would have been absurd. Today I would say it is almost believable. Another few years, an iPod may be as standard as pencil and paper. I know… you are thinking to yourself how in the world could a device that plays music be used in my child’s education. Stick with me.

Late October of 2005, I purchased my first iPod. I wanted to learn about podcasting and thought to understand the concept fully; I needed to have an iPod. I further justified the expense of the iPod by not having to purchase a new stereo for my truck. When my iPod arrived, I quickly downloaded all my music to my shiny new video iPod. Next, I subscribed to several podcast. Over the next several weeks, I discovered I was listening to more podcast than music. What a strange phenomenon. During one of the podcast I learned about, ( I thought to myself I would love to read The World is Flat again but don’t have the time to read it, I did however, have several hours each week driving in my truck so listening to the book made perfect sense.

Yesterday, I had several errands to run and several podcast to listen too. In fact on was a four part series by David Warlick. As the final podcast concluded, I was pulling into my driveway. I thought to myself that I had just turned an hour of what could have been non-productive time into an opportunity to learn.

Given the exploding popularity of podcasting in general and the fact that many early adopting educators are using podcasting in there classrooms, your student may never load music on their iPod. Okay, that is a little far fetched, but using an iPod to listen to a class assignment is on its way to being the norm. Hey, don’t take my word for it, judge for yourself. Jump on iTunes and look at the Education genre or the Education Podcast Network. (


John Evans said...

Hi Shawn,

Are you reading my mind?
Video Ipod - Check
Audible - Check
World is Flat - Check
Downloaded my music library - Check
Now listen to more podcasts than music - Check
Learning never stops - Check once again

My Ipod has been the one single learning tool investment that I would gladly recommend to any educator. I too spend alot of time in my vehicle in transit to and from meetings, etc. It makes the time dissappear quickly and the learning is constant. Only problem is having to pull over to write down the notes from shows like your own so I won't forget them. Now I just use the Olympus Voice recorder which I learned about from a podcast ... yours to be exact!

Enjoy your holidays as we slave away for another month up here in the Great White North!! ;-)

Cheers and Thanks


Peggy said...

Great points, Shawn. You have captured my experience exactly with your story about your iPod. I had no idea when I purchased mine that I would use it so much. I, like you, thought I would enjoy listening to music in my car. That was before podcasts and entered my life. Now I time my trips by how long a podcast is and calculate how many trips to the university I will have to take to get through an entire 6-hour book. Did you know that you can listen to iPods in elevators when you can’t talk on a cell phone (due to loss of reception)?? I laughed out loud as I listened to some of the great kid stories told by the Room 208 3rd/4th grade Scholars in their podcasts while driving down the road. I got all choked up as I listened to the Memorial Day Tribute of music and stories as I did my shopping at Sam’s Club—oblivious to all of the people around me. I’m sure people think I’m crazy, but I can’t believe how my life has changed with my iPod experiences. I now find myself thinking as I go through my day how I might be able to capture and share what I am doing through the use of technology—a completely new way of thinking for me although I’ve used computers and technology for a long time.

I participated in a week-long training session on teaching online/hybrid courses at the university. I captured the instructional pieces on my Olympus digital voice recorder, downloaded them to my iPod and listened to them several times after I got home each day practicing what I had learned. I listened to a webinar on Elluminate/Learning Times and recorded it with Audio HiJack Pro and downloaded it to my iPod to hear again. I listened to several news articles from the local newspaper podcasts which I had downloaded to my iPod because I never seem to find time to read them. I have always been an obsessive notetaker in meetings to help me stay focused and capture the important points to think about later. Now I find myself bringing along my recorder and capturing everything for download to my iPod which frees me up to actually think and respond during the meeting rather than just capturing it. Sure, I could bring along my laptop and capture the key points on it, but when you capture it with a recorder you don’t miss anything and you can hear it as many times as you want/need to. If we really only remember 62% of what we hear after one day as you stated in your podcast workshop, then I’m convinced that hearing it again will at least double the % I remember for much longer!

I have discovered that I have instant access to professional development based entirely on things I want to learn and I don’t have to travel to a workshop or conference to get it. I could never get to all of the fantastic tech conferences around the country to hear Wes Fryer or David Warlick share their insights, but I can do it with my iPod. I love the “motto” on Podcast for Teachers/Bronx/Techpod that they describe as “Professional Development on Demand/Teachers in Command.” That’s exactly what it has done for me! Your podcasts have inspired and motivated me to want to learn everything I can about ways to use this technology and I learn something new every week! Thanks and keep ‘em coming!