Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Itunes U and Duke's Use of Ipods

At its core, iTunes University is a pocketable resource to dozens of the nation's top colleges and universities. iTunes University in conjunction with an iPod or iPhone creates a hand-held learning resource. Just this morning, I listened to Get Smart with Smart Boards and an interview with Game Designer Jane McGonigal about ARGs on the way to school via my iPod through the speakers of my car. Without it, I would have been bobbing my head aimlessly to "Toes" by the Zac Brown Band. Instead, I was able to do homework during my commute-- multitasking at its best.

After distributing hundreds of 20 GB iPods to an incoming freshman class as part of a project to discover potential ways to innovate technology into the classrooms, Duke University found that students used the recording device, music database, and hard drive storage capability most. To me, the most handy part about distributing the iPods to students was that teachers were able to preload class lectures, foreign language content, historical speeches, relevant songs, and podcasts. Students could also use it to store mathematical equations and examples, particularly if the teacher recorded class notes on a smart-board or powerpoint.

I think the most significant conclusion I drew from reading about Duke's iPod Initiative and iTunes University is that my generation is expected to multitask now more than ever. Just like Karl Fisch with Did You Know 4.0, Duke University realizes that students must learn to be as efficient with their time as possible in order to be effective and successful. Duke's investment in new technologies for their students serves multiple purposes: to give students a gateway to become familiar with the technologies of tomorrow, to enable students to take learning beyond dorm rooms, libraries, and classrooms, as well as to support students in their uphill battle to do multiple things at once (like studying French while running on a tredmill).

***Notes and Questions
1.) What is a blackboard course management tool?
2.) Led me to research the iPod Touch on Wired, where I learned about the upcoming iPod Touch 3G. It has me eagerly anticipating the newer version!

1 comment:

  1. 2. Which issue of Wired. When Apple adds a video camera to the iTouch, I will probably require it for this course. Much cheaper than an unused textbook!
    1. It contains lots of prepackaged software for use by students and teachers. Not especially impressive in my opinion. At least not for the creative classrooms I think we need.

    Duke's experiment is most valuable, I believe, because it shows how powerful technology can be if it is in the hands of the students. That, I think, is the lesson to be learned.