iTouches in the Classroom: Now What?

This week I had the pleasure of receiving some very important shipments to me at school, namely a classroom set of iPod Touches.  I was fortunate enough to receive these iTouches from a grant I had written a number of months ago.  Here’s what I’ve got (so far):

I don’t have any cases for the Touches, at least not yet anyway.  I’m a little concerned on whether or not they’d fit nicely in the Sync Cart.

Bretford Power Sync Cart
Mario Cart for iPods

So now, the challenging (but exciting!) task at hand is to figure out the logistical side of setting these up.  The key areas I’ll need to explore are:

  1. iTunes Account – Normally when setting up an iTunes account, you need a credit card to do so.  Obviously, I don’t want to use my own personal credit card, nor do I really want to rely on one school account I may not have access to.  I’ve heard of a way to set up an account without submitting a credit card initially and then purchasing apps solely by way of gift cards, but I also need to consider how other teachers might have access to this account.
  2. Syncing 33 iTouches – I’ve read that you can sync up to 5 iPods/iTouches on one iTunes account.  I hope I’m wrong.  If I’m not, this could become problematic.
  3. Classroom Guidelines – No other classroom in our school has a set of iAnything, so creating a classroom policy on how best to use these do-dads falls (happily) on my shoulders.  Since iTouches are an expensive and desirable investment, I’ll need to make sure all of my T’s are crossed and my lower case j’s are dotted.
  4. Go Shopping – I know there are billions of apps out there, I know.  But I want to be intentional and realistic about implementing these in my class for the rest of the year, which is – oh bye the way – only about 2 months long.  So, I want to pick and choose things that will actually be useful for classroom instruction and student learning, not just play Bejeweld for 4 blocks a day.

So, Educators, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your advice!

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10 thoughts on “iTouches in the Classroom: Now What?

  1. Hey there…
    I am a tech facilitator for K-5 in Illinois and we have been using this cart for just about a year now…I have a few resources for you that I would love to share. These just might be the biggest bang for our buck that we have implemented in the past couple of years (but I can’t wait for the iPad!)

    1. We set up a school account after purchasing gift cards. we also set up an email account that is specific to the itunes purchases. We use them for the entire school, so if teachers want a specific app, they write a request form out that gives a rationale and we load the app or song or movie on the main computer. This leads me to some good news for you:

    2. You can actually sync ALL 33 of the iPods to that main computer and load them ALL with the purchased apps/media, but you can only do 20 at a time.

    3. I have some great examples of how to use them in the classroom which I can direct message you on twitter.

    Have fun!

    1. Great advice Kathy. If you purchase one app, can you sync it to all your devices, or would I have to purchase it 33 times?

      1. Whizbang,

        I work with Kathy. As of now, you can sync the one purchase to all of the ipods. We sync the class set using the cart and teachers sync theirs by hooking up to the laptop on the cart.

    2. Hello Karen,
      I just received 20 ipod touches for the classroom and would love to hear about the resources you have been using this past year. We are the first elementary school to get them in our district and I am trying very hard to get the most bang for our buck so that we may purchase more in the 2010-2011 school year.

      Thank you,
      Sarah

  2. A link is included for a 12 page “Essential Elements of Effective iPod Touch Middle School Classrooms” document outlining our implementation and iPod touch use. I am the only teacher that uses them in EVERY class throughout the day.

    The most crucial management tool is the numbering of each iPod touch AND giving every student an iPod touch number. They must always take the same iPod touch. We have had one inappropriate use of a picture and with the ability to determine the exact time the picture was taken we were able to link it back to the student who had the iPod. Case solved. We also found that we could sync ALL 30 iPod touches at the same time. We have 15 touches in the top drawer and 15 in the bottom drawer. Plug each USB chord into the MacBook that sits on the top of the cart, and they are synced in mere minutes.

    After seven months of use in my classroom, students really use them as just another tool. Any word that shows up in our math textbook that they don’t know becomes an instant discussion or visit to the place via an app that I have found or an internet search.

    I look forward to expanding their use with the addition of thumbtack microphones. We will be using iPadio.com and its iPhone/iPod app to discover and share mathematical situations outside of our classrooms.

    The link for the document is below.

    http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1j4p2/EssentialElementsofE/resources/index.htm

    iPod touches are TRULY the most economically efficient educational tool available to educators!

  3. I would LOVE to glean from the knowledge of everyone as I too just received 25 iTouches, a carrying case to sync 20 at a time, and a MacBook Pro. Any advice would be GRAND!!
    Feel free to email at candace.townsley at owasso.k12.ok.us
    THANKS!

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