My exploration of iPod Touch for school library/classroom use continues.
I now have earphones with microphone and remote controls.
In the photo you can see the little bar that hangs off the earphone. On verso side is the mic – the smallest I’ve ever seen. I’ve experimented with speaking into it and talking with someone standing/sitting next to me: the mic’s ability is very good. As long as the person beside the mic-wearer isn’t mumbling, this mic will pick up their voice no problem. I’ve yet to experiment with voice + background noise which is a reality in classroom/library use.
The side of the mic that can be seen is the remote – from it the wearer can adjust the volume up and down with the + and – buttons. The large button in the centre is for fast forwarding/skipping/rewinding.
This bit of hardware has been essential for use with one of the apps that comes loaded on the iPod Touch – Voice Memo. It allows you to record audio notes and short readings. In fact I’m not sure how long you can record on Voice Memo for – I did a five minute reading and it hadn’t cut out so I’m supposing it can go for a decent length of time.
There is a slight disadvantage to this app in that you cannot rename files you’ve recorded so they are named by date and time only. On the upside, the app has a ‘Share’ function which means the sound file can be emailed to someone. You must set up one of your email accounts on the iPod Touch under Settings – Mail in order to do this.
I was curious to see what format the audio file would be and how one would open the sent file so emailed a trial off to my personal email address from my gmail. When I opened my laptop and email then the file (it was in an .m4a format) my iTunes automatically opened and played the file. Easy! I’ve also emailed a trial off to my work email to see how it might be opened from there. I don’t think I have iTunes loaded at work; something I may have to rectify and may have to include on all our computers at school.
Of course this probably isn’t the app for use in creating podcasts but I can see the value of messages, ideas, readings, stories being sent to/from a teacher/home /fellow student. This could be especially valuable for students with special needs and learning needs.
I just found a fantastic presentation on Mark Warner’s site Ideas to Inspire on ways of incorporating iPods into the classroom: Fifteen Interesting Ways to use an iPod Touch in the Classroom
I liked the idea of using Voice Memo to create collaborative stories. I’m going to give it a try in one of the library sessions in two weeks time. Sites and their ideas such as these are gold. Ultimately it’s not the apps but the practical applications that will sell the use of these technologies to teachers and institutions. Understanding and sharing how to incorporate the ICT tools into the pedagogy is the goal of my exploration.