Wednesday, March 31, 2010

iPods for Classrooms and School Libraries

Technology has dramatically changed the needs of today’s learners and the landscape of today’s libraries. Many libraries, such as mine, now have an online presence allowing students to access services remotely and on a 24/7 basis. So what changes are next? I believe that libraries still need to maintain a strong print collection, but I also believe that libraries need to stay on the cutting edge of technologies that support learning and achievement.

IPods made their début in October of 2001 and have been steadily increasing their uses and functionality. iPods have a strong presence in the classroom whether teachers like it or not. Why not use this technology to engage our learners?

Classrooms around North America have begun using iPods to make adaptations for learners with special needs. Teachers are also using iPods for podcasting in all subject areas increasing oral fluency and student engagement.

As more educators begin to use iPods, the resources available expand exponentially. Not only does Apple provide useful applications for K-12 educators (many for free!) but teachers are constantly finding new and exciting uses for this tool.

This tool also has exciting implications for school libraries. The iPod allows libraries to expand their collections to audiobooks. Audiobooks increase student’s access to books that may be above their reading level, books that are so popular that they can’t stay on the shelf, and librarians from the chronic overdue chase! Audiobooks automatically get returned to the library circulation server when the lending period expires. iLearn, a technology edublog, states,

“Online Audio Stories will help increase student vocabulary and improve listening comprehension skills. Students may not choose to pick up these classics in the library, but they will enjoy listening to the stories online. This is great exposure to the classics! If you have computers in your classroom, set them up as a reading/listening center that students can visit during silent reading time. Because the Online Audio Stories are free to download, these are also perfect for downloading to an iPod or MP3 player.”

A fellow blogger, Ojeda-Zapata, commented on how iPods in an elementary classroom renewed student interest in Math and Spelling activities.

Patty Blome noted in her blog that iPods are invaluable tools for providing podcasts of classroom lessons for absent students.

For further exploration of what iPods can do for your classroom or library, check out these following links:

Five ideas for using your iPod in the Classroom

iPods in the Classroom

iPod Usage in Classrooms

Rethinking Reading- Teacher Tube Video