Archive for the ‘iPods’ Category


I’m not going to resist writing about this device, but I will riPhone from Appleeserve my kudos of Apple’s iPhone for a later time. As many of us that have been around mobile devices know, and as was discussed by Karen Fasimpaur and Tony Vincent at the Mid-Atlantic Handheld Conference last summer, the convergence of devices typically diminishes some of the best features of a device. Only time will tell. These are my initial thoughts on the iPhone after watching the keynote presentation.

I am curious about the iPhone because of what I feel is a strong point for Apple, they control the software and the hardware for their products. I must admit that a mobile device running OS X is definitely worth a looksee. The new technology involved with this device is definitely intriquing with sensors that respond to basic uses such as the accelerometer (is this the same accelerometer in the Nike+iPod?), proximity detector and ambient light sensors. These are great innovations for mobile devices, but hardly a selling point for education. My cellphone has been difficult to get audio files (read podcasts) loaded. Hence the reason I still carry three devices, hey, call me Batman. I do like my iPod and have been playing a bit with a pretty cool tool shared by Will Richardson called MogoPop, which has, dare I say it, potential for learning via iPods. I didn’t come across anything about the iPhone being able to handle documents, spreadsheets and other files through the multi-touch screen. Of course, I assume it can still be used as a drive to carry all sorts of files. The 4GB to 8GB is to be expected for such a device, but hardly compares to the 30-80GB iPods some students in the schools in our area carry to class to transfer audio/video projects.

Chew on this:

  1. The fine print located at the bottom of the iPhone page: “This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.
  2. Developers are not welcome. What is great about the Windows Mobile OS and Palm OS is that it allows for third party developers for applications, which is very important for educators using mobile devices.

Whatdya think?


iPods 1 — Handhelds 0

AP Photo/David ZalubowskiThat's the score when we look at this use for Apple's video iPod compared to trying to use a handheld. This is awesome. There is no question as to why someone would want an iPod over a "traditional" handheld when you consider what the Colorado Rockies (and I'm sure others) baseball team has done with collecting and downloading opposing hitters and pitchers video to their players iPods. What else would they use? These players are constantly on the go from city to city, bus to plane and have a lot of down time in the clubhouse and hotel rooms. Wouldn't you want your student's or student-athlete's time occupied with learning this way? This is ubiquitous learning.

It's only a matter of time before schools adopt this type of use of iPods. I can imagine it starting with athletics… I already have loaded my sons wrestling matches on his 60 GB device so he can watch and learn from. I can see football coaches loading "film" on iPods for players to study. It would then trickle to other areas of education as Tim Wilson writes at The Savvy Technologist. (I hope it happens in reverse, but as we can see MLB is ahead of most of education).

If you know me, I have consistently asked the question "why are schools choosing the iPod over a Palm or Windows Mobile handheld?" As I mentioned in my post "To iPod or not to iPod" I mentioned that storage size is a major feather in the iPod's cap. This doesn't mean that a handheld can't handle video, it simply can't handheld the quality or amount of video an iPod can at this time. It also means that handhelds have a way to go until they are as seamless as iTunes and the iPod. This sure to be discussed (and already has) further.

To iPod or Not to iPod?

I have regenerated this post as it is still a raging question in my mind as more and more schools are taking to iPods for various reasons. I regenerate this also to open the question to Mobilemind-ed readers as well as to my fellow educators who are considering iPods as THE solution. As this was a post from another blog… edTech Classroom it may seem dated.

Please comment with your thoughts. – Brian

To iPod or Not to iPod?

That is the question I had after attending a session on the uses of Apple's iPod in education at NYSCATE. Being someone who has experience with using handhelds I found this an interesting topic. Handhelds, as I have come to refer to them, are also known as personal digital assistants (PDA), Pocket PC's, or one of my pet peeves… Palm Pilots. They are, simply, computers that you can hold in your hand (hence, handheld computer). While I think iPods fit this description, I don't feel they are as useful as a handheld computer that runs on the Palm OS or Windows Mobile (a.k.a. – Pocket PC).

The iPod does have features and functions much like a PDA except the ability to input data through the iPod itself. I can use my PocketPC or Palm handheld to do all the things an iPod can do and more. In addition to keeping personal information (i.e.- calendar, contacts, to do, etc.) a handheld can record audio for podcasts, show video, read .pdf documents, create documents, spreadsheets & presentations, and most handhelds can take photos and video with the right accessories. Compare the differences:

Apple iPods vs. Handheld Computers

  iPod Handheld
DigitalMusic Yes Yes
Photos Yes Yes
Video Yes Yes
.pdf Yes Yes
Read/Write Yes/No Yes/Yes
Memory <60GB> <1-2GB>
Phone No Yes
Internet No Yes
Screen Size 2.5" >2.5"

When you compare the functions available on the iPod and on a handheld computer it seems that the handheld makes more sense for classrooms. So why this phenomenon? What is special about the iPod? When the iPod came out 4 years ago there were mp3 players with less than 128 MB of memory. Now Apple offers an iPod comes with 60 GB of memory that plays video. I believe it lies in the marketing. Apple was genius to "rope in" the millenial generation with a cool digital music player with a ton of memory. It seems that the only advantage an iPod has over a "traditional" handheld computer is that it has so much more memory. I don't believe that this kind of memory for a handheld is too far behind. It is cool, it is sleek, the millenials love it and will keep purchasing the next generation iPod. Given the attempt to combine iTunes and a phone [the ROKR] the next generation iPod may look more like a handheld. Only Steve Jobs will tell.