The iPod Touch brings a new dimension to teaching and learning in the science or math classroom – Mobile Learning! No longer are students required to only learn within the confines of their classroom when using this digital tool.
One advantage of these digital devices is portability. This advantage supports the basic tenant of mobile learning. Students explore, investigate, problem solve, and complete assignments from anywhere within or outside the classroom.
A second advantage for using an iPod Touch in science or math classrooms is the motivation students experience when using these devices to learn. This is primarily due to the personalized nature of the device through independent learning, self-expression, and creativity.
Teaching Strategies: How to take Advantage of this Digital Tool
These four teaching strategies take advantage of the power of an iPod Touch to address multiple learning styles in science and math.
- Engage students in active authentic, real-world tasks about content issues which are of interest to them (i.e., project based learning, problem solving, or inquiry based learning).
- Link the processes of student creative media work and critical analysis (i.e., Digital Storytelling, Screencasting, Podcasts, etc.).
- Teach students abstract concepts through the regular connection of observation, experience, and discussion (VoiceThread, Skype, Glogster, SlideShare, iPod Apps, etc.).
- Routinely use of visual, print, and aural for learning and expression (i.e., Vimeo, Animoto, SlideShare, Flash Cards, Teacher Tube, iMovie, Flickr, etc.)
Learning Strategies: Using Web 2.0 Tools with the iPod Touch
Learning strategies which use web 2.0 tools support the basic tenant of mobile learning with an iPod Touch. Students can use this digital device to create, view, or investigate concepts using the following strategies.
- Digital Storytelling – linking project based learning, problem solving, and inquiry based learning with digital storytelling is natural. The integration of digital storytelling technology motivates students, allows them to easily share their work, and encourages collaborative learning. Students can create digital stories with their iPod Touch to explain their problem solving procedures, investigative findings, answers, and conclusions.
- Online Learning – the iPod Touch comes with Safari internet browser for searching for science and math online learning resources. Students can access search engines for finding images, Google, and simulations for learning concepts. One neat tool helps adapt websites to the iPod – Skeezer.com.
- Podcasting – is as an alternative to digital media such as videos, voice, or images. Podcasts created by students provide a digital medium for student expression of concepts, projects, and related themes. Students can use their iPod Touch to record the audio portion of a podcast and then link their audio with videos and images.
- Apps – these programs turn the iPod Touch a learning tool which can be used anytime and anywhere. Many apps are free, while the remaining apps are typically less than two dollars. Samples for science and math include Wolfram Alpha, along with: 10 iPod Apps for the Science Classroom and 10 iPod Apps for the Math Classroom.
- Multisensory Learning – integrating videos, podcasts, and pictures in lessons help students through the use of multisensory learning. These tools allow the use or online resources which are not typically available in any classroom. Students can use their iPod Touch to access these online resources in wireless classrooms, in their home, or anywhere else they have wireless access to the web.
Why use the iPod Touch in science and math is evidenced by its connectedness with teaching and learning. This is confirmation is based on the idea of Bloom’s Taxonomy for the digital age, which focuses primarily on the use of digital tools (such as the iPod Touch) to support higher order thinking skills.