The students continue to express their support and enjoyment in working with the iPods. They like the ability to review their work and the private “stress free” environment they offer.
From the teachers’ point of view however, some challenges are starting to arise.
The iPods require work with Macs. As someone who is used to and likes working with Windows, the Mac can be very frustrating. Simple tasks like opening and deleting files can be hard to do if no “Mac expert” is available to show you. Becoming familiar with the Mac and its usage is an ongoing learning curve. Luckily we have very good tech support in our school, because we have an ICT Department Head who is also knowledgeable about Apple computers.
The iPod cart also presents challenges. When connected to the computer, sometimes not all iPods show up and then the teacher is missing files. The transfer of files from the Mac to the teachers’ flash drives (so they can take it home/to their class to listen) takes time. In a busy and hectic schedule, this is one more “chore” to do.
As for the iPods themselves, when they are used by multiple classes and teachers, you have to be very cautious when it comes to deleting files. It requires attention and coordination between teachers and classes to make sure each teacher gets his own files and nothing gets lost or mixed up.
Lastly, in this era of hygiene and H1N1 threats, the teachers need to make sure the iPods stay clean and well managed (it is helpful, for example, when students use their own headset/earbuds).
We would like to take this to the next level of creating videos that the students can see on their iPods, but first we have to take baby steps in implementing the program.