Friday, March 19, 2010

iPods for Hebrew

We have recently tried to incorporate the iPods into recordings that involve more than one person presenting at a time. Other than using the iPods for individual reading and/or speaking tests, we are now trying them in recording a whole group presenting, a debate for example.

We would like the next step in using the iPods to include the use of the video capability. Can we download a video from you tube and present it to the students as part of an exercise or a test? Can we download the Israeli news for example and have students respond to it? We need to research and learn if downloading of this kind is possible and how it can be done.

One of our high school Hebrew teachers used the iPods with her class, in a similar fashion to what we have been doing this year. The issues with the iPods are not with the students; once again, the frustration is at the teacher's level because of the interface with iTunes and the Mac. We have learned that if you choose the option of exporting the voice memos to the iTunes Library, then the recordings cannot be transferred to a flash drive (at least, we haven't figured out a way to do this!) The recordings have to be left on the iPod, and then the Mac reads the iPod as if it were another hard drive attached to the computer. These are the kind of technical issues with which the average teacher has a hard time. Once again, having tech support on site makes a difference, but this particular teacher said she really didn't want to have to go through the bother of using the iPods again.

This is the way with technology; some people can work through the problems whereas for others it's too stressful. However, this won't stop us from encouraging teachers to use them. They are a valuable tool, in spite of the tech problems.

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