iPod touch and Homepages

Many teachers have a class homepage because it is a place where they can share information, assignments, and web links. Teachers with a set of iPod touches can make a similar homepage that is formatted to work well on the iPod's screen. There are many different tools out there to help you build a mobile page. My favorite is Wirenode.

Wirenode is a free service and that not only provides a way to build a page, but it hosts it as well. You get to pick a URL and when someone visits that URL, Wirenode actually detects what kind of device is accessing the site and formats the page to look just right. Here's a simple classroom example page I made at Wirenode.com:

Wirenode Example

A homepage is immensely helpful as it's really not fun for students to type in long web addresses using the iPod touch's onscreen keyboard. Now that you watched my video about how to link to items within iTunes, you can certainly use that knowledge to link to podcasts and apps in your Wirenode site.

When you create a site, you get a WYSIWYG page editor that has text formatting tools along with buttons for hyperlinking and importing images. Below is what the site looks like as I'm editing it in my desktop web browser.

Wirenode Editor

After editing my site in Wirenode, there is a Publish button. The second after I click that button, my Wirenode site is instantly updated. I know in a classroom setting things can be very last minute. As a teacher, I can add links to my class Wirenode site over lunch and then the links are instantly published and available for the afternoon science class. To give students one-tap access to my homepage, I'd have students add a bookmark on each iPod touch's Home screen as a web clip.

Wirenode is simple enough that you can probably dive right in and get started. For those that want a little tutorial, wirenode.com provides a brief tour.

Yes, you can view full-sized web pages on an iPod touch. But, using Wirenode makes it simple to instantly share links with iPod touch-using students and they won't have to pinch, zoom, or scroll much to find those links.

12 Days of iPod touch continues tomorrow when I share my thoughts on iPods versus netbooks.