Third and fourth graders in Mrs. Adams' class at Albertville Elementary School in Alabama were teased with "The Surprise is Coming" on their classroom website. The surprise was a class set of iPods, a charging cart, and accessories! Diane Adams' gifted classroom is one of the first in her district to be outfitted with technology from $750,000 worth of funds that will be spent on technology over the next three years. I read about Diane Adams' class in the Sand Mountain Reporter.
One of the first things the iPods were used for was sharing enhanced podcasts. As I've commented before on newspaper articles like this one, it seems that the iPods are not necessary for the enriched learning taking place. However, if the iPods weren't there for students to consume each other's great productions, those projects may not have happened at all or may not have been as "cool" and exciting to do. There's extra motivation when students know what they create on a computer will end up on an iPod. But, those same products can certainly be consumed on a computer--teachers don't need thousands of dollars worth of iPods to have their students create podcasts, movies, and slide shows.
As you probably know, iPods can do much more than just play music and videos. Diane Adams' students are discovering just what iPods are capable of. As one Albertville's students explains:
"When we first heard about the iPods, I thought, 'why are we going to listen to music in class?' I never knew you could do stuff like this!"