I Didn’t Know You Could do That with an iPod–notes

June 27, 2007

Below are my notes from Tony Vincent’s presentation. I have a recording that I will upload later. I will also load this to GoogleDocs. This will probably not happen until tomorrow as I try to get to a couple of more session today and I am flying back to Dallas tonight. Overall it was great. As those attending, especially those sitting on the floor or standing in the back against the wall.


UPDATE: Recording of the presentation. Also available at the Final Curve podcast.




I didn’t know you could do that with an iPod



Tony Vincent

Omaha, NE

Fifth grade and tech specialist


Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s611



Last year left school to do presentation and conferences full-time

Join retired teachers at Willowdale Elementary School


Things you may not know–beyond audio and video

  1. Audio tip
    1. Transfer all CD from music programs to iTunes
    2. Go into preference
      1. Choose advance tap and import
      2. Import CD and eject
        1. Sucks all music off CD and then ejects when done
  2. Podcasts
    1. Learning in Hand–Troy’s podcast
      1. Downloading videos
      2. Customizing the main menu
      3. iPod shuffle tips
      4. Hard disk mode
      5. iQuiz
      6. Notes
      7. The 5 Rs of Troubleshooting
      8. RSS Feeds
      9. Slide Shows
      10. Understanding DRM
      11. Voice Recorders
      12. Free Audio on the Web
    2. Raido WillowWeb
    3. Out City Podcasts
  3. Sync Address Book and Calendar
    1. Select iPod on left tab
    2. Under Contact you can sync Calendar and Contacts
    3. Click apply when done creating settings
    4. On iPod go to Extras, then Calendars
      1. Flag means event
      2. Scroll to and select with center button
    5. On iPod go to Extras, then Contacts
      1. Works the same
      2. Section for notes on Contact section
      3. Students can create glossary by replacing contact information with words and definitions
      4. Create historical contact for historical figures
  4. Photos
    1. Created States PowerPoint
      1. Converted to jpeg
      2. Create folder titled State flashcards
      3. May need to rename individual files to ensure leading zeros to keep in desired order
        1. Ex. 001 not simply 1
    2. Select photos tab
      1. Select all or State flashcards folder
      2. Sync photos
    3. On iPod select photos
      1. Go to State Flash Cards
    4. Can be teacher made or student created
    5. Can use any PowerPoint or flash card idea
      1. Need to remember text side
    6. A group created a tip calculator using images
      1. It looks as if it is calculating, but is actually a series of images
      2. Title slide stated to spin to begin
    7. ColorWheel
      1. Same idea
  5. Hard disk mode
    1. Flash drive or external hard drive
    2. Connect iPod
      1. Check enable disk use
      2. Works just as a normal flash drive
      3. Must now manually eject disk
        1. My computer–drive F or E
          1. Can create folders for storage organization
        2. Can eject via iTunes also
  6. Notes
    1. Create notes for viewing on iPod
      1. List of Prepositions
      2. Text document only
      3. Under Hard disk mode drag and drop to Notes folder
    2. Create a list of preposition, vocabulary words, ect
    3. 4000 character limit per file
    4. www.ipod-notes.com
      1. Will convert to a series of files
    5. www.iPodPress.com
      1. Cost money, but lots of documents for viewing
      2. US Constitution–free doc
      3. References, cliff notes, etc
    6. www.anchorfree.com
      1. Zips a file showing wifi locations in a give areas
      2. Free
      3. No maps all text
  7. RSS feeds
    1. Mac users
      1. iFeedPod–free
      2. does not run with iTunes, separate program
    2. PC users
      1. iPodSync–$17 cost
      2. Runs same as above, separate from iTunes
    3. Connect iPod
      1. Launch iFeedPod or IpodSync
      2. Does not use iTunes
    4. Syncs all RSS feed entered
    5. Eject iPod from computer
    6. Go to notes
      1. Loads new notes, could take some time to load
    7. Sorts by blog feed
  8. Quizzes
    1. Video iPods only
    2. Under games on iTunes–$0.99
      1. Pay for quiz, can sync on multiple iPod if synced on same computer that you downloaded
    3. iQuiz maker–create your own quizzes
      1. Will drain batter
      2. Create quiz with multiple choice answers
        1. Can design to display correct answer if answered incorrectly
        2. Can play multiple times
          1. Keeps track of how you do each time
          2. Displays latest, record, or average
      3. www.iquizmaker.com
        1. Mac or PC
        2. Multiple choice, true false
      4. www.iquizshare.com
        1. Share the quizzes your create
      5. Kaplan has released similar program
        1. $4.99 each program
  9. Interactive Content
    1. Choose your own adventure type game
    2. iWriter–$30 for Mac of PC
      1. www.talkingpanda.com
    3. www.Mogopop.com
      1. Another alternative
  10. Much more available his podcast and website

New Tools, New Schools: Starting the …

June 26, 2007

New Tools, New Schools: Starting the Conversation about Web 2.0




Gwen Solomon, TechLearning.com with Timothy Magner, Will Richardson, Lynne Schrum and David Warlick


Technorati tag: necc, n07s702




  • Blogs motivate kid, real work changes classroom
  • Kids need to become learning environment
  • Challenges, yeah buts,
    • Lack of tech, admin understanding, time
    • Even though a lot of teacher who use these tools, pedagogy has not changes
      • Transfer from paper to cpu
    • Skills require deep understanding by teachers and admin in their own practice
    • Halfway down the road
      • Understand tools
      • Need to understand pedagogy



  • Staff development–topic
  • The kids are different, teachers are not
  • It is about respecting the audience
    • On-line handouts via wikis
    • Share password, respect audience to add to content
    • Tag presentation to draw in audience
  • Aggregator for del.ic.ious
    • NECC is emergence of learning, cannot turn around without learning
  • No one tool, always something new to facilitate learning


Schrum–higher ed representative

  • Technology is fun, but does it improve student learning
    • Not a lot of evidence on the bottom line, which is unfortunately test scores
    • How do we document this success
    • Everyone has stories, need documentation
    • How do we get the story out
  • Pre-Service piece
    • Need models
    • Research does show that educators will do anything to help students learn if they believe a task works
  • How do we do this?
    • Good models specific to content
      • Math, social studies, etc
      • Tools and teaching in each subject is different
      • Key is collaboration
      • Researchers willing and desire to work with teachers who use this new technology


Gwen Solomon

  • Need for models
  • Wonderful new tools, give new capabilities to teachers and kids that provide new experiences
  • One thing if principals and administrators tell teachers something works
  • Different if teachers tell each other, via stories



Timothy Magner

  • Everyone today went through industrial education for industrial society
  • None of us has idea who information school looks like
  • No common entry point
    • People know what school is like (football, prep assemblies, etc)
    • People know what Web 2.0 is
    • What is school 2.0?
  • School 2.0
    • Links home, school, community
    • Potential to fundamentally alter school
    • Cannot embrace everything or will lose mission, must embrace some to change dynamic of structure
    • What are students going to do in 6 hrs that will meet their needs?
      • Empowering education system not buying cool toys no one can use
    • Global community discussion
      • Teachers, administrators, parents–all must be involved
    • Visual world, need to create a common visual of this idea
      • Sketch is just that, must allow for something to be erased, added, collaboratively creative





  • Send your stories, experiences to: Gwen_and_lynne_book2@yahoo.com
  • David Jakes
    • Five guys on skype chatting about the panel while it is going on
    • Using it as idea to bounce ideas off each other
    • Using web 2.0 as professional development
  • Richardson
    • Must use the tools to understand networking
      • Myspace for better of worse is networking
    • How to engage ethically, safely is question
    • Teachers must be comfortable in personal, professional way
      • New tools transfer the power of learning
      • Teachers must engage in the technology so they can express the power of transfer to students
  • Magner
    • Technology allows for a lot of informal learning
      • Using Google to answer a question at lunch
    • Artificial discussions b/w home learning, after school learning, in-class learning
  • Schrum
    • Until people are comfortable in using these technologies they will not using them



  • Garrett (Gary) Brown–Sydney
    • Want to embrace web 2.0, noting will be blocked
    • Leadership team is required to blog as professional development
    • Building schools with open plans and learning teams
    • Seen bad uses of web 2.0 just for the sake of using web 2.0
    • Invite anyone who wants to join
      • Catholic school
    • School director taken some flack for opening all site
      • Principals discuss openly what myspace accounts and videos on youtube he or she has seen with students
      • Deters students from improper use of such tools
  • College student from Washington
    • Wants social network that will allow students to work and study together
    • Implementing www.scriptovia.com
    • Plagiarism is an issue
    • Looking for teacher input
  • Skip Olson, Minneapolis–retired guy
    • Sees schools as spirit killers
    • Unless we change the business of school as learning environments…
      • 9-3, aug-may
    • these wonderful tools and opportunities will be shut down at school door
  • John Henderson, 32 years old
    • Did not know a world where VCR was difficult
    • Right now parents and students are becoming the same way
    • Do not know if we can be patient enough to wait for schools to change
  • Parent, created website for his kid’s school
    • Website was form of communication
      • Dates, handouts, volunteer opportunities
    • Parents now pushing teachers to keep up
    • www.Thegroupery.com
  • Parent/Rutgers University instructor
    • Key is pre-service teachers
    • Have no idea of Web 2.0 apps
      • Google docs
    • By spring they are comfortable and have their own stories
  • Scott Garagan, Pennsylvania
    • Job is professional development
    • Face time is an issue
    • Library sites are great
      • Maryland create system to teach web 2.0 applications
      • Step by step, check the box system
      • Twenty-three tasks to complete
      • Library 2.0–google to locate
  • Question for panel members
    • Potential entrepreneur educators, is this something on the horizon that will challenge the current design
    • Lynne Schrum
      • No, system of education is so engrained that it does not allow challenges
      • Some charter school, but not much difference
    • Tim Magner
      • A lot of new models in charters, home school, etc
      • Challenge is how to make alternatives within the system
      • It is like diet and exercise
        • Must have incentive to make change (i.e. new swimsuit)
      • 2/3 People without kids in system, they do not see the need for change to system
    • Gwen Solomon
      • Web 2.0 tools will force systemic change
      • Again hitting the need for models
  • Edutopia has several video examples on-line
    • Ex. acme animation hooks up students with professional animators
  • Teacher from N. Carolina
    • Used United Streaming to demonstrate glass blowing
    • Kids where reading story, character was glass blower, they had no concept of the glass blowing industry
  • David Jakes


The Discussion of Web 2.0 and School 2.0

June 26, 2007

So I am a little frustrated because I have been better about typing blog posting, but I have not been able to submit them because by old blog has been having issues. After giving it some time I have decided to abandon the old site and create a new site. I will be uploading my previous post just as soon as I can get logged-in to the site. Anyway, on to bigger things.

Yesterday I particiapted in a great full-day training session with SMART Technologies (post to come). Our school began using SMART Boards shortly after I began at the school, and I have had a SMART Board for a year and a half. I do not want to ruin the anticipation post divulging my content now, but it was a worthwile session.

Considering this, today was my first day at the sessions at the GWCC. I started of with a bang. I attended the Web 2.0 panel discussion hosted by Gwen Solomon of TechLearning.com with Timothy Magner, Will Richardson, Lynne Schrum and David Warlick. The quality of the information sitting behind the tabel is great. Also of great quality is the variety and quality of ideas in the audience. The overall theme I took away from the discussion is that we must demand and force a change in the education system. The views from the panel represented an empowering statement. Will Richardson make the statement of the day by saying that blogs and similar technology empower students by creating real work. The problem lies in the “yeah, buts”. To me this is a great attitude. While plenty of people are willing to embrace new technology, too many people allow obsticales to deter their motivation. This to me in the problems.

I agree with those who stated that school is in need for reform. To me this is a leadership issue. Either you are willing to adapt and make the change or you are not a leader. I admire school districts such as Garrett or Gary Brown from Sydney who spoke during the session. Apologies for the first name, difficulty to hear somethings clearly. Mr. Brown explained how his district choose not to battle with blocking websites and opened everything. Rather than just stick their head in the sand, they educate their students on the information available on these site and their administrators use this technology. This is great leadership. ( Mr. Brown, send me your email and I will not only correct your name, but would love to stay in contact with you.)

Aside from leadership is the issue of models. I agree that colleges are the best at resisting change. As Gwen Solomon stated currently exists a need for models. While many in education are doing great things, we need to provide universities with models to use for training purposes for upcoming teachers. So I encourage everyone reading this blog to email Gwen with your best story. By sharing the stories we can change the culture and begin the EDUCATION REVOLUTION.

Below are my published under GoogleDocs and I will soon have the podcast recording I made.

Enjoy your day,

New Blog site

June 26, 2007

I am at NECC trying to post a couple of blogs postings before I attend a web 2.0 panel.  Unfortunately I am having issues with my edublog account.  I have been having this problem for the past couple of weeks and out of frustration I am going to transfer my blog to this site.  I am looking to be more consistent this year and after one day at NECC I have enough ideas that will last me until the end of the first quarter of school.  Anyway, I trust the transition for those of you who subscribe will be easy.   Those new to this blog, welcome.

iPod as an education tool: year one reflections

June 13, 2007

Our school has recently finished the first year of our iPod initiative. This program issues iPods to students for use in classrooms and for educational purposes. I had my perceptions and observations of the program, but felt that it is important to get the perceptions and observations from the students. As the first year of the program we only issued the iPods to Freshman students and during their English classes the Freshman completed a survey I created with the recommendations from others in our technology department. The survey has multiple goals; primary of which is to assess the students ease of use and type of use. This is because the success of the program is for the benefit of the students. The second main goal was to understand the level of use by the various disciplines. After all, the success of the program is dependent on teacher incorporation. In general the results were positive, reassuring, and helpful in planning for next year.

Student previous technology experience and growth of knowledge:

In breaking down the program the first item of my concern is student technology knowledge. Prior to the start of this program my assumption and perception of student technology knowledge is that students already know how to use such technologies and can figure out programs through repeated use. I based part of my assumption on my perceptions of the students in my classroom. I began using podcasting and blogging as a tool for education two years ago. I consider myself a digital native, I grew-up with Apple IIe, Oregon Trail, and the original Nintendo. I taught myself how to use the websites and software commonly included in Web 2.0 applications. When I introduced these applications to my class, it never occurred to me to teach the students how to use the websites. It took a short time for my students to became proficient in these application and shortly after that other teachers became curious about how I my students used such tools. I noticed that with many teachers the first question was how long it took me to teach my students how to use the sites and applications. It was only then I reflected on my assumption and actions, or lack of.

Based on these experience I held the same assumption with the iPods: students know how to use such technology and with time they will figure out more practical uses through experience. The results of the student survey supported my theory. The average student response was in agreement or strong agreement that they previously have used an iPod or MP3 player. While not as high statistically, student response was also between agree and strongly agree for comfortable using various technologies and instant messaging. Students also supported my belief that repeated use allows for comfort in applications. It is no surprise that the viewing and downloading of video and audio files received a high comfort rating. What is encouraging is the increase in comfort in using the flash drive component of the iPod. Previous technology experience identifies flash drive use with a 3.81 rating our of 5. In the growth of technical knowledge category using the iPods as a portable flash drive earned a 4.18 rating out of 5. While this is not a statically substantial increase, it shows that positive growth occurs. As a school that prides itself on the student technology use, the growth of student technical knowledge in the Freshman year is a step in the right direction.

Types of use in the classroom:

More important to me was how students use iPods and in what classes. The top five uses, according to the ratings, are 1) viewing presentations and/or images, 2) portable hard drive, 3) view text or written documents, 4) listen to audio for foreign language classes, and 5) as an audio recording device. All of these scored above 2.75 out of a 5 point scale demonstrating regular use over the course of the grading period. The use of the iPod as a portable hard drive and to view presentations, such as Power Points, scored on a regular monthly use. These results mirror those aspects the students feel are most beneficial. An overwhelming majority felt the using the iPod to view presentations and as a portable hard drive is a benefit. A majority of students also felt listening to educational audio and viewing text is a benefit. Surprising to me, recording audio did not meet a majority level as a benefit, but I feel that is because of the lack of awareness by teachers on how to use this tool rather than anything else.

Year two:

Our school has already taken the steps to prepare for the program next year. While the students demonstrated how they feel an iPod is best used in education and that they are comfortable with the technology, they also relayed to us that not all of the teachers are comfortable. To educate the teachers and increase a comfort level for them our school is offering two training session this summer. I will present the first workshop next week, before NECC, and one after the conference in the middle in July. I feel that summer training sessions are great for several reasons. The first is that excuses are more difficult to form when the stress of lesson planning and grading are absent. Another is that optional, summer sessions allow those willing to take the time to prepare for the success of such programs to demonstrate this desire. I hesitate to require such sessions, because then you often get people who do not care about the program. We will be following up on these summer sessions during our in-service week prior to the start of school and with sessions through out the school year as well.

I have created a wiki, password is education, to aid these workshop and I will keep you updated as to the results of these workshop. I would love to hear your comments on using iPods as an educational tool and invited you to contribute your ideas to the wiki.

Do not Blame technology

June 6, 2007

I previously read an article reporting that schools have began banning iPods in an attempt to outsmart cheaters. The article published on eSchool News Online and redirected to Yahoo News (unable to locate orginal article, but located a copy published by USA Today) stats that schools are aware that students are now using this technology to cheat on exams in a variety of fashions. Among the list of methods include playing audio that provides the student with test answers, and saving the text so students can view the information on screen. Considering that cell phones have provided similar concerns, I am not surprised that some schools have to resort to these actions. I am surprised that this is news worthy. To me the fact that this is news worthy raises a few concerns.

My first concern is with the types of assessments that teachers administer. While I understand that until the College Board, ETS and other test companies find a better format to assess students; or until school districts actually spend time creating assessments that demonstrate actual knowledge teachers will continue to administer multiple choice exams. I admit it, I give one a quarter. I hate them. Personally I think that multiple choice exams dumb down the information and do not allow students to demonstrate actual knowledge. Whenever I think of a multiple choice exams I recall the lesson prescribed by my fourth grade teacher. “When in doubt, pick C.” Unfortunately there is a science to passing such exams and by not providing my students an opportunity to practice these skills I am hurting their chances to perform. What is the answer? Simply: spend more time organizing projects. Project allow students to prove actual knowledge and eliminate students from sneaking by on guessing. Until the society begins to challenge the industry that has become educational testing, and do not fool yourself it is an industry, this will not change. I am not going to spend the time detailing how mind numbing multiple choice exams. For more information on this topic read an article by my wife or Wesley Fryer.

My second concern is with the daily actions of the teachers. I trust that this is not a news flash, but people cheat. Not students, but people. People cheat the laws with they do not regard them as necessary and do not feel a high level of concern for being caught. Ever speed? That is cheating. I speed…a lot. If I am trying to make up time and do not perceive a threat to others or myself based on the environment (weather, knowledge of location, type of neighborhood) and I do not feel high odds that I will be caught (never seen a cop in this neighborhood) then I cheat. In fact cheating is such a negative word. Efficiency is a better word. The philosophic Uncle Scrooge often told his nephews Huey, Dewy, and Louie that one should “work smarter, not harder.” As a teacher and coach I teach this to my student-athletes. These are not short cuts, buy why waste energy doing something when a more efficient way exists. Why spend hours cutting your yard with a reel mower when you can use a riding mower? Why spend hours studying from a test when the teacher uses questions straight from the review and sits behind a computer or pile of papers during the entire exam? These actions are not new. I know people in college who spent the time typing the Algebra review into their calculators. They did this because the equations were exactly the same as in the review and none of the proctors paid attention during the exam. In high school, back when pagers were the new technology, I know students who typed crib sheet with vocabulary and spelling answers, reduced the size of the font, then handed them outside the door before class. The questions came from the workbook and the teacher never left the desk. People looking for an efficient way to accomplish a task is a part of our culture.

If you want to stop students from cheating banning iPods will not work. You have to change the exam and your actions. Create authentic assessment that does not allow for cheating. Make the students do something with the information rather than recite the information. I have found more success in the attainment of knowledge by my students creating a digital story demonstrating the different parts of speech than taking a multiple choice exam. I challenge someone to define how my students in creating a video that teaches and demonstrates the parts of speech know less than those students taking a multiple choice exam. In fact, I believe just the opposite because my project requires high level thinking and creativity. I am willing to bet that they will remember that video down the road, not forever, but next year. Any takers on your multiple choice exam?

Additonally you have to be active. If you are giving a multiple choice exam, be active. I clean during such exams. While I clean I can see what is going on during the exam. After my high school graduation a couple of students told our English teacher about the crib sheets that had been entering her classroom for several years. I heard from students in her class the next year she changed her quizzes and started walking around during them. Guess what declined? Both the scores and the cheating. After the risk increased, students began to actually learn the words rather than complete the task. Proof that if you have to give such an exam, you can prevent cheating by being active. Banning a iPod would not have worked in our class, why do people feel that it will work in these cases.

My closing concern is brief. Why is this newsworthy? My only thought in this is to demonstrate the low standards of some schools. To me this shows their goals are not to educate students, rather to make their jobs easier. My guess is that if the exams remain the same the students will have a new system of efficient test taking by the end of next week. That is unless the need for such assessment ceases to exist. We will have to keep working on that.

Enjoy your day,

Reflections on the school year

June 6, 2007

As the school year reaches a close, a look back on several items and set goals for the next year.  Invoking a method previously reserved in athletic competitions, I am posting my goals so that the two people who subscribe to this feed can help keep me accountable for the goals below.  Anyone stumbling upon this feed can feel free to do the same.

1)  Consistency in blogging ideas:

Looking back over my previous posts I notice that the frequency of my posts is not a regular as I designed.  I can think of several reasons for this, but that is of no importance.  Bottom line is that I have expanded my teaching practices by reading the ideas of others.  I feel that my ideas and how I use the ideas borrowed, as if ideas are something I can return, are helpful to others.  Over the course of the next several weeks I will be redesigning the courses I will be teaching again next year.  By organizing these projects over the summer I feel that I will be able to blog about these plans as they come up during the school year and provide a reflection following completion.  I have gained great feedback from some of my fellow teacher on my campus and look forward to the thoughts of teachers across the globe.

2) iPods

This past year we began issuing iPods to students in an attempt to capitalize on this growing technology.  We based our plan following the movements of major universities.  Currently we are sorting through feedback from students, teachers and parents.  Personally, I feel the program was a success in its first year and look forward to sharing the results of our first year and plans for the future.

3) Advocating current technology

In the past two years I have been experimenting with various emerging technologies: blogs, wikis, podcasting, digital storytelling.  While many new technologies continue to arise, I feel that these existing tools are a great resource in education.  I will look to promote my use of these TOOLS in education.  I can see the current benefits in my students.  I see more teachers in my school using these as the talk of the benefits fill the hallways.  I plan to submit proposals to teach workshops over the course of the next school year.

4) Publish the articles I am sitting on.

While I have not been active publishing post, I have written several.  While my aim has been to review these posts and let the ideas settle, I have continued driving forward without posting these thoughts.  Over the course of the next few weeks I will be posting some of these previously transcribed words.  While the timing is off from my initial motivation, the content is still relative.  I look forward to your comments on these and future writings.

Enjoy your day,