Saturday, April 14, 2007


This week I have been writing a grant proposal so I can buy myself an iPod with university funds. I’m worried that the proposal may land on the desk of someone inclined to see the iPod as an expensive gadget and not as a legitimate educational tool. So I’ve started a list of things I will be able to do with the iPod – things that will make me a better teacher, of course.

Here’s what I have so far. Suggestions are welcome.

1. I can use it to store my many Powerpoint presentations and slides in one place
2. I can easily access all my classical music CDs (including the songs I play in class)
3. I can organize and store all the video clips I use in class
4. (With a/v cable) I can use it to play video clips and music in the classroom
5. (with microphone) I can make digital recordings of lectures for students, record my own lecture notes and listen to them on my way to class
6. I can record memos to myself. Memos like “don’t forget to add this idea to your notes.” And “don’t forget to pick up cream of chicken soup on the way home from class.” And “don’t forget to go home.”
7. I can listen to audio books and podcasts
8. I can use the shiny reflective surface to check my lipstick before class starts
9. When department meetings get boring, I can pop in those inconspicuous earbuds and listen to Elizabethan motets. Or Queen. Whichever.
10. When I’m trying to grade papers but my kids want to climb on jungle gym Mom, I can say: “Here watch a movie” or “Here listen to some music” or “Here look at Mommy’s slides of naked Greeks”
11. I can listen to Gregorian Chants in church
12. I can load all kinds of historical documents onto my iPod. I’m not sure but I reckon eventually I’ll have an emergency need to refer to the Louisiana Purchase treaty of 1803.
13. I must have easy access to the periodic table as well. Because paint? It’s all about the chemistry.
14. I ought to have downloadable wikipedia with me at all times since it is the only “research” most of my students are capable of doing.
15. When I’m in the middle of a lecture on Impressionism and I sense I’ve used the phrase “buttery texture” one too many times, I can resort to my portable thesaurus.
16. Playing with the controls will strengthen my finger muscles which will in turn make me a more efficient paper-grading machine.
17. I can use the USB cord to tie up my hair if it’s getting in my way during a lecture.
18. I can use the iPod like a Frisbee to ping the student on the back row who always falls asleep the second I dim the lights.

I originally thought it would be nice to reach a nice round number like “101 uses for the iPod in the classroom” but now I’m thinking 60 is also roundish. So is 33. Now that you mention it, 18 is rather curvy.


Kimberly said...

What about the positive effects of your own personal use? Use it to combat stress, block out household sounds while grading papers, for working out so you can be in top physical shape?

Radioactive Jam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eve said...

OKay so I had no idea an ipod can legitimately do so much! One thing I do know is it make doing chores SO MUCH EASIER!

Radioactive Jam said...

(I deleted my earlier comment because "irrelevant")

This post... I want to thank you for all the parts that made me laugh or smile but I don't know where to begin. I was still pretty much in control until I hit "don't forget to go home." Then after what seemed like at least a dozen great jokes I reached #14, and... oh man, I hope you never go after me like that. Although I'm sure your studious Wikipedians are fully deserving.

You turn around and nail their teacher in #15.

And the next time someone asks you to post a picture of yourself, a back of the head view showing #17 would be an awesome response.

As for justifying the purchase, maybe you could offer it as an alternative to a surely more expensive (second?) laptop. All you need to do is pseudo-justify the laptop and offer the iPod as a cost-conscious Plan B.

I'm sure you'll think of something.

Andrea said...

Never knew there were so many uses. Makes me want to get one now too. Sure hope you get it.

LaughingElk said...

An iPod in every pot

I realize you are talking about an iPod for the teacher, but you might want to look at the Duke University experiment in providing an iPod for all students. They had some interesting uses.

Also the state of Michigan is considering buying an iPod for every school child in the state. Doesn't look like this idea is going over very well.

Dedee said...

So funny. I never knew an ipod had so many uses. I especially like the one about using it as a frisbee. I had an orchestra teacher once who would throw her pencil at us. She always had one behind her ear and invariably it would end up on the floor somewhere, usually in the vicinity of one of my good friends. She (the orchestra teacher) didn't last very long.

(See now I'm reminiscing. I used to sit wherever I wanted in her class. Sometimes in the viola section, sometimes with the cellos. Wherever, just as long as it wasn't next to the girl who was my stand partner whom I hated, at that time. (She was better than me, and since she was the first, it was annoying!) We became really good friends later, but it took a couple of years.)

The Daring One said...

I would buy you the pod. The naked greeks alone tipped the scales for me.