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 I can load all kinds of historical documents onto my iPod.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.