iPod in Education: The Potential for Teaching and Learning

January 1, 2007

Educators at nearly every level are examining the tools required to produce the 21st century skills today's students need to succeed in their school, work, and civic lives. What they are discovering is that iPod presents a number of educational affordances, for instance:

  • Because iPod is portable, it can take learning beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

  • Its fit-in-your-pocket ease offers anytime, anywhere opportunities for learning.

  • With the creative support of iLife, it can help foster students' information, visual, and media literacies. (The iLife software suite comes with every new Mac computer.)

  • It enables teachers to promote collaborative,independent, and differentiated learning, adapting to the needs of each learner

  • It is inexpensive relative to laptop and desktop computers.

Much of the educational potency of iPod stems from its integrated nature.Whether functioning as an audio and video player that delivers compelling rich media or as a device that stores and transports student-produced content, it both depends on and is enhanced by Apple's suite of educational offerings.iPod operates as a standalone tool and it works in tandem with the authoring potential of iLife and the organizing dexterity of iTunes.Together, these tools have the capacity to support the development of a wide range of student skills. And describing how iPod functionality supports these particular skills is the aim of this paper.