These are my notes from Tony Vincent‘s NECC 2009 presentation, “Do So Much with an iPod Touch!.” His notes are available with all the links! This was a fantastic presentation in all respects. Tony is a model presenter, very engaging, so relevant with specific classroom examples, has such depth of experience as a classroom teacher with his extensive Palm background, I could go on and on. If you are looking for a professional development guru to work with teachers and students and the iPod Touch, look no further than Tony Vincent.

Survey prior to the session using Google Forms

I am a former 5th grade teacher, last year as an independent consultant I visited 28 states and the US Virgin Islands

In 2001 I started using Palm Handhelds with my 5th graders
– we developed our own applications, and had applications for us
– a PBS affiliate came in and did a documentary about our class
– had lots of fun using handhelds for learning

2 years ago I spent 18 weeks working in the US Virgin Islands working with schools using iPod Touches
– palms had worked really well
– smaller devices were needed, great for smaller spaces

showing name of App from website lets you create a nametag on your iTouch!

URL shorteners are great, esp when using handheld devices is an example

I enjoy using the Google Form Summary feature (FORM – SHOW SUMMARY)

My website: Learning in Hand, click iPods

Use the twitter tag #LIH

– Palm technology with stylus looks so ancient!
– portable, dependable, easy to troubleshoot, ulta-cool, battery life, multipmedia
– #1 reason iPod Touch is great is ALL those apps that are available
– easy to install from the App Store application
– you can also get to apps via the iTunes Store

In the Palm days it was harder, you had to HotSync
– didn’t always work
– example of contraction timer for pregnancy
– teacher who was pregnant had a funny

iTunes Store has a ‘as seen on TV’ section

There are LOTS more apps now
– it took Palm 10 years to get 30,000 apps
– today there are over 50,000 apps for the iTouch in less than 3 years
– this is AMAZING application keeps track of app activity each day on the store
– perday 238 apps are added to the app store!
– 3,514 education apps today in the iTunes Store with that education category

18% of all aps are games/education entertainment

Way to NOT have a credit card in iTunes
– log out of your account
– go find a free App in the store
– click GET APP
– you will be prompted to create a new account
– THEN and ONLY then (when you are signing up to get a free app) you can get an account without putting in a credit card

– you can also just use iTunes gift cards in the future to buy paid apps without a credit card

Another bugaboo: trying to understand syncing
– iTunes account syncs to 1 computer and iPod, that makes sense
– what about the classroom: multiple iPods?
– you can sync as many iPods as you want to 1 computer
– then you can sign in on up to 5 computers with 1 iTunes account
– Apple has this setup so if you buy the software once, you can sync it as many times as you want
– the system is not setup to take multiple payments for multiple devices

Web directories for apps:
– mobxlix
– AppShopper
– iEducation Apps Review

On my site I’ve setup Google Moderator site, now have 38 ideas from 31 people

right now gFlash and Stanza are top

iPod Touch graphic

Google Application: you can use your voice if you have an attachable mic

Let’s see these Apps in action

For Language Arts
– Whiteboard
– 2 devices can share 1 whiteboard
– similar to an app we used to have on the Palm

For language arts I like to do a game called crosstalk
– write a word on the whiteboard
– another student thinks up a different word that is a synonym, perhaps better for elaboration

If you want a stylus, you have to get a special stylus for the iTouch

YouTube has tutorials about how to make your own styluses on the cheap

Next demo: Quickword
– good Word processor, still not fantastic on the mobile devices but this one is pretty good
– peer review together
– have students trade handhelds
– this apps lets you highlight words, make some bold (highlight HOT words red, highlight words that could be revised blue)
– then when we trade handhelds I can see what my peer reviewer thought was awesome, and what I need to improve
– in this case my peer reviewer hasn’t changed anything is a huge dictionary, several megabytes in size
– all downloaded, doesn’t require active Internet connection
– Thesaurus too!
– More than 275,000 definitions
– WARNING: they have those words that you know students will look up first!

Social Studies apps

great videos online that you want to put online, YouTube may be blocked
– you can install and sync videos
– if YouTube is accessible there is a YouTube app right on the iTouch

To get it off of YouTube and convert to MP4 so iPod touch will use
– example: Schoolhouse Rock video
– Trick: just add the world “kick” in front of “youtube” in the URL
– on that website ( I can directly download the site
– be aware this could be against Google’s terms of service
– then go into the Videos app to watch it

Another way to get videos, get them from iTunes

Let’s talk about Safari
– you’ve seen the ads: this is the FULL web
– this is probably the application students will use most

Teachers may want to create their own homepage
– mobile homepage: my favorite is a web editor too: (kind of like a wiki, but ideal for iPod Touch, accounts are free, you can pick out your URL)
– my site:
– fonts are big
– I can link to different things
– can put direct links to podcasts (audio and video) to download

Social studies app: Inflation
– 99 cents
– I was wondering about Presidential Pay
– inflation tables just go back to 1913, President’s salary was $75,000
– today he makes $400K plus expense account of $50K

Google Maps
– let’s find the President’s house
– I am using the iPhone 3.0 software, I paid $9.99 for the update
– it allows Google Maps streetview in Googe Maps
– can add a drop pin to the map, and go right to Google Street View right on the iPod Touch


Can take a screenshot of ANYTHING on my iPod Touch by holding down both buttons on the device
– it took the picture, now it is in my photos
– great geography links here!

I like to

LifeStrips ($5)
– vocabulary is great
– can be used to create comics
– some people will decry the lack of a camera
– two fingers to twist and stretch images where you want them to go
– double tap to add text
– screenshots from Google Maps, combined in LifeStrips

Comic touch also lets you make

Ali’s Jigsaw Puzzle
– save comics back as photos
– turn any photo into a jigsaw puzzle

– extra power
– can use an iPod Touch connected to computer or power (Apple chooses
– battery back can give you about 3/4 of a new
– Get one that takes the same dock connector, so no cable is required

You want a powered USB hub to make your own inexpensive charging station

Hilarious photo on EdTechBytes with chargers

You can sync on a Mac more than 1 mac at a time
– for some reason on Windows, you can just sync 1 at a time


Earbuds: Walmart has them for 99¢ each
– get earbuds for everyone
– they get tangled constantly: get adhesive hooks and put numbered tags on the wall

Another management tip: email
– Apple would really like you to get info with email
– so you can issue each iPod Touch its own email
– start a free GMail account for each iPod Touch


My podcast “Learning in Hand iPods”
– don’t leave an iPod in your hot car! That diminishes the battery big time.

Have an App called “Beard Me”
– now using app “Talking Heads”
– commercial example Billy Mays style!

Power down your iPod by holding down the top power button for 6 sec

Math Applications
– lots of drill and skill
– research shows students who are using a handheld will remember their math facts better than if they are using paper
– it is more engaging

Math Drills
– they also give you visuals
– has a light version

Make Num Lite
– also called “Sum It Up”

Lemonade Stand (99¢)
– practice supply and demand, make the posters
– same algorithms from the Apple II days, but updated graphics
– you can actually go back to the Apple II graphics if you want to

Science Apps
– there are cheap thumbtack microphones
– I have a Belkin one
– for science, do a “sound seeing tour” when you are on a field trip
– come back and research it, add more sounds with an audio editor on a “grown up computer”

– Sketchy was my favorite palm app
– full version is $10
– old style Palm
– draw directly on the screen
– make it animation
– anything my kids made an animation about they remembered it forever
– they would watch it over and over, show it to their friends
– they turn out with a great product
– Flipbook

At you can see lots of examples

Now ready for an unbelievable example: made by an amazing artist using Flipbook (Foodchain)
– you can pinch in and zoom in to make changes

You can make your own database with HandDBase
– can use for observations
– checkboxes
– any types of notes
– once I save it, it joins my database, can be synced back to the desktop computer
– doesn’t have to be bahvior, it can be what did you observe

Something I miss from the Palm days: the fold-out keyboard
– currently there are not any attachable keyboards for the iPod Touch, but I hope we might see those

Now for each student: iPod Touch for $229 or Netbook for $289
– tradeoffs: battery life, portability, all the apps, cool factor
– Oct 7-9 2009 in London, everyone gets an iPod Touch!

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, consider subscribing to Wes' free, weekly newsletter. Generally Wes shares a new edition on Monday mornings, and it includes a TIP, a TOOL, a TEXT (article to read) and a TUTORIAL video. You can also check out past editions of Wes' newsletter online free!

Did you know Wes has published several eBooks and "eBook singles?" 1 of them is available free! Check them out! Also visit Wes' subscription-based tutorial VIDEO library supporting technology integrating teachers worldwide!

MORE WAYS TO LEARN WITH WES: Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard! Follow Dr. Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wes' Facebook page for "Speed of Creativity Learning". Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Show With Media: What Do You Want to CREATE Today?"

On this day..

Share →

4 Responses to Do So Much with an iPod Touch

  1. Franki says:

    Thanks for these detailed notes. We are getting 25 iTouches next year and I am looking for smart ways to use them. This is a great help:-)

  2. […] and Sylvia Martinez.  He also does a great job summarising the Tony Vincent presentation called Do So Much with an Ipod Touch.  The amount of details in his posts is amazing.  I suspect it has something to do with the […]

  3. […] Do So Much with an iPod TouchTips, tools and ideas for using the iPod and iPod Touch in the classroom […]

  4. […] Do So Much with an iPod Touch […]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Made with Love in Oklahoma City