The New iPod Touch: Excellent School Choice
If ever I posted a Cool Tools Alert, this would be one!
I was elated that, yesterday, Apple announced a new iPod Touch complete with a forward-facing camera, for video conferencing, as well as a rear-facing HD camera for movie making. Combined with the iMovie application for these devices, an inexpensive additional purchase through the iTunes store, this device becomes a viable movie-making solution for the classroom setting.
iMovie on the iOS device has limitations, to be sure; however, the projects students will be able to storyboard, shoot, edit, display, and upload on this small, hand-held device that retails as inexpensively as $199, are more limited by the students' imaginations than by the hardware and software. The finished movie products can be stunning, as evidenced by my previously posted iOS iMovie project, Apple of My Eye, created by Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James.
Additionally, with the new $99 AppleTV, students could share their movie projects with the class via AirPlay, in the upcoming iOS 4.2 update. In most school settings, this would probably require an HDMI to VGA cable to connect the AppleTV to the classroom projector. Projects can also be uploaded to YouTube with a simple touch.
These two new features, movie production and sharing, alone, make the device a worthy classroom investment. But the iPod Touch has numerous other learning-centric applications that make it an incredible tool for the classroom. Below, I'm listing just a handful of applications specifically related to podcasting and movie production that I personally use. The number of content-specific applications are just too numerous to begin a list.
Podcast Creation Applications (only a few)
- Voice Memo (standard on the device)
Movie Creation Tools
Previously, schools purchased the Flip camera to provide an affordable video production solution for the classroom. However, now, in my mind, the iPod Touch is a vastly better deal as it offers so much more than just movie-making to the learning environment for only a few dollars more. The Flip HD is currently selling for $179 at Amazon and will only shoot and edit video. Certainly Flip will be forced to revisit their pricing structure.
Many schools simply can't afford classroom sets of laptops, iPads, or even netbook-type devices. But a powerful computer with an intuitive touch-based interface, that will video conference over WiFi, produce movies, make podcasts, and run numerous content-specific inexpensive applications, all for only $199, is a steal!
Apple has knocked this one out of the park!
Disclosure Statement: I am in no way financially affiliated with nor profit from this product endorsement which is solely made based on my personal opinions and experiences.