In the second part of this series, let us look at using the iPod as a video player and it’s use for student learning. The release of the 5th generation iPod in 2005 introduced the incorporation of video playback in the iPod and a new way to use the iPod for learning. As of September 2007, all iPod models, with the exception of the iPod shuffle, now have video playback capability.
Teaching and learning with video is not new. While developments in technology in the 20th century have made recorded video possible, since the 1970’s accessing video for learning has become a part of standard teaching practice. Television shows beginning with Sesame Street were based on the premise that students can learn from video. Accessing that content, however, has always been an issue. Teacher accessed the video and then shared with the student. The student, unless they or their parents purchased copies of the video, never really had immediate access to the video content. However, as time changed, the nature of the hardware to play video has changed making it easier to access video anywhere ate anytime.
Using the iPod as a mobile video player has several advantages. Firstly, it allows students access to learning content from anywhere at any time. Secondly, it allows teachers to share video content with all of their students in a way that was never possible with Beta, VHS, and even DVD technologies. Thirdly, the ability to play video content from anywhere combined with the ease in sharing video through websites such as YouTube, Metacafe, and TeacherTube has made multi-sensory learning much more accessible, not to mention making student publishing possible.
This blog post, then, is not really about why video should be accessed for learning. Using video has been part of teaching and learning for at least 35 years. This blogpost is about how we can use the iPod to make learning using this media more effective. In this vein, let’s look at the three things – why accessing video on the go is a good thing, as well as downloading and converting video.
Why Accessing Video on the Go is a Good Thing
Students can use video played on an iPod to learn from anywhere at any time. New technologies has creaked massive cracks in the notion that true learning only happens in the confines of a classroom. I think that the concept that learning only takes place in the classroom was developed at a time when society needed a way to standardize learning when universal public education education was becoming a reality. As a result, learning goals could be assigned and the achievement of these goals could be monitored, assessed and recorded. While the effectiveness of this model is debatable, learning no longer needs to take place in school for this model to work. Actually, it doesn’t all happen at school now – remember homework? Yet, for some reason, in education, we truly believe that students only learn when in the classroom. Having mobile devices such as the iPod allows the teacher to provide access to learning content to students from anywhere they find themselves. As a result, learning can happen whenever students need it, want it or have the time to access it.
Where to Download Video
There are a number of places:
- Subscription based Unitedstreaming has video content from the Discovery Networks that is downloadable and sharable to students with a subscribed classroom
- YouTube has many videos of excellent educational value
- TeacherTube is a place where teachers share their lessons and upload learning content for others to access
- For Christian denomination schools, there is GodTube
- Search Videos from television networks using services such as Blinkx
There are several places that videos can be converted into formats that are playable on an iPod. Free web converters include Zamzar and YouConvertIt. If you prefer a software application that you can download and install on your computer, try the free iPod Video Converter found at http://www.koyotesoft.com.