iPods in Education Part 4: Using Notes

Posted: March 4, 2008 in ipod, iPod in Education, mobilelearning
Tags: , , ,

I’ve recently learned a few interesting ways to utilize the Notes feature of the iPod and I though that I would share these ideas. It’s actually pretty interesting to see how a simple feature can be utilized to yield powerful results for learning.

Idea #1 – Accessing Text with Audio

I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous post but it is worth another mention. The Notes folder is essentially a folder found on the hard disk of an iPod and can only be accessed if the Enable Hard Disk mode is selected in iTunes. Once this feature is activated, the hard disk of the iPod can be accessed in Windows Explorer (Win) or in Finder (Mac). A simple use is to take the text of a book, say a novel take from the Gutenberg Project site, save the text in any word processor as a .txt file and moving that .txt file into the iPod’s Notes folder. Once in that folder, a student can find the text by navigating to Extras, Notes on the iPod. However, couple that with the audio version of the novel from LibriVox, and the student can listen and read at the same time.

Idea #2 – Making Interactive Tests or Other Types of Interactive Content

This is really super simple and really, really useful. A teacher can create interactive content (combining text, images, videos and sounds) by using text and a little html code. Here are the steps:

  1. Type the text
  2. Insert links to multimedia using the the following codes
  3. Link to audio: <a href=”song=Song Name“>Name of the Hyperlink</a>
  4. Link to Video: <a href=”video=Video Name“>Name of the Hyperlink</a>
  5. Link to Photos – save the photo to the Notes folder and use this code to link to that photo: <a href=”Photo Name“>Name of the Hyperlink</a>
  6. Save the file to the Notes folder on the iPod and use

When interactive content is made, students can use the iPod to access text, access audio files reading that text (whether the teacher records themselves reading or downloads the file from other places), access video related to the content, etc. without having to scroll through iPod. The only thing that the user has to remember is to click the menu button on the iPod to return to the text after accessing multimedia from a link.

Idea #3 – Converting Documents and Webpages into Notes File

Using web tools, such as iPod Notes Packager, teachers can take documents or web pages, upload the file or the web page’s url to the service, and the service will convert the data into linked Notes files. Keep in mind that Notes files are restricted to about 4000 characters per Notes file. However, you can save an unlimited number of Notes files so by linking individual Notes files together, whole documents can be saved and accessed. iPod Notes Packager does all this work for you – just upload the document in .txt format or insert the url and download the linked Notes files!

Once more thing…

If you want to ensure that students only see your Notes file on the iPod, try setting the iPod into notes only status (museum mode):

  • Create a plain text file named “Preferences.txt”
  • Add the following line: <meta name=”NotesOnly” content=”true”>
  • Save the file and copy it into the Notes folder on iPod.
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