Society for College Science Teachers: iPods -- Informative or Invasive?by: Donald P. French

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The ubiquitous devices, known as iPods, are being used in a variety of teacher-centered ways. In some classes, students are using them to record interviews and produce reports or other audio or video products to be shared with other students. The most widely promoted use, however, is to produce audio recordings of lectures, although the new iPods make video recordings another attractive possibility. The iPod's appeal to instructors and administrators is the vision that students can review lecture material anytime, anywhere, while doing anything. Proponents suggest that if students can replay information-dense lectures at their own convenience as often as they wish, they will absorb the information better. Students, including those for whom English is a second language and, perhaps, those with processing difficulties, should all benefit.

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Reviews (4)
  • on Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:44 AM


amer shehri
amer shehri

  • on Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:20 PM

Given the advent of iPads, iPods, and other electronic devices in the hands of students and their potential for being another panacea for ' best practice' teaching by some IT educators, this article prods us to consider how students learn best and more importantly how 'smart' educators may employ 'smart' devices effectively in their classrooms. The article is a call for teacher-research within the classroom and pertinent discussions in methods classes and in continuing PD conferences on whether electronic devices may be used informatively or should they be discounted as viable learning items.

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)

  • on Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:59 AM

Thoughtful article that explains the need for research on teaching methods that use IPods for instruction. The author makes the point that multi-tasking is actually the brain quickly switching between tasks, and that learning via a recorded lecture is inefficient if the learner is multi-tasking. This article is a good read for those teachers interested in the effectiveness of podcasting.

Patricia McGinnis  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia McGinnis (Pottstown, PA)

  • on Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:05 AM

Although this article is inteneded for college professors, I was interested because I often think about how to incorpoarte the devises kids own (like the Nintendo DSi) in lessons. The article cites research that supports the idea that when the devises are used as recording tools, the ability to attune to 2 or more sensory stimulii can improve understanding IF the stimulii relate to each other. Thus, if kids are too focused on playing with the devise, they are likely to be to distracted to have mental energy left to focus on the lesson.

Christina B
Christina B

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