The dog ate my iPod!

I wonder if the time-honoured ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuse is finally dead and buried as a new generation of kids blame the dog for eating their iPods?

Schools and universities are already waking up to the potential of the iPod as an educational tool, podcasting lectures, making audiobooks available for students and using iPods to record music lessons, for example.

In the foreseeable future, iPods will become essential pieces of equipment in every student’s digital backpack.

Instead of being seen as disruptive devices with no place in the classroom, iPods can be exciting educational and training tools.

In the future, the MP3 player will probably look more like a memory stick with a roll out screen, and have enough memory to carry not only a student’s lifetime of notes, but rich media references, assignments, presentations and portfolios – not to mention a vast personal library of songs, audiobooks, photos and movies.

iPods are emerging as a popular device at universities across the globe as lecturers realise their messages can reach the masses of students who skip classes, and students realise they can use what used to be ‘dead time’ (such as sitting on a bus) more productively.

And iPod learning need not be confined to traditional educational institutions.  Baby Boomers are downloading language lessons to brush up on their French and Italian before taking their grand tours through Europe, for example.

There is huge potential for students and educators alike if educational organisations harness this emerging technology.  Today’s students are already ‘digital natives’ and we must find ways to engage students in learning, ensure that their educational experiences are relevant to Australia’s prevailing knowledge economy and to their lives outside the classroom.

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