Have you ever thought that things would run at a certain pace, but been amazed at the reality? That is how I am feeling about my iPod trial. I suppose because I read about the great things that other PE faculties and teachers do, I dreamed that all of this would suddenly begin for me here at UNIS. However, I am findng that it takes longer than I had originally thought. My post here is not intended to be negative or pessimistic, I am loving finding out what I could/should do with my iPods in class, but there are some hiccups that are possibly unique to UNIS or to Hanoi or maybe a combination of both. Here are some of the observations of the last few weeks:
- UNIS runs off its own server and we are slowly seeing the campus become more and more on the network. iPod 5’s had to have their own network created so that we could only have them work and we found that they didn’t work in many PE spaces, such as my office and the Sports Centre. However, after a few days of testing, we have had this sorted out – thank you to the Tech dept here!
- Apple and iPods don’t generally like to have you take your data or documentation off of your device easily. I have 5 iPods and so to get films or photos off of each device is quite tricky as different students need to log in or off of their accounts to access this information. I decided to create a Dropbox account for work and link it to each iPod so that I could download the video/images more easily as these devices are linked to my MAC at home, not at work. So I have created a new Dropbox account and linked a folder to my exisiting Dropbox for easier transfer of files – this somewhat goes against the ‘ease’ factor that I was hoping for.
- Students are not in this routine – they are actively encouraged to NOT bring devices to PE, for fear that they will be damaged or stolen. This routine is adversely against the idea of actually using mobile technology in our classes and also against where we are as a society – I would aruge that most of my students have iPhones or Android and so would be in a very easy position to use them in class – if we asked them to? But maybe this opens up more issues then we would resolve – I would be interested to see what other people do about this in International or local schools.
- I have 4 iPod5’s in my class – how do we share them? I team teach with colleagues and they are supportive but often reluctant to ‘do more’ and I do understand their sentiments. I am going to work on my G8 class who have Badminton coming up and truly focus on using the iPods and QR codes for sharing videos, using Coaches Eye and Ubersense to really look at our technique as well as using Badminton scoring apps and umpire apps to help us learn the rules and keep score. I would also like to have them run a tournament from these devices, but will need to see if 4 would be enough.
- Time – UNIS is a busy happening place. I am now pretty much used to mostly working off of my iPad as a teacher but this has taken time and commitment to this practice. I find ‘teaching’ technology use worth while in the long run (and maybe for the next teacher they have in 2013-2014) but it takes time out of things that I am trying to do in terms of curriculum as well. I will keep it up because I believe in this process, but it hasn’t been easy!
I would be keen to hear from other teachers using mobile technology – either Apple or Android and about how you are using your devices, what advice would you share and what questions do you come up against?