Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Homeschooling Tool...

I have noticed that, among the homeschool community, the iPod - particularly the iPod Touch (iTouch) is a popular and versatile tool. You will see it mentioned at Melissa Wiley's blog, and Elizabeth Foss's blog (check her 'on my iPod'), and Mary from Evlogia's blog...
One might be forgiven for thinking I have followed a crowd here- but it is not true. My iTouch predates most of theirs ;) I got my iTouch years ago- for myself. It had nothing to do with schooling. It had everything to do with the ability to check email without having to turn on my machine, and listen to Podcasts when cooking or cleaning.

Later I discovered how useful it was to give M'Lady audiobooks to listen to as she was drawing or colouring. She would sit beautifully still for them. Storynory became a family favourite then.
When I discovered Librivox, I knew the iTouch had been given a new life- you know audiobooks are a great way to entertain kids in the car? And if your husband prefers music, well the iTouch can become a lifesaver!
And then the are the educational apps- training for multiplication and other mathematical skills, science, reading... These 'games' can entertain children anywhere. Especially when you are waiting!

You can download e-books to the iTouch- although I have yet to find an app that allows me to upload .pdf e-books to read :/ This allows you to NOT have to buy every classic book you will use in schooling- no, you can download them to the Kindle app, or the B&N eReader App, or the Stanza app.

You can listen to language podcasts or religious podcasts or lectures from universities...

There are various art apps too... for painting and drawing on the iTouch.
The list goes on and on.

So I wondered... what would be my ideal selection of things to do on the iTouch?

1. I'd love to see some kind of mathematics program on there- you know, something like Teaching Textbooks- only for first graders. It would be awfully nice to have something like that!
2. The ability to see 'flash' things on there- I could then watch certain TV shows without interrupting or disturbing the kids- or they each other! I could also access most websites no problem then!
3. An app for downloading and reading pdf files. Something like an e-reader, but with the ability to see a few pictures :)
4. A print feature. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to print from an iTouch?

Of course, since iTouch is far from perfect, there are many things I could ask for to improve it, but I think we are in a new generation of 'electronic schooling' devices- and the iTouch is leading the fray... it will be interesting to see where this leads us!

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