If you haven't downloaded the iPhone 3.0 version to your iPhone, do it now. Students with the iPhone can now use the gadget help them study. And, what's more, some schools are even giving them away to students-- for free.
Just released today, the 3.0 iPhone version offers cut, copy, and paste capabilities, MMS, an improved calendar, and many other updated features.
You may have known that the iPhone can help you study with test prep applications and language class podcasts. But what you probably didn't know are the other ways the iPhone can assist you on campus. Some schools are using iPhones to send out homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, give directions to professors' offices, and allow students to check their meal and account balances.
Looks like the iPhone could turn out to be your very best study partner.
And what started with a Duke University program is now catching on elswehere: some schools are offering up iPhones to students for free -- for study purposes. Keep reading to find out if your school is one of nearly 10 colleges that are now jumping on the iPhone bandwagon.
iPod Invasion-- How it Started
Duke University’s Duke Digital Initiative (DDI) was one of the first to sponsor programs for iPod use by instructors and students. Duke offers its students discounted iPods and has iPods available for term-long loans for students in DDI-approved iPod courses. During the Spring 2007 term, DDI supported approximately 1350 students and 86 faculty members in more than 50 courses. The DDI is also experimenting with the use of digital content, tablet PCs, podcasting and other new technologies to determine their effectiveness as learning tools.
Duke’s faculty and students produce podcasts and listen to podcasts produced by others as a way to expand their own expertise and to learn from outside experts, says Lynne O’Brien, director of academic technology and instructional services at the Duke University library. For example, students have been assigned to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language via a podcast and create short movies showing scenes they imagine from a Jane Austen novel, O’Brien says. Duke also makes podcasts of guest speakers that students may want to hear for a second time or that they have missed, as well as worldwide experts who never set foot on campus. “There are all kinds of wonderful materials available for podcast by prominent speakers, ranging from the arts to the sciences,” O’Brien says.
In spring of 2007, Apple introduced a free podcast hosting service for educational content, including lectures and interviews. The service, called iTunes U, is located in a dedicated area of the iTunes store and was created with the collaboration of colleges. It lets students download content, like course lectures and language lessons, any time to their PC or Mac, or transfer the content to their iPods.
Dan Schmit, instructional technology specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said podcasting has become a “new movement” for learning. “In this age of assessments, testing and standards, students who create podcasts and multimedia can show what they know about a topic in a richer way,” says Schmit, author of “Kidcast: Podcasting in the Classroom.” Students who produce classwork, documentaries, mock radio programs and other types of podcasts learn how to research topics, work with each other and gain a sense of value that others want to hear their voices, Schmit says. “When students create a podcast and realize that hundreds of listeners are hanging on their every word, it’s very motivational,” he says.
Podcasts also are helping students with special needs, such as those who are learning English as a second language, and students in special education who can view images instead of reading text, Schmit says. Teachers must take care to teach students when it is appropriate to use their iPods, however, so that they don’t become a distraction in class, he says.