I’m giving my students MP3 players



The other day while I was back in my hometown I was reading a local electronics store catalogue and my eyes caught a hold of something that got me quite interested. They were selling 1GB MP3 players for $14 (normally $38) that had a tiny LCD screen, drag and drop file upload, a voice recorder and FM radio capabilities.  Anyway as soon as I read the list of things it could do I rushed over to Shepparton to buy 5 of them for one of my senior classes this year.

This year I’m teaching Year 11 Physical Education which only has 5 students, which is quite heavy on theoretical content and the links it makes with physical activity. This is my 2nd year teaching this subject and it lends itself really well to podcasting (much like Douchy’s Biology Class), so immediately I thought that these MP3 players would be a great addition to the class. Their simplicity is probably one of the best features about them, they require no software and simply connect to the computer via USB and work exactly like a flash drive. The recordings can be retrieved from a folder on the disk entitled ‘recordings’ which will be very easy for the student’s to understand.

Anyway I’ve decided that i’m going to give the MP3 players to the students for the duration of the semester and will use them for a variety of tasks and activities throughout the unit. Here are just a few of my ideas.

  • As one of the Assessments the students will be given a week or topic they have to summarise in audio podcast that will be recorded using Audacity and distributed to all the other students in the class for revision.
  • Will preload podcasts and audio clips created by myself onto the MP3 player for use throughout the semester.
  • Will teach students how to make voice recordings and allow them to create audio ‘cheat’ sheets for assessments tasks, which they can then bring into the assessments.
  • As we do alot of practical sessions and then complete write ups of our findings after I will encourage the students to make recordings of their findings as they happen to assist in the report writing after.
  • Will have the students tune into the sports news on the radio to hear the latest news as knowledge of current events dramatically improves the discussion of key content.
  • To mix things up I may use www.readthewords.com to convert text files into spoken word MP3 that the kids can then play back with the players.

Overall I’m very happy with the purchase and look forward to seeing their reactions when I present them each with a MP3 player and a pre loaded spoken word test on the very first day of classes. Now I’m fully aware that they are not the best of quality but will be fine for how they are required this year.I will be sure to update everyone on how it all pans out this year. Any suggestions on how else I could use these devices?

11 thoughts on “I’m giving my students MP3 players”

  1. When you say you’re giving them the mp3s for the semester what do you mean? They’ll use them in class or do you see them actually being responsible for them for the six months?

    I’d love a class set of these – you’re class is going to have some awesome opportunities 🙂

  2. I teach grade 11 “Health for Life” and much of my content is mp3 from open content sources. I want students active – walking, running, skiing – while they listen to content. I want portable content they can learn while being active. They already sit for too many hours in front of the computer.

  3. This sounds great. I am going to make an effort to include digital voice recording into the primary classroom this year.

    These small compact MP3 devices are ideal for capturing students’ learning in different ways and in most cases, in a non threatening way. The recording process provides a number benefits for learning including reviewing work undertaken as well as a great assessment tool for teachers.

    I will be on the look out for great ideas of how this can used in a primary classroom.

    Good luck with your PE class.

  4. Hey Adele
    Thanks for the comment, I hope you find my blog useful. Its certainly opened alot of doors for me and I will be presenting at a couple of confrences on using mobile phones and nintendo in the classroom this year. I would love to run such a workshop at my old stomping ground on web 2.0 technologies in the classroom. Let me know some more details, when, where etc. Hope all is well.

  5. As always, I love the collaborative nature of your work.. feel like doing a workshop for a few up and coming IT educators in your old stomping ground?

    A 🙂

  6. great idea with the podcastsi have been using them with studnet who are not changed in pe – they listen to an ipod podcast whilst walking around the gym attached to a nike sports kit which tells us how far they have walked through out the lesson. can you send me some of the podcasts ?

  7. I’m really, really interested in the progress you’ve made using the podcasts and mp3 players. Could I request a specific blog entry describing how you and your students have used podcasts over the past 5 months? PLEASE!
    I am slowly experimenting with podcasting but so far, using Audacity to record, it seems fiddly. What say you and your students?

  8. this is really cool and it’s really interesting way to attract student attention on class, and i found another tool for teacher, which is a text to speech tool, teaching on the class and reading the words automatically. It’s developed by ispeech,

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