Hello. In today's podcast I'll be discussing an exciting new project that will take place in my classroom this semester - a student Zune pilot. Microsoft is providing each of my 25 students in my 3rd period 8th grade American History classroom a 4GB Zune to use during the spring semester. Microsoft donated these Zunes to my school district to test out this program. Our project will start on Tuesday with a parent / student meeting where the students will be given their Zunes.
I have been using different types of digital audio content in my classroom for several years. Three years ago I started to incorporate what I call "StudyCasts" - an audio review that I create and save as an MP3 file that is then posted on the Internet so that students can listen to the review in preparing for an upcoming unit test by listening at home on the Internet, downloading the file to their MP3 player or asking me to burn it to a CD for them. The introduction of the studycast has been successful but I cannot always insure that my students have 100% access to the content. In this Zune project I know that my students will not only have the MP3 device they will also leave my classroom with the content using the Zune social feature which allows me to "beam" content - in the form of audio or pictures - to their players before the leave for the day. The Zune will allow students to listen to content, view images and view video.
Listen to the podcast to learn more about how the pilot will opperate, how we will measure outcomes and how the Zune will be incorporated into the curriculum. I will also be keeping everyone updated on the progress of the Zune pilot throughout the pilot.
Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog post or e-mail directly at firstname.lastname@example.org I would be interested in your experiences with a Zune or if you have used the Zune in your classroom with students.