The iPod Touch in association with other technologies in support of a community of inquiry in off-campus teacher education

Caroline Walta, Howard Nicholas


Hand-held technologies are pervasive and convenient in everyday use, but less commonly associated with the delivery of teacher education programs. This has implications for the way graduate teachers view the challenge of utilising these devices once they become classroom teachers, as pre-service teachers generally associate these devices with social rather than educational uses. However, as current learning theory research focuses on the importance of connected communities, the increasing take-up of online and blended learning programs brings with it an imperative to utilise technologies in ways which both support communities of inquiry and empower technology users to be creative. The paper explores the journey of a group of educators and members of a cohort of 65 pre-service teachers undertaking a one-year, graduate level pre-service teaching course in a blended learning environment managed from a regional campus of an Australian university. The learning environment is enabled through the iPod Touch and a range of other technologies. The use of the iPod Touch together with the associated technologies enabled both a Community of Inquiry to be established and improved familiarity with the potential for the iPod (or by extension the iPad) to enhance teaching in schools.

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