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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Educators assess iPhones for instruction

Apple's iPhone made quite a splash when it debuted earlier this summer--and educators, too, are intrigued by the device. As new applications emerge that can run on the iPhone, some of which specifically target education, schools are considering whether the iPhone can be an effective classroom tool.
Techies and trendsetters, Apple fans and cell-phone enthusiasts have all been buzzing about Apple's new iPhone. Many educators, too, are intrigued by this new technology and are weighing its potential impact in schools.
While some educators applaud the iPhone's revolutionary interface and its access to more than 300 applications, others say its high cost and lack of certain key features--such as a video camera--will keep them from investing in the device for their classrooms, at least for now.
Fueling schools' interest in the iPhone is the emergence of education-specific applications for the device.
In June, Apple announced that the iPhone would support third-party Web 2.0 applications. Soon thereafter, Software MacKiev--a maker of software for the Macintosh platform, such as World Book, HyperStudio, and 3-D Weather Globe and Atlas--became one of the first companies to develop an educational application for the iPhone, releasing This Day in History. The software tool is based on the widget by the same name included with the 2007 World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, and it lists historical events that correspond to each day's calendar date. Best of all, it's available free of charge for iPhone users.

Source: eSchool News