Check out what you and/students can do w/ iPods!

Help and Tutorials
If you're new to using an iPod touch, watch Apple's Guided Tour videos. Within 15 minutes, you'll know all of the basics. Then, learn more about the features by clicking through Apple's iPod touch Features Page. Furthermore, visit Apple's help guide on your iPod touch at The guide is a web app (a site specifically formatted for iPod touch's screen). A help guide for iPhone is also available.

iTunes Account Without a Credit Card
An iTunes account is required to download iPhone/iPod touch applications from the App Store. When you create an account, iTunes asks you for a credit card number to keep on file for purchases. When using iPods in schools, teachers probably don't want to use their personal credit card and schools usually do not have a credit card that can be used for iTunes. Fortunately, there is a way to create a new iTunes account without giving financial information. Here's how:

Open iTunes and go to the iTunes Store. Then click to go to the App Store.
Sign out of any iTunes account you might already be signed in with. (Do this by clicking your email address in the top-right corner of the iTunes window. Click the Sign Out button in the dialog box that appears.)
Go to the details page of any free app. Click the Get App button.
Click the Create New Account button and complete the registration.

When asked to select a credit card, choose None.

iTunes tells you that you will be asked to provide a payment method when you make your first purchase.
I suggest adding money to the new iTunes account through gift cards. This way when you want to purchase a paid app, you still won't be required to give a credit card number.

It's important to note that iTunes will not provide None as a choice for Credit Card unless you create an account by first downloading a free app. The good news is that you only have to do this once, and you can sign into to this account on up to five computers.

Rearrange Icons
You can move icons around the screen by tapping one icon and continuing to touching it until the icons begin to wiggle. Then you are free to tap and drag icons around the screen. Drag an icon to the edge of the screen to place it on a different page of your home screen. Items you place in the dock at the bottom of the screen always appear at the bottom of the Home screen.

When the icons are wiggling, you'll notice that some of them have an X in the top right corner. Tap the X to delete the Web Clip or application from your iPod. An X only appears on icons items that you can delete.

You can have up to 9 screens of icons and you don't have to fill up a screen to start placing icons on a new one. You can reset the locations of the Home screen icons to factory settings by tapping Preferences > General > Reset. Any Web Clip or applications icons will come after the factory/default icons.

Web Clip Icons
A Web Clip is an icon you can add to your Home screen as a shortcut to a website. With one tap, Safari will open to the Web Clip's page. To make a Web Clip, simply open the page in Safari. Tap the Plus sign at the bottom of the screen. Tap Add to Home Screen and edit the title (if you want). Tap Add and, presto, a new icon is added to your Home Screen!

Some sites have customized Web Clip icons. For instance, when you make a Web Clip of an Apple page, the icon appears as an apple on a gray background. If a webpage doesn't have a customized icon, iPod touch will make an icon of what's showing on the page at the time you've clipped it. I suggest zooming into the logo or a picture on the page before tapping the + button to make a Web Clip. This way, the icon on your Home screen is of that logo or picture, not just of a thumbnail of the entire page.

Like the examples above, there are many times when you might want an image of your iPod's screen. Screenshots are helpful on websites, in slideshows, and in printed documents. To take a screenshot on an iPod touch, hold down the Home button while quickly pressing the Sleep button on the top of the iPod. The screen flashes and an image is saved into the Saved Photos album in Photos. You can sync the iPod to get the screenshots from the album or you can view the image and tap the Email Photo button.

Save Images
You can save an image while browsing the web in Safari. Tap and hold the image you wish to save. The image you are about to save is highlighted. Tap the Save Image button that appears. The image is saved into the Saved Photo album in Photos.

Parental Controls
You can enable restrictions for students on an iPod touch. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions. Tap Enable Restrictions. You'll be asked to create a four-digit passcode. The passcode will be needed to change restrictions in the future. You can restrict access to explicit iPod content, web browsing, YouTube, iTunes, and installing applications.

Gmail Email
Many apps expect users to have access to email in order to get text, data, images, and video out of the app and into other computers. Many schools do not issue email addresses to students. If iPods are shared among students, it may not be wise to have each of them input their email information anyhow. In this case, it might be best to create a free Gmail account for each iPod. Develop a naming system for the iPods and for the Gmail accounts. For example, I might use vincentipod01 for iPod #1, vincentipod02 for iPod #2, and so on. You will need to create the accounts online and then imput the information into each iPod by going into Settings > Mail, Contact, Calendars > Add Account...

Scrolling back to the top from the bottom of a long web page can take a lot of flicking. Instead, double-tap the white bar along the top of the screen to jump right to the top of the page.

Battery Care
The lithium-ion battery in your iPod won't last forever. But, there are things you can do to keep it from aging prematurely. Keeping iPod in a cool place, exercising the battery, and never letting the battery completely discharge are just a few pieces of advice I share in Episode #13 of the Learning in Hand: iPods podcast. Click to listen or subscribe.

Punctuation & Capitalization
Double-tapping the space bar after a letter or word inserts a period and a space. The next word will be capitalized. In fact, iPod touch automatically capitalizes certain words like I and iPod. Also, iPod touch adds apostrophes to many words like you're and I'm.

Extra Earbuds
Those white earbuds that come with an iPod can get lost or wear out. Replacing them with Apple earbuds costs $29 (which is ridiculous because you can buy an iPod shuffle with earbuds for just $20 more). A cheap place for purchasing earbuds is WalMart. They have some black earbuds for 97ยข. Remember, it's always good to have extras around for when they are needed.

Keep Earbuds Untangled
Keeping earbuds in desks or all together in a box is bound to create a tangled mess. To keep teachers and students from wasting time untangling earbuds, I suggest putting hooks on the wall--one for each pair of earbuds. Number the earbuds (a folded-over flap of tape works well) and number the hooks. When earbuds aren't in use, students gently hang them on the assigned hook.

Yes, an iPod touch is designed to be used with fingers, not a stylus. However, there are times you may need a stylus. Students with fine motor skills may need a stylus to operate the device. People with really greasy fingers appreciate a stylus because it keeps the screen clean. Those with long fingernails find using a stylus easier than trying to tap the screen with no tool. It's way easier to draw using a stylus than using a finger. Unfortunately, because of the nature of iPod touch's touchscreen, a regular stylus will not work. You can buy a stylus made specifically for iPod touch and are sold for $13-$20. There's the Japanese Touch Pen Stylus, Pogo iPhone Stylus, and the Soft-Touch Stylus. Below is a video where I compare the three styluses: