BETT 2005, the UK's largest IT in education show has begun with a strong Apple presence.

Apple is demonstrating the iPod shuffle and Mac mini at the show for the first time to an enthusiastic audience of Mac fans. It's interesting to note that neither of these products is yet on show inside Apple's flagship store on London's Regent Street.

iPod-friendly UK study unveiled

Meanwhile, at BETT, developers continue to find ways to extend the use of Apple's market-leading iPod, with an educational slant.

UK advanced level study courses from are available for download to student's iPods. has published new audio study materials for Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry and Physics in MP3 format. And these materials are on exhibit at the education trade show.

The materials were developed in cooperation with audio on the Web specialist, ReadSpeaker UK. business studies lecturer Martin Brown said: "The audio technology from ReadSpeaker is unique and it can add audio to any Web-site.

"We have taken this development further with the idea that students need study and revision resources that don't tie them to a computer screen, or a library. Listening to revision notes on an iPod/MP3 player, can be done anywhere, and utilises your auditory memory, which for many students leads to better retention of knowledge."

Global experiments in sound

In November, the UK's largest education reseller, Research Machines (RM) published a page looking at using iPods in classrooms.

"Every curriculum comes alive when audio is part of the instruction. The latest iPod update turns any iPod into an innovative educational tool," it said.

US educators are already ahead of the curve on this. Professor Rob Viau uses iPods to enhance his English and interdisciplinary arts courses at Georgia College and State University.
Also in the US, Duke University is seeing success in its initiative to furnish incoming students with iPods for use in learning: "With the iPods, each student can listen at their own pace and they have the control to pause or replay certain parts… I find that the slower students have more confidence," a teacher said.