Organizing iPods in the Classroom {giveaway closed}

Awhile ago, I shared with you my plan to convert old books on tape to MP3 and use them on iPods in my classroom.  Well, I am finally all finished!  I'm here with a tutorial today to show you everything I did!

First, I collected some supplies:
  • Tape player
  • 3.5mm cord
  • Books on tape with matching books
  • Download the free program Audacity

I made a little video for you to see how I did it.

Here are my bags of books hanging up.

I put 5 stories on each iPod.  I then put the books in a hanging bag and slapped one of my iPod Labels on the front.  The kids would take a bag and know instantly which iPod they needed.

Check out these labels on TpT!
Just to be safe, I keep my iPods in this safe tucked under my desk.  During reading time, I open it and my "Device Manager" (that's a class job) is in charge of passing them out.

If you have multiple of the same book, you could get this splitter to make the iPod a group center.
I also got some silicone cases for my ipods.  I felt like it would help the kids from dropping them on the floor.  
From left the right: my old nano from 6 years ago, my cousin's that she didn't use anymore, the purple one I was able to purchase with school supply money, and the last two were a generous donation from Donorschoose.  

Well, silly me, but I accidentally ordered too many covers!  So, I have 4 left: black, green, pink, and clear.  They fit the newest 7th Generation.  And I'm going to give them away!

This one will be short and sweet: just leave a comment below telling me if you can use them in your classroom.  I'll throw in a set of the organization labels, too.  But you better go quick!  The giveaway ends tonight at 10pm Hawaii Standard Time.

*****Edit 7/22/13******
I used my old 2007 Macbook Pro to convert my tapes.  I usually leave this laptop at school to use with my projector (the school gave us Netbooks, which don't work very well and you can't play discs on them, so I don't use mine).  I decided to use it to make my tutorial because I already had downloaded Audacity on it, so it was one less step.  

On my old Macbook, I plugged the 35 mm cord into the microphone jack:

A newer Mac doesn't have that jack, it just has the headphone.  So, you will need to purchase a USB adapter to make it work.  I got one from Amazon.

Hope that helps!  If you are still having problems or have questions, you can find many answers here.  I am not a technology genius, so this is all the help I'm equipped to give! Lol.

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin!


  1. Wow! That is the BEST idea ever! I have been getting frustrated with the tape players and the cds getting scratched up! I could totally use those in my classroom. I have some ipods that my family doesn't use anymore. This would be PERFECT! Thank you for this opportunity and sharing this idea.


  2. Oh my gosh!! This post is AmAzInG! I have so many olds tapes and couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get them as a mp3 file to use on my iPods. Thanks sooooooo much!!!

  3. Loving this!! Just gotta ask one thing, when you plugged the cord into your computer, which port did you put it in? The microphone one or head phone one? Or does the software tell you? So going to try this soon! Thanks for the great tutorial!!
    Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

  4. Great post! I recently got 3 ipods (and then my teenage sons donated 3 more!) so I definitely have enough to try this out. Thanks for the idea!
    Whimsy Workshop

  5. I have so many cassette tapes. This is something I need to do! One more thing on my to do list. Thank you this wonderful blog post!

    Terri Izatt

  6. I have planned on doing this for so long and your post just gave me the motivation I needed (the cute labels helped)!! I only have 2 iPods but I'm thinking of putting them on my Back to School Wish List. I'm sure there are quite a few people out there that have them around the house taking up space and not being used. Thanks for motivating me to finally DO THIS!!!

  7. We broke so many CDs last year that I closed our Lisrening Center! I am doing this, this year to save myself a lot of grief! Thank you for the tutorial!

  8. thanks for sharing how to transfer all my books on tape/cd to be able to use them with ipods!

  9. Thanks for the great tutorial! I currently don't have any iPods, but will keep your post in mind if I ever get any!


    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  10. I just dug up and found some of my old ipods and I have cleared all the music and in the process of putting books on them! I would love to have to have covers for them! Oh and I will be ordering that splitter off amazon! thanks

  11. I have the Belkin splitter to use, and am currently using a digital converter to change all the old cassettes over to digital format. I would love to have the labels and covers to organize and color code my materials! Thanks for doing this giveaway. :)

  12. I recently got two new iPods from Donors Choose and would love to have the labels and covers to help organize them! I'm just starting to transfer my books on tape so this tutorial was really helpful!

  13. Your tutorial was very helpful. I have iPods that I plan to use in my classroom this year. Since I do not have many books on tape or cd I plan to record myself reading a book and put that on my iPod. Your labels and covers would be a great addition to my room. Thank you

  14. Converting all my tapes to digital format was on my list to do over the summer but I wasn't able to figure out any of the programs. Thanks so much for helping me. I would love to have ipods in my classroom for books. I'm keeping my eye out for good used ones but don't have any yet. This would be great.

  15. I just received a grant for 8 ipods in my classroom! I can't wait to use them this year and sure could use some covers! Thank you!

  16. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Can you come over here and just do all mine for me?! You are so techy! Love your listening center, great idea!
    Corinna (✿◠‿◠)
    Surfin' Through Second

  18. I have just inherited from a retiring teacher 50 books on tape!!! I was wondering how and where I was going to store them all!! Now I just have to get some I-pods!!!

  19. I have 4 iPods in my classroom, and I definitely need to do this to my books on tape! I didn't know something as simple as a 3.5mm cord would do the trick, though! Thanks!

    Blooming In First

  20. I am just starting an iPod station this year with kinders! I would love this!

    Kindergarten Korner

  21. OMG This is amazing. We were planning on taking all of our tapes in to make them into CDs and then import them into iTunes that way. This skips an (expensive) step! Thank you.

    Do you, by any chance, no if there is a way to add artwork (the cover of the book as an image)? I teach 4k and 5k and I would like them to be able to choose the book by "matching" the cover to the image on the iPod screen.

    1. *know (I hate typos and couldn't handle it)

  22. You are a life saver!! Thank you for sharing!

  23. WOW!! Is there someplace that I can see an image of the cord you are using, I can not picture what it looks like...sorry-I really need to do this, I have SOOO many books on tape!

  24. Thanks for sharing this idea. I have several books on tape, but I don't use them because I don't have my listening center anymore. This would be a great way to reintroduce it with less space required. I have a couple of ipods, so that will be a start.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    Diamond Mom's Treasury

  25. Your video is soo helpful. I can't wait to try this! Thanks for taking the time to make it.

  26. My Audacity only lets me use the microphone built in my Mac (purchased in 2012). So have to let it play out loud on a tape player and then record. My iTunes (latest version) does not have the option to convert to MP3. I am wondering if my stuff is to new? I am going to try on a school computer tomorrow....

  27. Excellent post girlie!! I've almost given away my books on tape sooo many times, but something always stops me. I've gotta look into do this!

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First

  28. OH MY GOD! You just saved me! I bought my iPod nanos at the pawn shop and I wasn't sure about how to transfer the cassettes to Mp3. I also LOVE how you have a playlist for each pod as well as a list in an audiobook file! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I owe you a coffee!!!

    Deb Rogers, 2nd Grade

  29. Very Very Very cool... so many tapes, so little tape players, I can NOT wait to try this!!! Thank you!!

  30. OMG I am so doing this. I have 5 iPODS in my room and I usually use them for students to record themselves reading. I think I'd get so much more use out of them did this with my old books on tape. I have a lot of really good ones that I'd hate to get rid of, but quite honestly the kids don't really use those. This would really get the kids interested in listening to those books. Thanks for the detailed instructions and for the idea.