Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Pod People

Schools are struggling with students who bring their iPods to school. But some schools are joining the iPod generation rather than fighting it.

These schools are employing iPods as tools to increase bi-lingual abilities and as adjuncts to lessons in just about all subjects. The schools purchase iPods in bulk and load them with video and audio lessons. Some buy the devices for all students; others buy enough to hand out in classes. Some are finally allowing or even encouraging students to bring their own iPods to school, so that the lesson files can be loaded.

In one recent class at Jose Marti school in New Jersey, Spanish speaking eighth-grade students mouthed the words to the English language rock song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s as they played the tune on the iPods over and over again. The braver ones sang out loud.

“It speaks to me,” said Stephanie Rojas, 13, who moved here last year from Puerto Rico and now prefers to sing in English. “I take a long time in the shower because I’m singing, and my brothers are like, ‘Hurry up!’”

Grace Poli, a media specialist at Jose Marti, said her Spanish-speaking students — known around the school as Pod People — have been able to move out of bilingual classes after just a year of using the digital devices, compared with an average of four to six years for most bilingual students.

Read about it here

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