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Should Schools Use iPods as Educational Tools?

Ever since the release of the iPod and snazzy Smartphones the media has been a buzz about iPod thieves and the assumption that iPods are actually contributing to crime and hearing loss.

On the flip side, many schools have started using iPods as an educational tool. Monday's New York Times featured "In Some Schools, iPods Are Required Listening," an article about how the use of digital music players help bilingual students improve their vocabulary and grammar by singing along to pop songs and mimicking pronunciation.

I think the idea is fantastic because using an iPod provides the same function of listening to language lessons on tape. Do you think the iPods can provide an educational benefit in class, or are you against their use in school?


mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 10 years
Yes. Teachers/admins are so uptight about iPods. We aren't even allowed to have them on campus. Blech.
MuffinGal MuffinGal 10 years
It can definately be used as an educational tool but if it becomes the norm than tuitions can come down.
Calliegirl25 Calliegirl25 10 years
I could definitely work to a teacher's advantage to use a tool that will hold the childs attention for longer than five minutes. I think it's a great idea to use iPods in school.
Matdredalia Matdredalia 10 years
I've been trying to learn Japanese for years, and listening to Japanese music, as well as Japanese language tutors via podcast has been a HUGE help. Also, a friend of mine has a professor that uses podcasts as study guides, and I read an article about a medical school that used iPod's to let students listen to various lung disorders and heart malfunctions, so that they could recognize them later. The percentage of students who could recognize these disorders raised something like 15% because of previous listening. Personally, I think it's a great idea to combine modern technology with learning. I think it will encourage students to embrace education as more than just a required step in life.
lisseth0221 lisseth0221 10 years
I'm a college student and I have actually had teachers who have podcasts we can download to review for tests! It's pretty cool!
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
very interesting points by everyone. all i want to add is that if lectures were available in podcast format i would never attend university classes, as i'd be able to listen to a lecture and do something useful at the same time (yes, i'm saying that most lectures are useless).
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 10 years
I voted maybe. As a teacher (8th grade Physical Science) I can see the good and bad of this. The good would be that lectures could be recorded so that students can always review for tests and quizzes. If there is a tutorial for something like calculating acceleration or balancing equations, a video can be made so that students can review that also. A student that is absent wouldn't necessarily need to come in for help sessions. They can just go grab the podcast! The bad would include situations like students cheating. At the high school, students sneak ipods into classrooms, thread the cord through their sweatshirts and lean their head in their hand to cover an ear bud (I hope that made sense). They use the video part to show how to complete certain problems. It can also be a distraction with inappropriate music and video. Imagine catching students watching porn in the middle of class!! Not to mention, parents that are professionals within your field contest the things you say ALL the time. I would hate to be a math teacher and have parents argue that you're doing it the wrong way. Just my two cents. ;)
Leopardcc Leopardcc 10 years
I think it could work
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 10 years
it depends on the situation; but at my school, one of the freshman history classes has lectures on podcasts. im a senior so im not taking the class; but im pretty sure in some cases (test review days, lectures with tough topics, etc) that itd come in handy.
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 10 years
I know a lot of people don't like Apple as a company but they do great works for a lot of public schools. They offer student discounts on most of the products they sell. My 9 year old has a nano (got it for her 8th birthday) and she loves it, I've added a lot of "schoolhouse rock" type songs for her. My 5 year old has a shuffle that we use for his music therapy (due to his Autism). The shuffle is great, because it clips on his clothing and it's SO easy that he can use it. Our school is very technology oriented, we have the SMARTboard in both of my kids classrooms and they have to evolve with technology.
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 10 years
I agree with glam sugar.
DASO DASO 10 years
we all know that mp3 players are not good for our ears, if I was using it for 11 years in for learning you think that I can hear now, I don't think. that mean that my answer as NO.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 10 years
Heck - who cares what type of .mp3 player is used... podcasts are a very valid way to exchange information. Don't you listen to audiobooks? The podcast method is an increasingly popular education tool which has even broken its way into corporate training programs.
jdots24 jdots24 10 years
While I agree that it isn't feasible to make ipods mandatory anytime soon, many of my classes require computer use and I think having the added option to using them would be helpful. I don't think ipods would replace textbooks (though computers might eventually) but can be used as an additional tool.
awteena awteena 10 years
i agree with mediafreak. first of all - does apple really need to have another market cornered? secondly - kids are smarter than adults...they will find a way to cheat, copy, or put other things on their mp3 players instead of lessons. and lastly - it also depends on whether the schools are providing these players or if they are assuming that everyone owns one at home already.
workofiction workofiction 10 years
We have schools that can't afford to replace books that have been marked with graffiti and have pages torn out. We also have schools that can't afford this luxury and most parents can't afford one (I know I can't and I'm a single woman!). Yes, in an ideal world, they'd be great! It's just not realistic.
mediafreak mediafreak 10 years
Depends. If by ipod you mean mp3 players in general, then yes. If you mean just the ipod, then no.
hkdkat hkdkat 10 years
I would use it on off class time in addition to, or in place of, reading. I like to read and hear so for me it'd be a perfect combination.
smart-blonde smart-blonde 10 years
Because people learn in many different ways, the iPod can really help kids who are auditory or musical learners. Facts are usually easier when set to music (School House Rock, anyone?) and iPods bring new ways of learning. They also take up a lot less space and can hold more information than cassette or CD players!
aistea311 aistea311 10 years
The only down fall is that kids can find ways to cheat. Like record answers or listen to music instead of their assignment.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 10 years
I think it's a good idea for kids to learn how to use the new gadgets of today. Just like how we learned how to use computers! It's the modern technology of this time, and I think it would benifical if kids knew how to use it propoerly.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 10 years
It could work with kids that are mature enough to handle it.
starofsorrow starofsorrow 10 years
I don't know... ipods are really only useful as educational tools for those who can hear. If they start requiring them in classes, what would those who can't hear do about that? That beign said, I think it'll be good for the ESL students to use ipods as a audio book fo a sort so taht they can hear what it sounds like.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 10 years
I think they could be distracting, and also a source of cheating, but I think it would help students learn a new language. Not through pop songs (who wants their kid to learn english from that!) but from real listening learning ways.
glynislily glynislily 10 years
I think that education should evolve with technology. Especially in the case of kids learning English. By listening to English they can learn the language faster and they will also learn it in a way that can be fun. Look at what computers have done for education. Maybe MP3 players are one of the next steps.
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