My Daughter’s High School Bans iPODS

Some how I was hoping that technology would spring to the forefront in due time but alas just the opposite is happening. What can I say? Our Principal is top notch and the school well respected graduating students with exceptional GPA’s and SAT’s. I decided to write to the principal and supply him with some resources to help him reconsider the ban. Here is an excerpt from the email I sent him this evening:

I am aware of the 2020 on iPOD use for ‘cheating’ but have you considered the flip side? Here is an article which makes a case for encouraging students to use iPODS during testing. Frankly in the information age, technology is an extension of our brains. We can’t possible retain all of the information but must learn to resource it instead. A students who can figure out how to record, organize, edit and then find what they need on an iPOD has valued 21st century skills. I don’t condone cheating but this is higher order thinking, problem solving at work. Isn’t it? These are my words, the article says it better.

I am a proponent of technology in the classroom and would like to see students engaged in vodcasting and podcasting as part of their curriculum. Easy for me to say, I teach kindergarten. Instead of closing doors to things that inspire consider ways to use these new tools to benefit teachers and learners.

Do you have an iPOD or other mp3 player? If not I strongly suggest you take the time to use one as a professional development tool. I’d be happy to suggest some beneficial podcasts. I think you’ll begin to see the flip side of the coin. You could be embracing the future instead of trying to prevent it.

PS Check out how a Michigan HS is using iPODS , Or look at this rural GA school . If you are still skeptical I would be happy to provide additional resources.

What do you think? Does anyone out there have any more examples of how mp3 players can make a positive difference in educating HS students? Just in case he asks me for a few more examples, I’d like to be prepared. Thanks for your help!

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6 Responses to “My Daughter’s High School Bans iPODS”

  1. JenW Says:

    My school did the same thing —

    and honest to God, the thing that got to my admin the most was when I asked if they were going to ban pens, paper, and pencils too? Since they are all involved with cheating possibilities as well??

    I took a chance — but it worked — and at least my admin took a step back enough to reconsider.

    My school still has a NO iPOD for the students — but the teachers are able to use them within their classrooms. Baby steps — but it is working.


  2. Rachel Boyd Says:

    Good on you for your polite yet informative response to the Principal… at least you are letting your views be known. I am a primary school teacher (6 & 7 year olds) and only one child in my class has an mp3 player so I hardly have the issue of using/banning (!) them with students.
    Great that you sent some useful links to the principal too, because with further education on the possible educational uses and benefits, fears and barriers may come down…. keep chipping away at the stone!

    Cheers, Rachel

  3. IPods in the Classroom. Pros and Cons « turner’s techno tigers and trips Says:

    […] […]

  4. hutchk10 Says:

    I feel that if a student brings their iPOD to school thats their business, and its wrong for it to get taken away from the student. But on the other hand if they abuse it than what other choice do they have? Ive noticed that that its a lot easier to concintrate when your listening to some music. I feel that one person abused it now were all getting punished, but the district never knows how we will act with them until they give us a chance. When they use them for cheating thats when they should be aken away.

  5. APteachr Says:

    Late reply… but what about the schools that expect their students to do critical thinking rather than just attend classes and memorize?

    I’ll be honest with you, students who “study” with “their music on” don’t seem to learn as deeply, or maybe they are not really studying but just enjoying the music…as I do when I exercise, walk the dog, or clean house while enjoying my iPod and my own selection of music. Sometimes I cook dinner with my iPod on, but I am polite enough to remove the earbuds when my husband or children enter the room, as I know how important family interaction is. Sometimes I listen to my iPod as I get dressed in the morning, or as I fold clothes or vacuum. Sometimes I think I might like to listen to my music to fall asleep – but usually I am asleep before I can reach for my iPod after a long, busy day. I must say that there are so many opportunities during the day to listen to my music that I have never felt the need to do so at school between classes, in the classroom, in the lunch room, or during my planning peridod … I am a high school teacher, and when I am at school educating our children I want to put my all into their education, just as I expect them to use their full abilities in return.

    I don’t think the issue is that children should not use an iPod, but rather WHEN they should use it. Perhaps they need more household chores, so that like me, they will find plenty of time to listen to music without having to choose between concentrating on learning and socializing with friends, or using the latest technology to listen to music.

    • ripplingpond Says:

      Thanks for the wake up call! I do love the idea of equating household chores with listening to music and I have been questioning my past outrages in light of my own experiences with binge technology issues. In fact just today I was sharing a video with a friend, which lead to a related youtube video of the same individual. There, I heard something that relates directly to your post involving productivity or the lack there-of due to multi-tasking.

      The speaker, Tim Ferriss, a productivity expert, claims to have some hard evidence suggesting that productivity is impaired by electronic-multitasking more so than some unlikely alternatives. To hear what he has to say, just go to this video and forward to the 3:20 minute spot.

      In addition, I just completed the book The Upside of Irrationality which in part makes the case for longer focus time on tougher tasks. In other words breaks are detrimental to productivity! haha, That might appear to be obvious but when you observe life practices, you see that many people consider breaks a requirement and a way to recharge their brains. Are we too easy on ourselves?

      Thanks for your comment. Do you have a blog? If so, you should post the link next time you make a comment so that I can benefit from your thinking out loud on a regular basis.

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