iPods at School: Good or Bad?

April 8, 2011
By WayneGretzkyjr. BRONZE, Boulder, Colorado
WayneGretzkyjr. BRONZE, Boulder, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

For Brendan, school is a place where he is constantly scolded for being seen with his iPod; but maybe he would benefit from being able to use this device in class. Teachers should allow students to use iPods: they help kids focus; they help develop good habits that will help students in their future; and they can be very helpful to kids with special needs.

Many teachers may not be aware of this, but iPods can actually help kids pay attention and remain focused in class. As iPods continue to increase in popularity, Whitefish Bay and other suburban high schools have decided that a total ban on iPods is unnecessary and that music can help kids focus (“Study: iPods Help Students Concentrate”). IPods block out chatter and talking from other students. They also help kids concentrate longer and maintain interest during lectures or lessons. Listening to music before class or after lunch can help calm students down and prepare them to learn. Three kids who use iPods to focus and relax during class at Centaurus High School have A’s in their math class.

Another reason students should be allowed to have iPods in school is because using them can help develop good habits. These will help them succeed in school and even prepare them for their future. IPods can be used to prepare for tests. Students can record lectures in class and then play them back to study. Some iPods (iPod touches) can be used to take notes which can also be a helpful study tool. In addition, iPods help people prepare for a modern life where we rely heavily on technology. Everyday, computers and blackberries are used to help people with jobs involving architecture and design, writing presentations and creating posters; and cell phones are used for communication; so, shouldn’t we be preparing for a life where these behaviors are common? There are also many educational applications available on iPods such as dictionaries, calculators and educational games and videos. “Using iPods with internet access isn’t cheating, it’s just using a resource,” commented Mike Elgan, technology writer and former editor of windows magazine (“iPod Ban Too Much?” 18).

Finally, iPods (especially iPod touches) are very helpful to kids with special needs. Some kids at a deaf school in Ohio use iPod touches to communicate with each other. IPod touches are also helpful in capturing the students’ attention because kids are entertained by new technology. At Gibbs Elementary School, Jon Smith (a teacher) uses iPod touches in his fifth grade class of special-education students. “I think a lot of it is kids are more interested,” Smith said. “Special-education kids can be difficult to motivate because learning is hard.”(“IPods help special-education students excel”). The iPod touch is also helpful because it provides a hands-on approach to get kids more involved and makes learning more entertaining instead of just listening to a teacher and taking notes. Special needs (deaf or blind) kids who use iPod touches/iPads are increasing their chances of succeeding in school and getting a job (something many other deaf/blind kids struggle with) because of how much more they are learning and remembering by using these tools.

It is clear that iPods should be allowed in school because they’re helpful and can help improve kids’ grades. Many people only see the negative effects of iPods, but they can have positive effects too. They help kids focus, give special needs kids extra help and can even help start habits that can prepare people for their future. Allowing iPods in class will actually be beneficial to students and have a positive effect instead of a negative one like many other people believe. Joseph Daley, the Superintendent at Valley View School District says “I think the iPod touch is going to be another cutting edge piece for education” (“iPods at school?”). There’s no point in making the effort to ban iPods when they can easily help people. Wouldn’t you rather give kids an advantage in school instead of slowing them down?

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