Schools Dump Textbooks for iPods, Laptops

SUREN on September 22, 2009

Rachel Martin and Christine Brouwer had a story on ABC World News about how schools are replacing traditional textbooks with iPods and laptops. Click here to see the original article. Some excerpts are shown below.

For generations, school meant books -- lots of books. But not anymore. Around the country, from high school to grad school, textbooks are getting harder to find. Technology has made the library something that can fit into the palm of your hand.

 

But Monticello High School in Virginia has launched an even lighter experiment in digital learning. A handful of classes are trying out the iPod Touch as a primary learning tool.

English teacher Mae Craddock said she structures many of her lessons around the new technology, instructing students to research, read and write on their handheld devices. It is something that she says came naturally to them.

"They took right away to it," she told ABC News. "There was no adaptation necessary."

But using Web-enabled devices in the classroom introduces a whole host of other issues. Sure, students are supposed to use the iPods for their class projects, but who will be the wiser if they shoot off an email or a tweet to their friends, or just surf the Web aimlessly instead of doing their work?

While this last comment is a legitimate concern, there are ways to protect against and monitor such misuse. Gaggle.net offers a filtered email service for students that is compatible with the iPod Touch, and Mobicip.com offers a filtered Internet service for students. Apple offers tight restrictions that can be used to disable the installation of inappropriate content and applications form the iTunes Store. Together, these services can help meet schools' need to comply with the federal CIPA guidelines while providing students a safe and secure platform for learning. For more information, contact these providers directly.

http://www.gaggle.net

http://www.mobicip.com

http://www.apple.com