The debate over the use of technology in the classroom is one that is gaining momentum as the Internet continues to dominate society. The use of technology in education has its pros and cons, and the iPod falls into this debate.
Students want to use their iPods in class as well as in the halls and the cafeteria. The bottom line in regards to iPods is that they are a major distraction, and not beneficial to the learning environment.
The major problem that arises with iPod use is that some teachers allow it, while others stick to school policy and do not allow them to be used. If not every teacher is on board with the rules, these sorts of debates will rear their ugly heads.
Many students would use them properly, but a few bad apples would use them improperly, thus ruining the use of iPods for every student. iPods are distracting. The desire to use them to check their email, their Facebook account, or to update their status on whichever social media site would be too overwhelming, and their academics would suffer terribly as a direct result.
*Disruption of Class
A student using an iPod cannot follow along with the teacher and the lesson being taught. Many students claim that they can multi-task and that music helps them to focus, but this is a massive fallacy. When a student claims to be able to multi-task, simply ask them to write the alphabet forwards while saying it backwards. This should last but a moment or two until your point is fully hammered home.
During seat work time, when some teachers allow iPods to be used, they are still distracting. Many students play the music too loudly (which is also damaging their hearing), sing along aloud, talk about the artists or songs with their neighbours, dangle one headphone out so that others can hear, keep beat on their desk or body, and any other distracting behaviour that you can fathom.
The more that school gives in when it comes to technology, the harder it is going to become to teach effectively. Technology provides simpler methods of doing things, but the goal of education is to teach children how to read and write, how to problem solve, how to calculate equations, and how to think on their own. The more dependent upon technology that society becomes, the more likely it is that schools will follow suit. This is dangerous from a learning perspective.
Students should use their iPods at home or on their own time. They do not need to have them during school time.
Teachers have a hard enough time corralling their audience on a daily basis. It takes an effective teacher to be able to reach students of this generation, as it is awfully difficult to compete with the instant gratification of Internet based technology.
A generation ago, it would have seemed downright silly to see every student bringing in his or her turntables to listen to music all day. How come these students managed to get through class without hearing their favourite assortment of tunes?