Chapel Hill Schools: In Debt or Cutting Edge?


The headline to this story is impressive.

Chapel Hill school first in world to give students iPod Touch

I snickered.  And when I began reading the story, the snicker turned into laughter:

Culbreth Middle School has 622 of the slim, portable computers – one for every teacher and for every student. They were purchased through grants and technology funds.

“We don’t build lessons around the iPod Touch per se. It’s a tool just like you use your textbook,” said Culbreth technology coordinator Val Brown. “The opportunity it has afforded our kids is amazing. The engagement is simply phenomenal.”

“Purchased” is kinda funny when the money comes from grants, but okay.

And the coordinator admitting that they don’t build lesson plans around them?  Awesome!

I can just imagine the productivity enhancement these kids’ll get while texting and emailing while listening to music at the mall.  I was just about to post what turned into this post when I kept reading:

Students don’t get to take the devices home, but they do carry them from class to class.

Oh!  Well, that’s kinda cool I guess.

“Instead of having lots of resources, books (and) dictionaries around, we can just go to the iPod Touch and research it,” said sixth-grader Emma Brodey.

Hmm, THAT makes sense too.  And really, books (and) dictionaries are “purchased” in the same way the iPods were “purchased.  Who’da thunk it?

There is no phone, music or e-mail capability.

Wow!

As they type in answers to questions, teachers see the responses on a laptop.

“I know before they leave that day who knows what (and) who doesn’t get it, so I have a constant assessment tool,” said teacher Pete Schwartz.

Fascinating.

I may be in favor of iPod Touches for ALL kids!

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