There has been a lot of news lately about students cheating in the classroom by using an iPod. Enough news, that even my school got on board and just recently has banned the use of iPods. And I am chagrined and saddened.
Below, you will find a copy of the letter I will be giving my administration (which I have a very good relationship with) on Monday and if you have questions, comments, or additions â€“ please feel free to let me know.
Dear (name withheld),
I would like to have a moment of your time to discuss the recent decision to ban iPod at (my school name.)
In the last few weeks and months, the iPod has come under a great deal of scrutiny in the news on the misuse of the iPod within the classroom. I also understand that several students at (school name) have not actually cheated yet, but have made comments that have made the teachers suspect that if opportunity presented itself, they would cheat.
In no way would I ever wish to be an administrator and have to deal with all the issues that you have to, but if I could â€“ can I tell you some benefits of using the ipod and suggest a way that perhaps they can be used more productively in our school?
The iPod is a device that is not only beneficial for listening to music â€“ it is so much more. I know that you yourself have an iPod and we have discussed many times about the podcasts we listen to. So, I think you will understand that if we ban iPod, we are banning the possibility of students (and teachers) benefiting from being able to listen to podcasts.
Also, with the microphone I showed you, we will be banning the opportunity for our students and our teachers to make recordings. Mr. (name withheld) has been using his ipod to record his classes and has made those mp3â€™s available for students who had missed his class. I also know that the Spanish teacher was also using the ipod to record student conversations. And now with this ban, they will not be able to continue these activities.
The iPod also can be a portable harddrive which allows our students to save their homework assignments to bring from home and you can also download and listen to books, articles (and yes, movies and tv shows!)
I would like to propose the following iPod directives for next year and would love to talk possibilities with you.
#1 â€“ An iPod On or Off option directed COMPLETELY by the teacher. Thatâ€™s it â€“ simplistic. We wonâ€™t make it argumentative by saying â€œif the teacher isnâ€™t talking â€“ because then they will argue that the chapel speaker isnâ€™t technically a â€œteacherâ€ â€“ and we canâ€™t say only when the teacher is speaking â€“ because sometimes there is learning to be done when the teacher is not saying a word. The rule would be simple â€“ the teacher decides whether iPods can be be On or Off.
And if necessary â€“ Rule #2 â€“ if you have an iPod with you at school, it will be visible ON YOUR DESK during all tests and exams.
I feel that with these two rules, you will successfully handle the misuse of iPod, yet continue to provide an opportunity for the iPod to be used again at (school name!)
When you have time, I would love to chat with you more about this!
And if I havenâ€™t told you lately, I love working here!
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