iPods hit the classroom

By Dan Howell

Imagine walking across the quad with your homework for your next class playing through your headphones. Some colleges and Universities are using iPod’s for benefit outside the classroom.

Kathy O’Connor is the Associate Director of English and Foreign Languages at Tidewater Community College, and she uses iPod’s in her Spanish classes.

“I load the iPods with the listening comprehension activities that students need to do in relation to their study of Spanish,” O’Connor saide. “Also I load on there pronunciation practice and pronunciation of the vocabulary.”

Tidewater received a special grant for students to rent out the iPods. O’Connor believes students are learning more because of the new system.

“The advantage is, and the feedback I’ve received from the students is that they are listening way more than they ever did before,” O’Connor said. “I had one student who said she was listening a half hour a week and now she’s listening four hours a week.”

Georgia College & State University also has an iPod program. Their iPod Coordinator Sonny McKenzie sees many of the same advantages as O’Connor.

“Since the students are able to put their own music on the iPod as well, they’re more likely to have their course material with them at any given moment and they can just kind of listen to the materials at any time,” McKenzie said.

Duke University has an extensive iPod program. New students receive iPods engraved with their class year and emblem that are loaded with orientation information and their fight songs.