Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Music and Devices in the Classroom

In one of my first classroom teaching experiences using iPods with students, I found a way to use them that I did not expect. I was not prepared for students overwhelming interest in the music side of the iPod.

external image Copy+of+013+%282%29.JPGBy the second day students were asking me if they could play music before school using the battery operated (or power) speaker system. So every morning they would set up the iPod touch on the speaker system and play music until the bell went, and then they would switch off the music and start their day's work.

On the third day I noticed one of the students had a particularly great singing voice, so I showed her the iKaraoke (US$19.95). We hooked it up to the speaker system and iPod, and she was away, so every morning as well as the music we were being serenaded with other students making 'requests' for songs that she would sing.

But one particular use I noticed that sneaked in was students listening to music while they worked. In this photo, the student has just removed the head set to talk to me but he had been working away quietly listening to music.

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What was interesting was that I noticed that the children who voluntarily used the iPods for music were the mostly 'rambunctious' lot who had the loudest voices, and were the 'ones' that you noticed the most in the class. But when they were listening to the iPods, there was a noticeable silence.
These students were on task, doing their work and not bothering anybody else. I had no problem with them listening to music as they worked as that is something I like to do.
So think about using your iPods playing music when students are working in their books, particularly for those students who are easily distracted.

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