Education

Chapel Hill school gives students iPod Touch

Posted June 7, 2010 10:49 a.m. EDT
Updated June 7, 2010 4:21 p.m. EDT

— One school in Chapel Hill has provided every student with an iPod touch.

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.”

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

“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.

There is no phone, music or e-mail capability. Students can surf the web, though many sites are blocked, including Facebook. Students can also download podcasts or play math or word games.

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.

The staff at Culbreth Middle is talking with several schools across the U.S. and in other countries about how they can use the devices in their classrooms.