North Rowan freshmen to use iPods at school

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Maggie Blackwell
mblackwell@salisburypost.com
Freshmen at North Rowan High School will soon use iPod Touch devices in the classroom.
North principal Rodney Bass presented the school’s plan for integrating the technology into the classroom at the Rowan Salisbury Board of Education meeting on Jan. 27.
The school has worked closely with Apple Corp. representatives, who trained school staff on using the devices in the classrooms. School Board member Jean Kennedy recently accompanied Bass and other staff to Chapel Hill for demonstrations.
Examples of applications include games on the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Teachers can post podcasts of lectures on the Internet so students can review them in the evening. Math teachers can use podcasts to explain new concepts, Bass said.
Parents have asked how the school will control students’ use of the iPods to ensure appropriate use.
Bass explained that teachers will know if a student has used his device inappropriately, and they can impose appropriate consequences.
Teachers will be trained in February, and will integrate iPods into the classroom in early March. Digital lesson plans will continue through the rest of the year. Students will use the iPods for student projects in April or May.
North is one of the first high schools in North Carolina to use iPods in the classroom. State school administrators and representatives from other states have expressed an interest in visiting North to observe the devices in action.
Using technology to teach meets students at their comfort level, Bass said.
He estimates 90 percent of the students will “run” with the technology.
The school is holding a contest for students to come up with a name for the program.
Bass will update the school board frequently, and the school will survey students, teachers, and parents to assess the effectiveness of the technology.
The school system will purchase more iPods for incoming freshmen. In three years, the entire student body will use of them.
Ninth-grade teachers are “chomping at the bit” to use them, Bass said.
Updates on the project will soon be available at www.rss.k12.nc.us/21stCentury/ipodMain.html.

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