Have iPod - Will Learn

Gil Klein reports on the use of iPods in "Teachers Turn Nuisance into a Tool." In composition:

"The students are drawn in because they see the bells and whistles," said John Stewart, an English teacher at Gunston Middle School in Arlington County. "But it really helps them with their writing, basic logic and the fundamentals of composition."

Students eagerly stay after school to work with Stewart to create podcasts of their poetry, essays, and just the sounds of their lives. They mix music, sounds and words.

For English language learners:

The big advantage has been for English-language learners, Conner said.

The teacher creates a podcast of vocabulary words. The students download it into their iPods and can listen to it over and over. They can make their own recording of the words and compare their pronunciation to the teacher's.

Every week, students are given 20 vocabulary words to learn, Conner said. Before they used iPods, the students might on average learn 40 percent. Using the iPods, she said, they now average 95 percent.

Combining math and music:

"You can get material to students just in time at a level they need," he said. "They can go over the content again and again. And if you put math lessons to rap music, they can have fun."

iPod-toting students are in the Education Corral, facing off and learning their subjects.