The New York Times has an interesting story about how iPods are being used more and more in bilingual classrooms.
For example, a school in Hudson County, NJ has been “handing out the portable digital players to help bilingual students with limited English ability sharpen their vocabulary and grammar by singing along to popular songs.” Meanwhile, the Union City district will give out 300 iPods at its schools as part of a $130,000 experiment in one of New Jersey’s poorest urban school systems, according to the report.
The article goes on to give many more examples. It’s a bizarre situation, in one way, given other recent initiatives to ban cell phones and iPods in schools, not hand them out for free. But there’s undeniable appeal in students being able to carry around lectures and listen to them at will. Apple’s own iTunes U plays to this, with the ability to download thousands of audio and video files of lectures from colleges. Extending that kind of power down into public school systems makes sense, particularly in bilingual education.