Preview of the New Classroom

In a preview of what future classrooms may soon look like, a local news affiliate is reporting on a middle school in Chapel Hill, NC that has provided every student with an iPod Touch.  Free use of the devices has been modified a bit – students do not take them home and certain sites, like Facebook, have been blocked.  But students are harnessing multiple applications through one device:

“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…Students can also download podcasts or play math or word games.

The implications of these sorts of devices are staggering – from the ability to access multiple applications and resources, build multi-media projects, engage in targeted reading and vocabulary activities, or even receive instant tutorials on any topic – it is clear that digital content (and the tools used to access it) will change the way we conceive of classrooms and the way information is delivered.  It’s possible, in fact, to conceive of students accessing individualized text based on their own Lexile reading level.  Just imagine: every student reading on the same topic, the same information, but targeted at their own Lexile level.  That time may be here sooner than we think.

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