I agree with Jane with how she deals with the i-pods/mps.
I also allow them in class, and will fight against any school wide ban on
The rules in the room are simple..
1. They must be 'unplugged' when I am talking (ie: mp3 player OFF and
earphones OUT of ears)
2. It is a privilege that will be lost if abused.
3. The music must be quiet.
I usually spend a while reminding the students "more time on your work, less
time choosing play lists!", but that gets under control quickly.
For a lot of students with ADD or ADHD, being able to 'plug in' allows that
student to focus in class and stay on task. It allows the students to 'tune
out' the rest of the class.