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Re: [teacherartexchange] ipods in art class and the problem of theft in the classroom


From: Jean King (kingjean_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 09 2008 - 07:22:35 PDT

Hi all and particularly Heather!

Reading over the last post, I have to say, the problem here isn't the
iPod or the teacher's ability to manage the classroom, but theft. It
seems, unfortunately, that theft happens. In the middle school/junior
high group, where impulse control seems particularly weak at moments,
it often seems at its worst. I taught art and ceramics in middle
school during the pre-iPod days. We had a problem with other items,
money, jewelry, etc disappearing. On two occasions the administration
had to be called in to help recover the missing property. Funny, it
always seemed to be recovered from the garbage bins. Theft happened
in different classes with different students, even during different

As an adult, I know not to go leaving objects like my iPod, PDA,
camera, wallet or other valuables lying out in a public space while I
am not with them. Actually, I wouldn't leave them lying out while I
was right there! This includes in the classroom. This is a lesson
that I've learned the hard way. I know teachers who have lost cameras
from their desks during the course of a day. I use an iPod as an AV
tool during class. When it is not in use, it is not out where it
would be available to anyone with sticky fingers and no respect for
the property of others.

My solution? Large pockets or a pouch, purse, or small bag in which
to carry things. I use these myself and while teaching middle school
I made a class rule that students had to keep their valuables, this
would include iPods if they had been available, on their person at all
times. I had one lesson at the beginning of the year where the
students designed and made a bag or container of some sort that could
hold all their goodies and keep them safely on their person. I
supplied a very basic pattern that the students could use as a
starting point. It worked. It was creative. It was fun. We had
basically no problems once this was done.

I currently teach in an elementary school, so the ipods in the class
room is not an issue for me, but theft has been. It has only been a
problem with fifth graders, a handful of whom are old enough to be in
middle school. The same solution has worked here. They've made small
pouches to hold money and/or jewelry. This combined with making
administration and parents aware of the possibility of loss of
property seems to do the trick.

I love my iPods. I use two iPods in the classroom, one older model to
hold music and photos for slide shows and an iPod classic for holding
music and videos including a lot of pod casts and youtube downloads.
Those two and an AV cord and I'm set. Even then, I don't leave them
lying out. I carry a small bag, bandolier style, to hold my
electronic goodies, cell phone, iPods and camera along with my ID and
money. It works for me.

More power to iPods in the classroom!

Jean King in Houston, Texas

On Oct 9, 2008, at 8:16 AM, wrote:

> I used to let my students use ipods as long as "I didn't notice
> them" as
> well. It worked well. That is, until one was stolen in the middle
> of art
> class during the clean-up chaos. The girl flipped out, the students
> accused each other (because we all knew it was someone currently in
> the
> room), I had to call was a nightmare. The girl's mother
> was
> livid, my admin was livid...I felt horrible.
> It showed up a few days later in a trash can - after the battery had
> run
> out, and the theif realized that it couldn't be recharged w/o the
> docking
> station.
> I will never, ever, EVER allow anything like that in my room again.
> Ever.
> Heather in TX
> ---
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