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


From: Rebecca Burch (mamallama_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 09 2008 - 09:19:32 PDT

Thanks for the info, everyone.

Jean, theft isnt' really much of a problem at my school. It's a tiny
school, and kids typically don't steal because they know someone will
find out. It's such a small school, if something goes missing
everyone knows, and if that thing turns up elsewhere, it's hard to
play it off like it's really yours. So, I'm not as worried about
theft as I am about the ipods becoming a huge distraction.

I think I'm going to try to get the administration to work with me on
this one. Who knows? They might actually say "yes." They have been
pretty open to ideas that I assume will be shot down, so I might be

thanks to everyone who responded. I've compliled a lot of your
comments to give to my principal for consideration. Kids have been
begging for this, so it will work as a great incentive system, too!


On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 10:22 AM, Jean King <> wrote:
> 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 years!
> 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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