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Fletcher students, teachers to use iPods at school

Fletcher_Students who use their iPods in class usually get in trouble, but a school in Comanche County says that the MP3 players will actually keep kids "plugged in" to their studies.  Kids are tech-savvy - much more so than even 10 years ago, and Fletcher has decided to bring the tech to the teachers to help work with their students in the 21st Century. 

Fletcher teacher Vicki Sullivan has had to learn how to use her MP3 player.  She, along with other teachers and students, got a crash course in learning how to use the iPod on Thursday since the school is going hi-tech.  Beginning this school year, they will podcast schoolwork - putting lessons, homework assignments - and even school plays - onto a computer to be transferred to handheld MP3 players for grades pre-K through 12th grade.  

Sullivan teaches Spanish and says it will make the job a lot easier.  "That will be wonderful, just to be able to go over the words once, and record it, and have it available for their use on an iPod," she said.  Sophomore Lauren Baldwin agrees.  "I think it's really smart for them to be taking something that we do normally and integrating that into something educational."

Baldwin uses her iPod to play music every day and says she's excited to see them used in the classroom.  "It's what we know so it's easier to understand," she said.  Students also will be able to get into the act by creating their own podcasts for their teachers.  Students not only will be learning in a creative way, they'll learn 21st Century communication skills at the same time. 

Multifaceted learning and communication isn't the only plus in going high-tech.  Superintendent Kathryn Turner says that when teachers are away, they can record their next day's work.  "We can then put it on the whiteboard and she's teaching the lesson, even though she's not there," she said.  The same applies when students are out on school trips - they can sync their iPods and get lessons ahead of time.  "They can still be a part of the instructional day even while they're absent," said Turner.

Baldwin is excited to see the technology benefit the 480 students at Fletcher.  "I think it'll get them prepared, not only for college, but also the technological world that we're all a part of now," she said.  "It's exciting, and it makes me feel good to go to a school that's this far ahead.  That's cool."

Currently, students must use their own iPod, but Fletcher is hoping to start a rental program for the MP3 players.  Fletcher Schools will also begin construction on their new library which is slated to open to students and the public giving them both opportunities to view podcasts before and after regular school hours.

Count on 7News to bring you updates on the school's new program.

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