Sunday, February 15, 2009

Should I-Pods Be Banned from School?

Some high schools are banning iPods and other digital media players because students load them up with notes and formulas before tests. That must be nice. We had to make do with what we could write on the back of our hands

The columnist makes a point that I agree with completely. By forcing kids to memorize the formulas, schools are focusing on the wrong material. Kids study for tests by guessing at what the teacher considers important, memorizing it, and then promptly forgetting it with a day or two. How is that valuable?

The fact that somebody can memorize a formula is not important. In the real world, nobody will expect them to memorize this stuff. Having instant access to notes and reference material via an IPod or the Internet is considered a good thing, not cheating. Instead of banning iPods, they should be encouraged. Make every test open book and open Internet. Then make tests a test of the students problem solving ability, and not a test of their memorization ability.