An idea that was originally hatched last year has become a success in student learning among Intensive Reading students at North Port High School, reports the Sun Newspapers of Florida: The use of iPod Shuffles has become a way for students not just to jam to the latest hits outside of school, but also to improve their reading skills while in school. The project began in October and has motivated and encouraged students to read more, according to teachers. An average of five students in the reading course go to the library for the first 30 minutes of class, open an assigned book, and listen along on audio books with assigned Shuffles as they read. "The program is great. It’s a high-tech way and a great way to bridge the generation gap and make it more modern," said Erin DelCastillo, a NPHS reading teacher who also teaches the course. According to DelCastillo, listening to an audio book and following along is a fluency strategy, helping the rate at which a person reads. NPHS is the first school in the district to implement the iPods in education. Last year, Kristi Alexander, NPHS media specialist, attended the Florida Association of Media in Education and learned about the use of iPods in other high schools in the state. Alexander thought the idea would be beneficial to NPHS and worked with her husband, Todd Alexander, who was the tech facilitator last school year. The couple used money from the technology department to purchase 40 iPod Shuffles and media funds to purchase the audio books. Alexander is hoping to purchase iPod Nanos in the future, which will allow students to see exactly where they left off in their books, instead of trying to find their place with the Shuffle, which has no screen…

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