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One U.S. university now is forcing students to purchase Apple products for learning purposes

The Missouri School of Journalism is forcing all incoming freshman this fall to own either an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch MP3 player.

"Effective with the fall 2009 semester, incoming freshmen journalism and pre-journalism students are required to have a Web-enabled audio-video player," the school posted on its web site.  "This requirement is best met by purchasing the Apple iPod Touch, which has all the features the Missouri School of Journalism intends to implement to achieve its academic objectives and those of its students.  There are alternatives to the iPod Touch, but none that we consider equally capable."

Many U.S. universities urge students to purchase and own laptops for writing essays and other school-related projects, but this likely is the first time a university is forcing students to have an iPhone or iPod touch.

The devices will allow the journalism students to look at class assignments and view lectures, listen to podcasts, and similar audio or video tasks.  Furthermore, research indicates students learn better and retain more information if they are able to hear a lecture more than once -- the challenge will now be to try and get students to listen to the lectures.

"Lectures are the worst possible learning format," university Associate Dean Brian Brooks told the university's school newspaper, the Columbia Missourian.  "There's been some research done that shows if a student can hear that lecture a second time, they retain three times as much of that lecture."

Although the Microsoft Zune MP3 player, Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smartphone, and other devices can replay audio and video, school officials said the iPhone and iPod Touch simply have a wider variety of features and functionality.  The university also can include the cost of such a device in a student's financial-need estimate, whereas that's not possible with other devices.

Around 50 universities are now offering class lecture podcasts for students, with a growing number of schools looking into the technology.



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By Chris Peredun on 5/12/2009 8:45:59 AM , Rating: 5
I'm not entirely sure that giving every kid in a college classroom a web-enabled multimedia handheld device will make them pay more attention.

Especially since the iPod Touch has a vast library of games available for it.




By Ryanman on 5/12/2009 8:49:38 AM , Rating: 3
It's shortsighted at best. At least they're admitting it though - there's been de facto support of Apple products in campuses for years now.
I really don't understand why a laptop would not fulfill these needs much better than something you can barely type a text message on.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 5/12/2009 9:02:14 AM , Rating: 4
It would be better to stream or sit these "lectures" on their internal website so that all the students could watch it from their room or watch it again if they needed to. This seems like idiocy when it would be cheaper to simply record lectures and publish them. But lets not consider rational solutions for overblown problems now.


By mcnabney on 5/12/2009 10:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
I pity the education system that is shifting to this model.

Yes, sitting in front of the TV in your dorm-room, playing Xbox, and listening to a lecture from a Podcast is definitely a learning environment.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 5/12/2009 1:28:20 PM , Rating: 5
Quite frankly if the kids lack the discipline to handle it then they shouldn't be in college in the first place. I find it an excellent way to weed out the slackers.


By Lord 666 on 5/12/2009 3:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
It would weed out the people who cannot multi-task. For those that can, that is the true lesson that is learned in college; time management and multi-tasking.


By JediJeb on 5/12/2009 5:17:54 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. So many kids that go to college now days really are not cut out for it, but yet the system seems to want to lower the standard to make sure they all get a chance to stay. I guess money would be one of the big factors in this.


By hobbes7869 on 5/12/2009 9:02:19 PM , Rating: 3
Tablet PC. if they are going to force you to buy technology at least a tablet pc is a heck of a lot more useful and functional then an Iphone. Oh wait. not an Apple Product. Never mind /sarcasm


By aharris on 5/13/2009 3:04:36 AM , Rating: 2
Rumor has it that it's in the works...

And the reason they went with an AV Player vs an entire laptop is pretty obvious if you bothered mulling it for more than 2 seconds.

$150 vs $1500

Which accomplishes the school's needs at a lower cost? Sure they could require everyone to buy a laptop, but why not go for the lowest common denominator for the students who can't quite afford to shell out over 1k for their own laptop.


By hobbes7869 on 5/13/2009 7:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/series_...

$849 starting. They may become much more prevelant with the introduction of Windows 7 as well, and perhaps make their way into the lower cost segments as well. Still, More then an iphone, but most college kids have a laptop anyway, this could serve the dual purpose. 300 for an ipod touch plus 400 for a semi decent laptop is close enough in price.


By JBird7986 on 5/12/2009 9:33:40 AM , Rating: 5
As a member of Duke's Class of 2008 (the one that they gave free iPods to; see http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2004/0... ), I can tell you that the iPods were virtually worthless in a learning environment. Sure I was able to record my lectures with the microphone that they gave us to go with the thing, but I maybe did that four times in all of my time at Duke. For the most part, no one used the iPod in an academic manner and the iPod wound up serving just as an MP3 player, not as a learning tool. That's why Duke discontinued the program after only a single year (that, and a lack of funding).


By bedford10 on 5/12/2009 9:35:24 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, first of all, I live in Mexico Missouri, which is about half an hour from where Mizzou is located. I have a lot of friends who go to the Journalism school, and I'm proud to say that it's one of the top five J-schools in the United States. Basically, all they really want is just a media player that can replay lectures. They don't really care what kind. So, for you computer savvy out there who already have one, just download it from iTunes University and import it into your previous media player.

Also, the whole reason they add it to the required list is so that way people can use financial aid to buy these things. God forbid they be cheap and a college student ever have any money.

Plus, it just gives kids a reason to buy an iPod/iPhone/iTouch, and who doesn't want to be given money to buy those?


By bedford10 on 5/12/2009 9:45:28 AM , Rating: 2
Also, another point to bring to the table that I forgot to mention, is that it's ridiculously cutthroat there. Students will do just about anything to get ahead, and this includes stealing stories, ideas, etc. You pretty much learn to be a real sneak and pathological liar by going there. It's just another tool, and students will definitely use it.


By FITCamaro on 5/12/2009 12:08:03 PM , Rating: 5
I think lying pretty much comes with the territory to be a part of mainstream media these days.


By SoCalBoomer on 5/12/2009 1:52:16 PM , Rating: 4
You mean like a typical journalist. . .


By Steve1981 on 5/12/2009 9:54:21 AM , Rating: 1
So...what you're saying is that you're a Mexican???


By bedford10 on 5/12/2009 10:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
Ohhhhh boy.... I haven't heard that before :P. We say Mexicoan. You should look at towns in Missouri. It's ridiculous how many countries, states, etc names they steal to name a town. i.e. Cuba, Egypt, Columbia, Mexico.


By Phlargo on 5/12/2009 11:36:05 AM , Rating: 2
That sounds like a Peter Griffin response ;-)


By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 10:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, the whole reason they add it to the required list is so that way people can use financial aid to buy these things. God forbid they be cheap and a college student ever have any money.
So.. you are telling me forcing students to get a 220$ minimum iPod touch is better than forcing them to get a 300$ netbook which has a hell of a lot more uses and can actually be used as an in class learning too.(lets be realistic, an iphone or ipod touch will be nothing more than a distraction in class).


By bedford10 on 5/12/2009 10:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
I never said it was practical, I just said it allows them to use financial aid to purchase that. College kids are poor, and it's just the university helping them out however misguided they might be. They could buy a netbook, download it, and listen to it on there. I don't really think it matters. Practicality isn't a high priority of Mizzou's J-school, considering they require macbook pros for all of their students.


By superunknown98 on 5/12/2009 10:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
It still doesn't need to be required. You can take a special student loan out for just about anything. I had a friend who took out additional loans to buy a 4000 dollar computer to play WoW on. You can pay rent with these loans, or just about anything as long as you pay them back. It really doesn't need to be required.


By bedford10 on 5/12/2009 10:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you, but I'd much rather use financial aid than student loans to pay for things. Sure, it might improve credit scores and other things, but I'm not a fan of paying interest.


By spwrozek on 5/12/2009 10:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the people I went to school with got 'financial aid'. Some people get grants, or scholarships but unless you go to a super cheap college this does not cover the costs of tuition, not even getting into Apts/books/food/etc. Then people get financial aid loans from the Gov. These can be subsidized or unsubsidized but once you have to start paying it back you get interest charged to you either way. Most financial aid is helping students get loans and not free money. Last resort...Sallie Mae or equivalent (and the 7-9% adjustable interest rate...)

Example: Tuition cost me approx. $10,000 a year. I had $6,000 in scholarship from MTU, $1,000 from grants, $1,000 from other scholarship sources. I came up with $2,000 by working all summer and during school to pay off the rest. Then I came up with the $5,000 it cost me to live via work or a loan if I had too. I left school with $6,500 of loans from the Gov.


By Pandamonium on 5/12/2009 1:10:47 PM , Rating: 2
Journalism (the way it is currently taught) isn't exactly a booming industry. The entire field of journalism is going through a rather dramatic change, and unless Mizzou can predict and adapt to that change, its esteemed program will no longer be so esteemed. Mizzou has some pretty significant problems in its graduate programs. Part of Mizzou's medical residency program is now on probation. IIRC, there are only 5 other residency programs on probation; and none of them are affiliated with medical schools.

Back on topic, it's a school, not a playground. More than that, this is a public school, funded in part by Missouri taxpayers. If a student can't afford an iPhone, iPod, or any other non-essential, then perhaps the student should live frugally on his or her financial aid. FWIW, MO received some of my tax dollars last year, and as a current grad student elsewhere, I think this is ridiculous.


By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 10:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
This makes absolutely no sense. The cheapest iPod Touch is 230 dollars, for 70 dollars more you could get a full fledge netbook that you can do everything they mention, plus actually have a machine to do your homework. Sounds like a payoff to me, although MS has been doing this for years in many schools.

I know my school made Journalism students buy a Mac, but thats because my school is a laptop school, i.e everyone has one, but to force the use of a ipod touch or iphone is just ridiculous and makes absolutely no sense.


By bedford10 on 5/12/2009 10:33:31 AM , Rating: 2
Do I seriously need to mention how much apple backs universities? They get ridiculous amounts of money for forcing students to buy apple products.


By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 11:26:24 AM , Rating: 2
Not really true, both Apple and MS have special programs to give a lot away from free. My school for example only had to pay for the laptops, all Mac software was free. Ms does the same, didnt pay a cent for Visual Studio or Windows. This way they get the up and coming students using their software and OS.

They also do not pay even close to retail for any Mac (although that is what my school charged the students).


By ctodd on 5/12/2009 11:05:12 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a good TAX right-off to me! :)


Minor error in article
By Lord 666 on 5/12/2009 9:04:00 AM , Rating: 1
The University is requiring Web enabled iPods, currently meaning Touch or iPhone and not just any iPod.

Overall, this makes sense for journalism majors as its a popular and standardized platform to access the very medium they will be engaging in for their presumed careers.




RE: Minor error in article
By Lord 666 on 5/12/2009 9:07:31 AM , Rating: 2
Wish there was an edit button as after re-reading, no error in artcile just one in my reading.


RE: Minor error in article
By xsilver on 5/12/2009 9:35:49 AM , Rating: 4
popular and standardized doesn't necessarily mean good.

I dont really like the idea of brainwashing these students that apple products = good.


RE: Minor error in article
By Pirks on 5/12/2009 4:44:25 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
popular and standardized doesn't necessarily mean good
Stop bashing Windows NOW!


RE: Minor error in article
By theapparition on 5/12/2009 10:37:11 AM , Rating: 3
Not quite. This is sensational journalism at best.

The school is requiring a web enabled portable AV player, which they highly recommend the iPhone or Touch. Nowhere do they force any students to purchase an Apple product.
A six year old Axim PDA running WinMo 5 also fits the bill (just an example).


RE: Minor error in article
By foolsgambit11 on 5/12/2009 2:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm so glad somebody else here has reading comprehension skills. Every regular here knows that the headlines frequently get sensationalized.

Of course, it's not much better that the university strongly recommends iPod Touches/iPhones. They probably recommend students have Macintosh computers, as well, though. This is journalism, after all. My mom worked for a newspaper, and at least at that paper, Mac is the defacto standard. I've heard that the same applies across the field.

It's easier than ever to move data across platforms (heck, it's been a cakewalk for about a decade), and Macs no longer have a guaranteed advantage in media applications like they did 25 years ago. But intertia in Mac-centric industries keeps them dominant.


Journalism school Prerequisites...
By Tegrat on 5/12/2009 9:11:25 AM , Rating: 2
Binder... Check
Pens... Check
Back Pack... Check
Apple iPod/iPhone... Say what?




RE: Journalism school Prerequisites...
By FITCamaro on 5/12/2009 9:48:31 AM , Rating: 5
Just wait until public schools try to start requiring them and your tax dollars get to pay for it. Or when parents get a materials list for school and it has 2 iPods on it. One of their kid and another for the poor kid in class.


RE: Journalism school Prerequisites...
By wuZheng on 5/12/2009 10:13:11 AM , Rating: 2
Bit early to start up the sarcasm/cynicism gears isn't it? Nah, its probably never too early (or too late) from the legendary FITCamaro.

// end sarcasm

Realistically, I'm going have to say that the iPod touch/iPhone concept for learning won't really catch on, even if it survives in this one school. Being a journalism school doesn't really change that either. I could definitely see however, maybe netbooks or notebooks being implemented on the public school level. Much like how every classroom these days has a few (reallllly old) PCs sitting in them. Eventually maybe we could see this evolve into assigning students individual machines like how textbooks are handed out.


By FITCamaro on 5/12/2009 12:06:52 PM , Rating: 3
By that time I've usually been at work 3 hours.


They Only Need iTunes
By TallCoolOne on 5/12/2009 11:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see why the university would require a portable media player when any Windows or MacOS X computer with iTunes can view the same podcasts.




RE: They Only Need iTunes
By xti on 5/12/2009 11:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
you beat me to it...there is nothing that a powerbook or iPod/iPhone or anything would use that there isnt a counterpart version on Windows based systems.

Then again, its a Missouri school. hook em.


RE: They Only Need iTunes
By Danger D on 5/13/2009 5:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
Or just get a tape recorder.


RE: They Only Need iTunes
By Danger D on 5/13/2009 5:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
Or (dare I say it?) take notes.


Sure other devices can do this...
By Emma on 5/12/2009 9:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
Sure other devices can do this, but as iPods are hip, the school will now be the coolest place on Earth!! "Come to this school, everyone has little gadgets!"




RE: Sure other devices can do this...
By xti on 5/12/2009 11:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
everyone already has iPods. Nomads are ugly and repel women.


Requirements...
By PlasmaBomb on 5/12/2009 10:12:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Students are required to have a Web-enabled audio-video player


Oh noes... it is unpossible to do any of those things on a standard laptop :(




tuition
By superunknown98 on 5/12/2009 10:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
College is already ridiculously expensive as it is, now Iphones and Ipod touches are adding to the cost. Don't students already pay for a multimedia capable device in tuition called the computer lab?

Gasp! you needn't even bring a PC or MAC to school? They already have them there for anyone to use? This whole thing smells more of publicity stunt, than useful learning tool.




why not a netbook?
By Maxfli81 on 5/14/2009 12:01:40 AM , Rating: 2
I nth the question: why not a netbook? You can get a decent one for $300 now that does what the Ipod/Iphone can do plus much much more all with better typing and viewing capabiities. Probably because there's an apple kickback somewhere in here and apple doesn't make a netbook.




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