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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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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
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.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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