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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 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
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.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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