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Media (Apple) Media Education

Duke University Students Receive iPods 308

Posted by michael
from the they'll-be-up-on-ebay-soon dept.
DSLAMngu writes "Freshman students at Duke University received their complimentary/paid for (however you want to look at it) iPod portable music players on Thurday. This deal was previously mentioned on /. here. After waiting in line, I eventually got my Duke-engraved iPod at about 9:00 PM with the rest of the freshmen at Brown dorm. I've written about the experience at my blog, and also included a copy of the Program Agreement and some photos of what the students received."
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Duke University Students Receive iPods

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  • by dan_polt (692266) * on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:00AM (#10031258)
    A choice of 4 mp3's to kill their server with and [entertain] thousands of /.ers
    Smooth...
    <!--
    tipsa=new Array(3);
    tipsa[0]="http://home.comcast.net/~dlde nguyen/switchfootmtl.mp3";
    tipsa[1]="http://home. comcast.net/~dldenguyen/hoobastank-thereason.mp3";
    tipsa[2]="http://home.comcast.net/~dldenguyen/he alingvision.mp3";
    tipsa[3]="http://home.comcast.n et/~dldenguyen/rhythmandpolice.mp3";
    tipsa[4]="ht tp://home.comcast.net/~dldenguyen/usheryeah.mp3";
    indexa=Math.floor(Math.random() * tipsa.length);
    document.write("<center><emb ed src="+tipsa[indexa]+" width=0 height=0 align=top autostart=true loop=infinite controls=hidden></embed></center>");//-->
    </scrip t><!-- FREE code from WWW.CGISCRIPT.NET, LLC -->
    <!-- FREE code from WWW.CGISCRIPT.NET, LLC -->
  • by Ianoo (711633) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:03AM (#10031268) Journal
    Slightly offtopic, but that blog has to be one of the most offensive web designs I've seen in ages. Background sounds, distracting unreadable colours, it's got them all!
  • by d3ity (800597) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:06AM (#10031274)
    How many drunken college students will lose these things around campus?
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:07AM (#10031279) Journal
    My first response was WHY would anyone want this (not including students)? Then it hit me. Apple wants it because 1. They've made a profit. 2. If this catches on they can tap into people they otherwise wouldn't have. The university wants it because now they can say to future people considering which university to go to "look our cool and high-tech we are." Win-win for everyone.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:04AM (#10031504)
      Because they are experimenting with a new tool for learning. Maybe they'll get lots of worthwhile educational use out of it and they'll do it again, and other universities might follow them. Maybe it'll turn out to be a flop and it'll be the only year it's tried.

      Don't think an iPod can be a tool for learning? How many song lyrics do you know reasonably well? Tens, hundreds, thousands? Why is that? Partly because the rhythm and meter of the music forms a repetitive framework in which you can fit the words. But mainly because you listen to ones you like over and over again.

      Hey, 10 years ago I was doing a degree with the Open University in England - which is a distance learning setup. And part of the package was audio tapes.

      Maybe Duke will manage to harness this potential for learning through hearing repeatedly, maybe they won't. But we don't progress unless someone tries it and reports back. (That could be a motto for slashdot!)

      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aussie_a (778472)
        Don't think an iPod can be a tool for learning? How many song lyrics do you know reasonably well? Tens, hundreds, thousands? Why is that? Partly because the rhythm and meter of the music forms a repetitive framework in which you can fit the words. But mainly because you listen to ones you like over and over again.

        If your logic is people will listen to lecture notes again and again I figure perhaps you need to be modded funny?

        I can see how you would come to that idea, but people listen to songs again an
        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @09:17AM (#10031710)
          If your logic is people will listen to lecture notes again and again I figure perhaps you need to be modded funny?
          Why so? You might not be prepared to do it, but don't assume everyone is like you.

          I can see how you would come to that idea, but people listen to songs again and again because they like the music, not because they have an iPod.
          And believe it or not, some people like to learn.

          At the moment iPod's are a fad.
          Just like the Walkman, and the portable cassette player before it, and the non-portable reel to reel before that, and the wire recording machine before that. Having the facility to playback audio in the most convenient way will never go out of fashion. - But perhaps you meant it's a fad to use them in education. But there was a language lab when I was at school, filled with tape recorders. And when I did my degree some of the material was handed out on cassette tape. So it's not even an idea without precursors there either.

          But if that's the idea the university had, they're insane and it won't work. Whenever anything new is about to happen there are always naysayers that predict it will fail. It's better to say, "But we don't progress unless someone tries it and reports back."

          BTW, You have a very low bar on your use of the word insane. I've met insane people, and they think up far weirder shit than using iPods in education I can assure you.

        • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tmortn (630092)
          Whats so odd about the idea students might choose to listen to lectures over and over again ?

          They read over lecture notes over and over and over again, they even read other peoples lecture notes in case they think they missed something. If you have the option to actually listen to the source of your notes to double check them and help with learning the material better then why wouldn't you?

          This is not a suggestion that they will listen to them to relax or instead of music. This becomes a hell of a study a
      • by TiMac (621390)
        Mod parent up!

        The first point is one of the reasons why iPods were not given to everyone at Duke--if it's a flop, the investment is a small cost. Everyone is confident it will be a success, though, so if the program is continued, eventually everyone will get an iPod by way of matriculating (iPod propagation, if you will).

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ShadowcatBlue (608933) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @11:57AM (#10032540) Journal
        Because they are experimenting with a new tool for learning.

        I bought an iPod right before my senior year in college and let me tell you, that thing was great for my film music class! We had to listen to songs from somewhere from 50-100 CDs during the term and had to know them pretty well for the mid-term and final. We weren't expected to own the CDs, but rather to go to the Music Library and listen to them there (the library lets you check them out one at a time for up to 2 hours each to listen to in the library CD players, or your own, if you have one, but the disc can't leave the library).

        I was able to put all the music for my class onto one (very long) playlist at the beginning of each half of the term and would just listen to it in my free time and while doing other homework. I honestly think my iPod made a big difference in my studying for that particular class.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ubergrendle (531719)
      I would rather have the university subsidize my textbooks rather than get an iPod.

      Don't delude yourself into a second into not thinking that this is self-serving on both Apple's and Duke's part... the students are consumers of both of their services.
  • so what.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pidder (736678) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:08AM (#10031284)
    So what if they received their iPod. In one way or another they will pay for it in their tuition fee.
    • by hkon (46756) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @10:15AM (#10031925) Homepage

      So what if they received their iPod. In one way or another they will pay for it in their tuition fee.


      The difference for the student is largely who "they" are in this context. Consider the difference between "Hey, dad, will you buy me an iPod" and "Hey, dad, I got admitted to Duke".


    • In one way or another they will pay for it in their tuition fee.

      Oh, I thought Duke tuition went towards landscaping.
    • Okay, I just graduated from Duke, and worked in the admissions office this spring when this came to light internally. The money for this was sitting in a fun earmarked for "technology" but with several restrictions on it (I assume from some donor). So this is not coming out of tuition (this year), and Duke could not have done much else with it.
  • The significance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scum-e-bag (211846) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:10AM (#10031289) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, but I still fail to see the significance of this story. What makes a small bunch of kids getting an iPod for free significant.

    Could it be possible that the kids are being used as unsuspecting testers, to see what hacks they can come up with to beat copyprotection, or could it be to see what new, unsuspecting, unthought of and marketable ideas that come out of using it in ways that it was not originally intended for.
    • Nah, they just had to post it because it's been three hours or so since the last ipod discussion.
    • by Mr_Icon (124425) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:08AM (#10031511) Homepage
      Sorry, but I still fail to see the significance of this story. What makes a small bunch of kids getting an iPod for free significant.
      They are not free. You have to get enrolled at Duke to be able to get one, which is anything but free. In fact, with the cost of Duke tuition, the price of a 20G iPod is more or less a rounding error.
      • Re:The significance (Score:3, Informative)

        by OmniVector (569062)
        Sure, you have to be enrolled to get the iPod, but the $250+ fee thereafter is not part of tuition. The iPods were given out as part of a $500,000 grant.
  • Voice Recorders (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bedouin (248624) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:11AM (#10031293)
    Good to see they included the Belkin voice recorders with these, though I wonder why they didn't go with iTalks instead.

    1 minute of voice recording on the iPod takes just one meg, so you could probably keep an entire semester's worth of lectures on an iPod.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:11AM (#10031294)
    Try to think less about "blogging" and iPods, and more about "female" things, mmmkay?
    • Well, chicks dig iPods, do they not?
      • As a general rule, technology, tools, and automobiles don't really interest chicks, unless they are conspicuous symbols of wealth, which clicks a biological imperative relating to the supportability of her and her offspring. Chicks do dig jewelry and clothes, but see above about the biological imperative.
        • Try to think less about "blogging" and iPods, and more about "female" things, mmmkay?

          Well, chicks dig iPods, do they not?

          As a general rule, technology, tools, and automobiles don't really interest chicks, unless they are conspicuous symbols of wealth, which clicks a biological imperative relating to the supportability of her and her offspring. Chicks do dig jewelry and clothes, but see above about the biological imperative.

          Man, talk about the blind leading the dumb leading the stupid leading the delusion

  • by karmaflux (148909) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:28AM (#10031332)
    August 21st, 2004: Some kid gets an iPod. He makes a blog entry about it. Slashdot is first on the scene with the scoop! Lack of interest of the rest of the planet seemingly escapes notice.

    He got an iPod, guys. I got one too. So does my friend Chris. Enough about the damn iPods.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:36AM (#10031345)
    I hated every minute of looking at this guy's site so here's the most interesting part: The Program Agreement that students must agree to. (I really hope this kind of web design doesnt become prevalent once these freshman enter the real world.)

    Duke University
    iPod First-Year Experience
    August 19, 2004 - May 2005
    Program Agreement

    Overview
    Duke University is issuing first-year undergraduate students a 4th generation Apple iPod as part of a one-year pilot program between Duke and Apple, Inc. designed to encourage creative uses of technology in education and campus life. The Center for Instructional Technology, Division of Student Affairs, Office of the Provost, Office of the Executive Vice President, and the Office of Information Technology are the Duke sponsors. Throughout the academic year, faculty and students will be encouraged to experiment and develop innovative ideas uses [sic] for the iPod in the classroom and in campus life.

    Student agreement
    The student is responsible for the care of the iPod and keeping it in good working condition. A student whose iPod device malfunctions should first access online technical support resources (www.duke.edu/ipod). If students are unable to resolve an issue, they may contact the OIT Help Desk. Through an agreement with Apple, each iPod is covered by a special one-year warranty. If the Help Desk cannot resolve the issue and the iPod is under warranty, the Help Desk will provide the student with a replacement at no cost. In the case of theft, negligence, or damage to the iPod, students are financially responsible for replacing the iPod.

    During the academic year, faculty and others will provide students with content for academic and personal use on the iPod. Students may also receive free "song codes", which allow them to download content from Apple's iTunes Music Store. Students must use the song codes for their intended purpose and may not sell them. Each student is responsible for understanding and adhering to copyright laws. For details, visit www.oit.duke.edu/security/user/usercopyright.html.

    The iPod remains the property of Duke University until the end of the spring 2005 semester, at which time the student becomes the owner. If for any reason the student is not enrolled at Duke University during the 2004-2005 academic year, he/she must return the iPod to the university in good working condition.

    Terms and conditions
    I have read the Program Agreement and agree to abide by the terms and conditions herein. I acknowledge that the iPod remains the property of Duke University until the end of the 2005 spring semester. If for any reason I am not enrolled at Duke University during the 2004-2005 academic year, I will return the iPod to the OIT Help Desk in good working condition.
    • I guess any student at Duke could afford to cough up for a new one if it gets stolen?
    • Wow! If the stuent isn't enrolled during the 04-05 academic year, he/she must return the iPod to the university in good working condition?

      They better hope and pray the university is pretty lenient with that interpretation of "good" condition! The 2nd. day I had my new 40GB iPod, I realized I'd already put several nasty-looking scratches in the polished chrome back.

      In fact, if you research a bit, you'll find complaints of such things as rust forming on the engraved parts of iPod backs, and even Apple's s
  • Lectures as MP3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhima (46039) <Bhima.PandavaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:36AM (#10031346) Journal
    Will the lectures be available as MP3?

    Otherwise what's the point?

    • Re:Lectures as MP3? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Shadeborn (555656)

      Yes. From the original article: [duke.edu]

      Through a special Duke Web site modeled on the Apple iTunes site, students also can download faculty-provided course content, including language lessons, music, recorded lectures and audio books.
      • Re:Lectures as MP3? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bhima (46039)
        I've wondered about automating education for a while now. listening to a lecture on an iPod is a start I suppose,

        but I'd really like see is something more imersive for example: a gymnasium level class on ancient Greek history which included a walk through of a reconstructed temple complete with translations of inscriptions and explanation of art (both provided by an appropriately dressed priest avatar) using some 3d gaming engine like Doom's

  • by tiktokfx (699424) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:37AM (#10031348)
    How did someone who could create that monstrosity of a log style be honestly evaluated as a suitable candidate for acceptance at Duke?
  • Recording lectures. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Welpa (320496) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @07:59AM (#10031499)
    This brings up an interesting issue. Is Duke University actually encouraging/allowing their students to record lectures? I know that this is a reasonably big deal in the UK where, as far as I know, it is illegal; meaning that before recording, consent has to be asked of each individual lecturer. Many of the lecturers I know do not like the practice of students recording lectures for various reasons including:

    1) They own the IP of their own lectures
    2) Students tend to be easier distracted when they know (or at least think) that they will listen to the lecture again
    3) The audio is only a small part of a whole presentation which includes writing on the blackboard, overheads etc.

    Anyway, it seems a little strange to me that American universities are encouraging this so openly.
    • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @09:49AM (#10031821) Homepage Journal
      4) They don't want to be caught talking out of their asses.

      it happens you know..

    • In America, a lot of people do it, too, for a variety of reasons--whether to review it afterward, or to catch a lecture when they had to miss class. (So much so that it became a running gag in the quintessential American college comedy, Real Genius [imdb.com].) I know I did it. (Funny, though, I never ended up actually listening to the lectures after recording them. I understand it works better that way.)

      The key is to ask your instructor ahead of time if it's okay, because some of them publish things associated
  • by defective_warthog (776271) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:38AM (#10031592) Journal
    Incoming Wakies get think pads. 2008 specs [wfu.edu]
    Now that's cool...
  • iPod your DUKE! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:42AM (#10031605) Homepage Journal
    Wow, this is just absolutly facinating for people who are not freshman at Duke Univ. It dosn't sound like more needless iPod promotion on /. Nope, not at all.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Dude, please put back autopr0n. I'll paypal you 50 bucks, whatever you want. I need my TGP fix, and autopr0n is still the best source. If you are too lazy, I'll do the port to PHP/MySQL and get it up and running on some 10 dollar a month shared hosting account.
  • Official Website... (Score:4, Informative)

    by TiMac (621390) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:44AM (#10031612)
    Website of the Duke iPod First-Year Experience:

    http://www.duke.edu/ipod/ [duke.edu]

  • ...I got a box with soap, hotel-sized shampoo, and clothes detergent. I think it was more from the dorm than the college.

    Cheap state school (Cheapskate school)
  • eBay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ka55ad (571279) <ka55ad@gmail.com> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @09:10AM (#10031686) Homepage
    I just checked ebay and I am surprised that I haven't found any "Limited Edition Duke iPod's" for sale yet.
  • News: Students at duke will all receive iPods.

    Not News: One kid at Duke received an iPod.
  • by chiph (523845) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @09:46AM (#10031810)
    The thing I found most interesting is that they have the Duke university logo engraved on the back of it.

    Imagine the branding possibilities here -- beyond the obvious BMW tie-in [slashdot.org], what if the various colleges and universities licensed the use of their name/logo for use on the back of the iPod? The university wins, as it gets a cut of the fee and some publicity. The alumni are happy because now they have a personalized iPod they can show off to their friends. And Apple will likely take a cut too, so Steve is happy.

    What about corporate branding? A Pepsi iPod, perhaps?

    Chip H.
  • Bad idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kitzilla (266382) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @10:16AM (#10031927) Homepage Journal
    Okay, I'll be the Luddite here. Flame away and mod me down.

    First, I love digital music and have my entire library in iTunes.

    Duke's iPod program is a stupid idea. It's a recruitment perk with little legitimate educational value.

    If Duke thinks Mr. Undergrad is going to be listening to Professor Flatulent's geology lecture while out jogging instead of paging through their Audioslave tracks, they've got another thing coming. If they believe Miss Undergrad will be up late studying, rather than melting the university's WAN swapping MP3s, Duke is in for a rude awakening.

    Virtually all Duke students will have their own PCs. If the school wants to distribute MP3 instruction or event calendars, there's already an infrastructure to support it.

    There are plenty of kids who can't even afford the tuition for community college (thank you, Mr. Bush). The price of an iPod would cover 3 semester hours at most of these institutions. If Duke really wants to do something to improve their campus' test scores, they should put a couple dozen kids who can't afford their University into a year's community college and offer scholarships to those who really distinguish themselves.

    What's next? University supplied Gameboys?

  • by Rescate (688702) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @10:27AM (#10031987)
    Notice the cheap recycled cardboard in the fourth generation packaging where there was styrofoam in the third edition packaging. This was definitely a cut corner because I really did think the styrofoam was awesome before

    Yeah, it totally blew my iPod experience for those three seconds it took me to remove the iPod from its box and throw away the cardboard, instead of throwing away nice shiny styrofoam. Let's go back to having a few million pieces of awesome styrofoam in the garbage, that totally r0x0r!!!
  • by telstar (236404) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @10:58AM (#10032191)
    It was the grad student ... in the lab ... with the iPod!

    Seriously, Duke just handed out a whole slew of homicides [liquidgeneration.com] waiting to happen.
  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @11:01AM (#10032204)
    Well, as a teaching assistant at Duke, I speculatethere are three main reasons this was done. First, despite a successful recent campaign, the University is broke. Now, the Med school, the Buisness school, the Graduate school, and the Engineering school are fine, but the general fund is rumored to be dry. Publicity stunts like this might be trying to recruit more students so the school can make some extra cash on tuition. Second, I think those responsible for the technology fund this came out of are so out of touch that they thought iPods could reduce the rate of music piracy at Duke via ITMS. Concern about University liability is rising. Third, iPods are pretty good firewire drives. If the computer labs are setup properly, this could be an easy way to allow students to port data around campus.

    Of course, Duke's campus is wooded and relatively dark at night. The rates of violent crimes (sexual and otherwise) against students are fairly high. Giving the freshmen "mug me" earphones won't help.
  • by prattboy (804069) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @11:22AM (#10032333)
    Isn't it a little presumptuous that the entire class will successfully graduate in 2008? I hope that those that plan their schedule poorly or change their major can trade in their IPod for one with a new enscription. Maybe a PSP [slashdot.org] would cover that?
  • by mattr (78516) <mattr.telebody@com> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @12:08PM (#10032599) Homepage Journal
    THought the money could have been better used on research (or does Duke do that?..)

    on the other hand you could record your lectures and listen to them later even if you were zoned out during the class. And you could intentionally fall asleep with it droning in your ears for accelerated (hypnotic?) learning.

    Seriously though, I saw my brother's laptop when he was at Harvard Business School. There, they are serious about outfitting students for business and of course everyone is paying a lot for it. But, there is a web portal site that has *everything* on it, and I dare say it could hold audio of lectures if they wanted it.

    Well more power into the students' hands is a good thing, though I heavily dislike the idea that it is Duke's property while they are at Duke. That is total bullshit. I would be interested in hearing some of the lectures though if Duke doesn't mind..
  • by StarWreck (695075) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:32PM (#10033374) Homepage Journal
    *NEWS FLASH* Hundreds of Muggers Descend On Duke University. Few of the attending Freshmen now retain their iPod. In an unrelated story: Sudden Glut of iPod's on eBay drive price of used iPod's down.
  • Design (Score:3, Informative)

    by DSLAMngu (715456) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:44PM (#10033427)
    Haha hey guys, sorry for the offensive web design, I'm aware of all the nonstandard crap I pulled off. But get this: personal blog. All the stuff on there is par for the course when it comes to the usability wasteland that is Xanga, and trust me, I have seen much worse [xanga.com]. Thanks for the insight though, but Xanga already offers actual standard and relatively usable designs and you know how kids like me go, with our predisposition towards this "customization" bullshit. I'm not a web design person, but I know about the readability against the background problem and you have no idea how long it took to try to darken the whole thing just right. But I think it's a good call to get rid of or change the bg though, thanks to those of you old folks with terrible monitors and crap eyes. Just realize that for the most part, with all due respect, you are not the intended audience.

    And about the bg music; for a couple months I had the volume for my music cut in half when I cut it all together, but suddenly decided that lots of people had a mute button within easy reach of their keyboard. Bad assumption I guess, assume makes and ass out of you and me etc., but I can see where you guys are coming from. I have done web work with usability before, bringing a large portion of the NASA National Space Science Data Center website (about 500ish pages) up to government-mandated Section 508 compliance and have felt a small twang of guilt once in a while about all the JavaScript, the bg, the music, and the weird text. Just realize that I believe that certain contexts allow for bending of the usual usability rules (gaming sites, pop culture pages, the personal blog sites of teenagers) when the intended audience is very focused.

    Point is, I would much rather have my page look terrible than look like yours. I hope you can understand.

    Peace

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