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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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  • 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.
  • Re:The significance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Limp Devil (513137) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:44AM (#10031359)
    And that is actualy a good idea. I would have liked to be able to give my history students some lectures as mp3s and know that they would be able to listen to them - no excuses.

    As a historian I would love to put selected historical speeches and radio recordings there. I can imagine that it would be great way for folklorists to give their students access to recordings of folk music and folk tales. Some of this is copyrighted material so you can't just put it up on the web.

    You could put a schedule of official events in the iPod calendar so that the students woulld have that easily accesible, and you could put all kinds of useful info an tips in the note section. Not to mention important contact information in the address book. And by putting it on something as hip as the iPod you increase the likelyhood that the students will actually bother to use it.
  • Re:Lectures as MP3? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhima (46039) <Bhima.PandavaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @07:16AM (#10031429) Journal
    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

  • 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 The Limp Devil (513137) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:51AM (#10031633)
    I remember there was a big stink about this at the University of Oslo about a decade ago. It was (surprise, suprise) the Faculty of law which prohibited their students from taping lectures.

    I've been somewhat ambivalent about this myself, wether or not I wanted my students to record my lectures, but I don't really mind. Actually, the thing that I disliked most about the prospect was that I felt that my lectures weren't good enough to be distributed in that fashion. I'm more secure about that part of my work now. Don't underestimate the personal aspect to this kind of descision.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Heh.. while I hate webpages that think its a good idea to just force some multimedia through my browsers throat.. I do have a few suggestions for you..

    1. Tell firefox to start something other then xine for .mp3 files
    2. Tell firefox to use mplayer and install the mplayer plugin for Firefox instead of using Xine for video.

    Your web experience will eb a lot better for the cases you do run into such media again.

    Xine is very cool, and I use it quite a bit, but it does not work well at all for web based media files.
  • by lhaeh (463179) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @03:52PM (#10033780)
    Here is a bookmarklet called Zap to get rid of all that:
    P.S. The Zen from creative labs is about the same size, $100 cheeper and more geek friendly then iPod.

    javascript:(function(){function R(w){try{var d=w.document,j,i,t,T,N,b,r=1,C;for(j=0;t=[%22objec t%22,%22embed%22,%22applet%22,%22iframe%22][j];++j ){T=d.getElementsByTagName(t);for(i=T.length-1;(i+ 1)&&(N=T[i]);--i)if(j!=3||!R((C=N.contentWindow)?C :N.contentDocument.defaultView)){b=d.createElement (%22div%22);b.style.width=N.width; b.style.height=N.height;b.innerHTML=%22%22+(j==3?% 22third-party %22+t:t)+%22%22;N.parentNode.replaceChild(b,N);}}} catch(E){r=0}return r}R(self);var i,x;for(i=0;x=frames[i];++i)R(x)})(); javascript:(function(){var newSS, styles='* { background: white ! important; color: black !important } :link, :link * { color: #0000EE !important } :visited, :visited * { color: #551A8B !important }'; if(document.createStyleSheet) { document.createStyleSheet(%22javascript:'%22+style s+%22'%22); } else { newSS=document.createElement('link'); newSS.rel='stylesheet'; newSS.href='data:text/css,'+escape(styles); document.documentElement.childNodes[0].appendChild (newSS); } })(); javascript:(function(){var d=document; function K(N,w) { var nn = d.createElement(w), C = N.childNodes, i; for(i=C.length-1;i>=0;--i) nn.insertBefore(C[i],nn.childNodes[0]); N.parentNode.replaceChild(nn,N); } function Z(t,w) { var T = document.getElementsByTagName(t), j; for (j=T.length-1;j>=0;--j) K(T[j],w); } Z(%22blink%22, %22span%22); Z(%22marquee%22, %22div%22); })(); javascript:(function(){var H=[%22mouseover%22,%22mouseout%22,%22unload%22,%22 resize%22],o=window.opera; if(document.addEventListener/*MOZ*/&&!o) for(j in H)document.addEventListener(H[j],function(e){e.sto pPropagation();},true); else if(window.captureEvents/*NS4*/&&!o) { document.captureEvents(-1/*ALL*/);for(j in H)window[%22on%22+H[j]]=null;} else/*IE*/ {function R(N){var i,x;for(j in H)if(N[%22on%22+H[j]]/*NOT TEXTNODE*/)N[%22on%22+H[j]]=null;for(i=0;x=N.child Nodes[i];++i)R(x);}R(document);}})(); javascript:(function() { var c, tID, iID; tID = setTimeout(function(){}, 0); for (c=1; c1000 && c=tID; ++c) clearTimeout(tID - c); iID = setInterval(function(){},1000); for (c=0; c1000 && c=iID; ++c) clearInterval(iID - c); })();
  • Re:It's a disease (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bastian (66383) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:11PM (#10034465)
    Pretty much endemic to the generation. By 2001 it had gotten so bad at the college I attended that a few professors had a new guideline on their syllabi stating that students giving oral presentations either could not use presentation software or were strictly limited to a black-on-white scheme with absolutely no unnecessary graphics or animations, with necessary being interpreted in a rather strict manner, no sounds, and no fades.

    Usually violations of this guideline were minor, but I did see severe repeat offenders have their grades liberally docked, and I can't say I was anything less than happy to see it happen.

As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making it round this time. - Mike Dennison

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