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An iPod For Every Kid In Michigan 333

mikesd81 writes "Over at C|Net there is an article about Michigan spending $38 million to distribute an iPod to every kid, for learning purposes. From the article: 'On Thursday, House Democrats delivered a spending bill that includes the idea of putting $38 million worth of public funds toward outfitting every student with a digital music player.' The plan included measures to tax soda and satellite TV services to pay for it, among other things, to raise funds. If you recall, Duke University tried something like this with mixed results. How financially strained will Michigan residents feel about paying higher taxes to buy someone else's kid an iPod?"
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An iPod For Every Kid In Michigan

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  • really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sam.thorogood ( 979334 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:12AM (#18644787)
    Please allow me to contribute the obligatory "yes, because blackboards and chalk have clearly failed us" response.
  • Umm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:15AM (#18644801)
    Why not spend the money on text books or library books or classrooms or teachers? Or all four?
  • by ShadowFalls ( 991965 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:16AM (#18644805)
    It is hard to see how they could keep these iPods from being used for purposes other than educational. Who pays for stolen ones or broken ones? Some parents can't afford one to give to their kids on their own, to replace one would be atrocious. In the end, this is just more politicians wasting time on things that do not really matter instead of focusing on the things that do.
  • by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:22AM (#18644825) Homepage
    Or, at least, it is a horrible idea unless I can manage to be declared eligible.

    Seriously, how about spending the millions of dollars on teachers? I just can't see any real requirement for a DAP for educational purposes. Want the students to be able to listen to lectures as home? Put MP3's on the school website and let students listen to them at the computer or put them on their own DAP. Need students to be able to listen to audio on their own while in class? 30 million dollars buys a lot of blank CD-R's, and CD players are a hell of a lot less expensive than iPods.

    30 million dollars also buys a hell of a lot of teacher bonuses. IMNSHO, Investing in teachers will have more of a benefit than whatever hair brained scheme they have cooked up for the iPods.

  • by PhoenixAtlantios ( 991132 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:28AM (#18644863)
    It's sad that I managed to decipher IMNSHO without pausing to process it, even though I've never seen it before. The Internet has corrupted me =(

    I have to agree with the idea of investing money in teachers instead of the students though. Plans to give students free iPods and PSPs just seem to be extremely short sighted, as when given the choice between working and playing games/music I'm fairly sure I know which one most teenagers would choose. Giving the teachers laptops, maybe giving them Broadband for free at home, etc. would likely have a more beneficial effect on learning.
  • by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:51AM (#18644945)
    They'll probably feel the same way that they do about paying higher taxes to give someone else's kid a better education, or some else's parents a better senior center, or the people on a different street a better sidewalk...

    Part of being a community is pooling resources in to help others. Even if you don't have any children of your own, for example, someone paid for your schooling, and when you're an adult you pay it back.

    Of course, then there are the endless arguments about exactly how this money should be spent...

  • Re:Some points (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wizzahd ( 995765 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:51AM (#18644949)

    they'd be idiots to pick Apple's trendy but pricey players.

    On Thursday, House Democrats delivered a spending bill
  • Re:Some points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tidewaterblues ( 784797 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @07:09AM (#18645001)
    Lucky for me I happen to be a Michigan resident living in a strained economic area. I can attest fully that this idea is beyond moronic in our current economic climate.

    I work in higher education IT, and I have a fair idea about what does and does not work in the classroom. This is yet another example of people believing that throwing technology at students will make them learn better. We have done this on a grand national scale to the tune of billion of dollars in various programs, and so far it has not had a measurable impact. Where I work we just had one of the major DOE education program spends thousands of dollars on an enormous wide-format printer for underprivileged students. So that they can print posters. Posters. In college. This is their idea of a sound technological investment in education. Not to mention that we already had one just like it.

    The fact of the matter is that no one "gets it" when it comes to technology in the classroom. An until they do, crap like this will keep creeping into legislation. The only silver lining about this is that there is no way in hell the governor will sign this measure into law.
  • wtf mang (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kaizokuace ( 1082079 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @07:53AM (#18645179)
    seriously wtf. This is the dumbest idea these policrats are spittin out since i dunno, ever. This money could be used to how about this: pay teachers more. I'm not saying get more teachers. Pay them higher salary. If i was a teacher and i suddenly got more money i would think i would enjoy teaching more. Happy teacher = learned student IMHO. I seriously think the country as a whole should be pumping money into the school system because now its not just the problem of too many people living too long or something and not enuff people putting into social security for each person that is receiving but that there will be too many idiots that cant make enuff money to put money into the system a guess what happens after that! The current generation will have dumb kids that cant support us when we are living way too long! or something like that i dunno maybe i am dumb and dont know how the system works but ranting at 5am is better than sleeping right now i think.
  • Incomplete support (Score:4, Insightful)

    by halalay ( 1085315 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:08AM (#18645251)
    I expect that teachers will be given one day of training on incorporating the use of iPods into their teaching, provided no other resources or time to do successful incorporation, be blamed when the program flops, and be that much more reluctant to invest themselves in other new and promising tech initiatives in education.

    I am a high school info tech teacher in Michigan. Some of my classes are currently working to produce podcasts to help improve their understanding of available resources to support their current and future learning and to increase the range of media that they can communicate through. I have only just heard of the iPod initiative. The research I share with my students shows that good podcasts take planning and use intelligent editing. Class lectures done in podcasts will be of no more value than current hard copy if the students don't listen to or view them.

    iPods for learning have potential, but despite the good intentions, it currently is just another top down, half-baked solution to a serious problem. Past experience leads me to be very cynical of tech initiatives for education, not because they can't work, but because they are incompletely supported.

  • by LaughingCoder ( 914424 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:30AM (#18645347)
    As of 2003, there were 52 million school age children in the US ( atestpopcounts.htm []).

    As of the end of 2006, there were 42 million iPods sold ( [])

    It strikes me that a large percentage of the Michigan school kids probably already have iPods.
  • Re:'ey mang! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kaizokuace ( 1082079 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:36AM (#18645391)
    oh and one more thing, Why mp3 players! i understand that the goal is to get education to the student but these peeps just got the wrong idea. I say the development of serious games is more promising. Put money into developing games that can be given out to students (cross platform of course) that can help them learn subjects. I am not saying stuff like all the learning crap thats out now which seems to me like they think kids are dumb and need everything in a dumb kiddy theme (i hope you know what i mean by this). Educational games can be so much more than dora the explorer and reader rabbit! Overt education in software doesnt seem to work. You gotta throw some meat in with those veggies! and maybe kick it up a notch with some essence of emeril. BAM!
  • Re:Umm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:50AM (#18645469) Homepage Journal
    Well, the idea is that they'll be used kind of like text books, I guess.

    WRT to teachers, of course that's the best and surest way to improve education. Lower class size. If class size wasn't important than the elite in this country wouldn't be sending their kids to prep schools where classes are four or five students sitting around a table with a teacher.

    While increasing the number of qualified teaches is almost a surefire way of improving education, it's also the most expensive. Since it's the most expensive thing you deal with, often money is well spent just to improve the effectiveness of our use of teacher time. This means hiring aides to handle non-teaching chores, specialists in math and reading and so forth.

    My attitude toward something like this is like my attitude towards an Iraq troop surge: the idea itself is neither nor good nor bad, it depends on whether you have a credible plan to use them. I'm not saying that the iPod idea is a good one, but it is not necessarily bad. Just because iPods are a lot of fun doesn't mean they can't be used as serious educational tools. If money is tight, then creative ideas for marginal improvements are actually more worth looking at. If we were swimming in dough, the answer to the best use of our dough would be simple: reduce class sizes.

    I have a feeling that the idea will go down in flames, because the public instinct is exactly the opposite. When we're flush, we might consider something like this. When money is tight, we obsess about things we can't afford.
  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishthegeek ( 943099 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:59AM (#18645511) Journal
    Observationally, as a teacher I would like to suggest that the kids could try these revolutionary ideas instead:

    Take notes.
    Read their textbooks.
    Email the teacher (my kids do this one a lot)
    Actually pay attention.

    I see this as giving the kids a device they won't use for the purpose intended (for the most part anyway), and as just another silly idea from the Ivory Tower folks. This won't save one ream of paper IMHO. Schools burn through paper like you wouldn't believe.
  • Re:Umm.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:00AM (#18645515)
    I'm all against this OiPC (one iPod per child) program, as those poor starving kids should at least get more food and clean soda before being equipped with free Xboxes and iPods.
  • by Duffie ( 1085325 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:11AM (#18645561)
    Exactly why has this become our top priority. I've watched from forty miles away as they've closed down Detroit schools and shut that community out more than they already are. Places like Detroit and inner Flint are struggling to even fit the definition of a city in the first world, and now our economic priority is... digital audio players! Oh, yeah. Because we all know that they're going to go home and put on their device scientific podcasts and discussions debating the importance of the Han Dynasty in China. We all know how academically sound students are anyway. THIRTY EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS? We just had an election centered on our business tax and how we can appropriate funds once we remove it. WELL THERE YOU GO. Better yet, let's spend that 38 million reviving the education system to include some kind of motivation and benefit to graduate well. But now. Now teachers and future teachers, like me, will get to hear "Sorry Mrs. Teacher, I didn't do my homework podcast thing because I had to rip cd's onto the ipod." Great job on the priorities, little Jimmy. Your government hath done thineself proud.
  • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:30AM (#18645659) Homepage
    soapbox mode is on

    Er.. no. How many billions more dollars must be wasted on the 'education system' before people realize throwing money at it does no good - including pay for teachers.

    The AFT teacher salary survey for the 2004-05 school year found that the average teacher salary was $47,602
    Note that in 2005 the median household income was $46,300. [we'll assume teacher salaries are not so widely dispersed that the mean is a fair estimate of the median] Teachers get a tremendous benefits package and do not work a full year. The students educated before electronic blackboards, computers in every class, class size under 20, (insert stupid education metric here) managed to graducate high school and go on to such things as developing quantum mechanics, various field theories, nuclear weapons, man on moon, space probes,.... And until you actually pay for the little rugrats education by owning a property you will never fully understand just how much it costs. My latest assessment results in local school taxes in excess of the full year tuition at the state college. And before you claim the college is subsidized, so is the local school system. The system is horribly broke and it is time turn back the clock and revert to what once worked very well (note to parents: this might also include getting the balls to disciplining your child).
  • Re:Umm.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:45AM (#18645727) Journal
    Its called bread and circuses. The Democrats must be real desperate to get re-elected in Michigan.
  • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:52AM (#18645769)
    ...of outrage if the suggestion was to buy MacBooks for every classroom.

    Probably not... although, I imagine that 30 years ago, there was probably some resistance to buying kids Apple II's in their schools, with the same old curmudgeon responses, "But the roads stink. We don't need more stuff in schools... bah!!!"

    Yes, Michigan roads stink... I always know I've hit the Michigan border when I hear the "kerchunk, kerchunk" every few seconds... you can set a timer to it. Perhaps it's the fact that you guys drive like 90 MPH.

    Michigan is in the same dire straights that Ohio is now, but it's not because of Jennifer Granholm or anything the state government did or did not do. The U.S. automobile industry is in the tanker, and the economy of Michigan feeds off of the Big 3. No amount of state intervention (or non-intervention) would have helped the situation. If you can blame anyone, blame our federal government, who has shown little interest in protecting American industries. Michigan is just feeling it's disastrous effects. Of course, political opponents are using this to their advantage. But, does anyone really believe that DeVos would have been able to improve anything?

    This single line item in the budget that has everybody so in an uproar won't pass. It can't pass, since the state can't run a deficit like the feds... It sure struck a nerve, but unfairly so, I believe.



  • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MidnightBrewer ( 97195 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:06AM (#18645855)
    As a teacher, I completely believe you. I also agree that I would sooner see this as a pay raise for me than spent on an iPod that will get lost, stolen, or broken within six months and never hold even one lecture related to class. The irony of this kind of idea is that they'll give these kids the iPods and completely fail to give the schools the resources to record and publish anything that could go on the iPods. Do the schools also get recording equipment? Does anybody at the school know how to make a website, or an RSS feed?

    The only thing the kids are going to learn is that the government really does waste their parents' tax money on cool stuff.
  • Why You're Wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:14AM (#18645929)

    Don't you understand man? You wanting to get out of Michigan as fast as you can, which has been the trend for highly educated students coming out of Michigan Universities, is a big reason for why Michigan is going down the tubes. If you really care about our state, you would stay and do your part in trying to bring back economic prosperity to the region.

    You're wrong. Michigan is experiencing a single state recession and the Governor's solution is to raise taxes on an already overburdened population. Michigan should be cutting spending and lowering taxes in a bid to retain those of us who are contributing to the tax base instead of reaching into our wallets and trying to take more. Michigan has to compete with 49 other states in addition to countries the world over. When will the Governor realize this and take steps to make Michigan a more attractive place to do business instead of raising taxes and making an already bad economic situation worse? Nobody has an obligation to stay in Michigan, especially when it's being mismanaged in such a horrendous fashion.

    The Michigan Congressional Delegation is also to blame. For every dollar Michigan residents send to the federal government the State of Michigan receives about $0.85 cents back in return. It's a crime that Michigan is a donor state given our current economic situation. Especially when there is every indication that it's going to get worse before it gets better. Our Congressmen and Senators should be on the floor of their respective Houses of Congress every day that Congress is in session making an issue of this situation! Why would anybody expect residents with the means to stay in this state when their elected representatives continue to show such a failure of leadership?

  • Re:really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:39AM (#18646083)
    Well, actually, they have []. (Okay, it's a whiteboard, but you get the idea.)

    You couldn't outfit every classroom with this for that money yet though.

    But that's really a strawman anyway. It's not an either-or situation: distribute iPods or not have anything the kids can take home. One of my H.S. teachers tape recorded his lectures on cassette tape. You could record the lectures and put them online to download and let kids listen to it on their computers at home, or on their own iPods. If someone is really financially disadvantaged enough that this isn't an option, the school could have some players that you could check out from the library.

    There are plenty of ways to achieve about the same effect without being fiscally stupid.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:40AM (#18646091)
    Or anywhere, AFAIK. Charter school are, by definition, public. Otherwise, they'd just be called private schools and would be no different from other private schools.
  • by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:38AM (#18646549) Homepage
    Actually, if anything, I think teachers aren't being paid enough. Ever heard the phrase "those who can, do, those who can't, teach"? It's true - if you can do something, you get a job doing it. If you can't make a living doing it, instead you teach people how to do it. Guess how well this works.

    There's three big problems with the American educational system at the moment.

    * Money going to the wrong places - computers bought with no plans in mind, new buildings without staff for them, extraordinary administrator salaries for administrators who don't do anything.
    * Incompetent teachers, paid badly enough to keep all the possibly-skilled teachers far, far away.
    * America's teacher's union, which essentially requires teachers to be kept or fired based solely on seniority, not competence.

    The latter keeps the former two going. If you want to fix the educational system, the first thing you do is get rid of the damn union, the second thing you do is fire crappy teachers, and the third thing you do is raise teacher salaries enough to hire good teachers.

    Supply and demand. There's just not enough demand to create a good supply.
  • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... m ['eve' in gap]> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#18646559) Homepage

    I like how people, when talking about how much teachers work, love to mention the fact they're only working 9 months a year. And then add in 'and holidays'. Um, no, not 'and holidays'. Teachers have to work 190 days or so, which barely fits in 9 months without holidays. School years are actually 10 months, with a month of holidays spaced in there.

    So your calculations about summer school are entirely off. If the 10 month year paid 54 thousand, then summer school would be maybe another 11 thousand, so we're talking about 65 thousand there. And this completely ignores the fact that teachers can't just 'decide' to teach summer school. Maybe one out of ten teachers is wanted for summer school. And, no, they can't run out and get a job elsewhere, because that's exactly the wrong time of year to be looking for jobs. They're competing with high school students.

    And they completely ignores the fact they do without a lunch hour. It's more a lunch 20 minutes, and lower grade teachers eat with their class, so it's not a break at all.

    'Traditional' 9-5 day is 8 hours minus an hour for lunch is 7 hours times 20 days a month times 12 months, for 1680 hours a year.

    Teacher 7:30-3:30 day is 8 hours times 190 days. That's 1520 hour, or a single month extra. Of course, a lot of teachers come in around 7 instead, or leave about 4. My mother did both, for ten years, and barely had time to do all the work required of her. I saw plenty of other teachers that did that too. Even if they don't show up for themselves extra, teachers end up hanging around before and after school for quite a lot of school-required functions, from monitoring students before classes to parent/teacher conferences to PTA meetings to after-school clubs.

    Of course, people in other contract jobs work extra too, but usually not consistently. Maybe once a year they end up working a 12-hour a day week.

    Oh, and teachers don't get any sick days or personal leave days. Well, they do, but they have to pay their replacement, which no one in any other job has to do. Just like no other eight hour job doesn't have a lunch break.

    Teachers work weird times, compared to other jobs, but pretending they work less actual amounts of time is just ignorance. They may work 190 days a years instead of the 240 days that other contract workers do, but that doesn't have any bearing on the actual hours spent, which often is about the same amount other contract workers work.

    And the reason you hear about underpaid teachers is that, in many parts of the country, they still are. Michigan, however, is not one of those places.

  • by HardWoodWorker ( 1032490 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:51AM (#18646699)
    Your comment is quite obnoxious.

    What about my nephew, who attends a private charter school? We pay property taxes, even though he doesn't attend public schools, and now you're going to tell me I have to foot the bill for this?
    Sorry, buddy, but I don't have kids and I happily pay my property taxes. Even if I never plan on burdening the public school system, the products of these schools will be my caretakers when I'm elderly and my coworkers in my near future. It's to everyone's interest to ensure the success of all children in the United States. If you think otherwise, I kindly ask you to leave my country. Your self-centered outlook is killing America. As much as you'd like to think, you are not the master of your own destiny. When I hear comments like that, it's usually from those who regard themselves as "self-made" and think their success in life is entirely the result of their actions and that if everyone was as smart/hard-working/${pick your adjective} as they are, everyone would have the same fate and not be on-welfare/in-poverty/on drugs/${pick your social ill here}. Your success is based on the success of all America, especially the middle class. Do I think iPods are a worthwhile investment?, but I'll happily pay my taxes to support the school system. Frankly, I don't think iPods are the greatest waste of money you'll find in the Michigan budget this year.
  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:53AM (#18646727) Homepage

    I don't live in Michigan, so I don't know if this would work, but here is my idea.

    Implementing local sales taxes might create problems since the system is not set up to deal with that. However, what they can do is, if not already, create additional state sales tax rates.

    Certain businesses would have a higher sales tax rate depending on the type of business.

    Why? What possible justification is there for implementing a byzantine variable sales tax based on the type of business?

    Perhaps superstores (like Wal-Mart) be subject to an addition 1 cent/dollar sales tax. Prices are low enough already, so this wouldn't be a big deal.
    Ah, they old misguided "they can afford it" reasoning. People don't always shop at Wal-Mart because they're cheapskates. Many people shop there because they have very little money. So essentially what you're proposing is a 1% tax on being poor. Way to go.

    Restaurants would be subject to an addition 0.5 cent/dollar sales tax.
    Because only rich folks eat at restaurants. Especially fast food joints.

    Restaurant deliveries would be subject to an addition 0.7 cent/dollar sales tax (on top of the above).
    Because only rich folks have pizzas delivered. Seriously, are you trying to drive every little chinese food and pizza shop out of business, leaving only Dominoes?

    "Etc.", in other words "keep adding random taxes onto random businesses until we've either made up the deficit, or driven every last small business out of the state." You should run for state legislature. You'd fit right in.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @12:25PM (#18647053)
    He said: What about my nephew, who attends a private charter school? We pay property taxes, even though he doesn't attend public schools, and now you're going to tell me I have to foot the bill for this?

    You said: Sorry, buddy, but I don't have kids and I happily pay my property taxes. Even if I never plan on burdening the public school system, the products of these schools will be my caretakers when I'm elderly and my coworkers in my near future. It's to everyone's interest to ensure the success of all children in the United States. If you think otherwise, I kindly ask you to leave my country. Your self-centered outlook is killing America.

    Perhaps you'd care to explain how a child in a private school is not part of "all children." I won't even ask you to explain how an iPod giveaway (of rather dubious utility) to just certain kids is fair.
  • by grim4593 ( 947789 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @12:26PM (#18647073)
    There are many reasons Michigan is going down the tubes. All the auto industries are leaving, the government is fubar, and taxes are going up. Who in their right might would want to stay here? Every other week there is something on the news about such and such company laying off 1000-10000 workers. Those that are not being laid off are being forced to take pay cuts.

    I like Michigan, I have lived here my whole life. Most of my family lives here too. However, if I can't get a good paying job after graduating college, I am going to leave Michigan because I have to make a living.
  • Yes, Michigan roads stink... I always know I've hit the Michigan border when I hear the "kerchunk, kerchunk" every few seconds... you can set a timer to it. Perhaps it's the fact that you guys drive like 90 MPH.

    Ahh michigan, where you can go by a state trooper doing 80, because he's looking for the guys doing 110...

    Road conditions in Michigan suck for four reasons:

    1. Climate. The temp swings 120 degrees every year, and usually can swing 60 degrees in a week. Yeah, I know this happens in other states, but Michigan usually gets hit harder.
    2. Budget vs. Infrastructure. Michigan has a MASSIVE amount of highway space. More than it needs now. But they still have to pay to maintain it.
    3. Salt. Michigan salts roads and gets the plow trucks out at the first hint of snow. Here in Sunny South Bend, Plow trucks come out oh, you know, when they get around to it. I've seen double the snow during the winter here in SoBend than I saw in SE Mich, and I've seen half the plows. Don't know if that means we underplow, or they overplow, either way, those trucks are out in force come winter in Mich.
    4. Weight limits. Michigan has the 2nd highest weight limit for Semi's in the union. We allow trucks of 164,000 pounds on the roads. For reference, a GE Genesis locomotive (think amtrak) is 254,000 pounds. The official line is that we require more axles to distribute the load. Which in and of itself is a load. You're still driving tanks over abused roads.

    Individually, none of these problems are huge. Every other state deals with the same issues. But the cumulative effect makes things pretty rough. The funny thing about it is, driving into and out of Detroit is actually pretty nice now that they've redone I-94. That was a true shithole of a highway until the superbowl motivated them into doing some real work.
  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @12:41PM (#18647215)
    > Why not spend the money on text books or library books or classrooms or teachers? Or all four?

    Well if ya are committed to pissing away $30 mil when you already have a deficit I guess what you say makes sense.

    And I want to know how Apple manages to get their product specced in legilation, avoiding bidding them out. Of course Apple, being by far the most expensive vendor, would never win the contract and some no name digital player wouldn't have the buzz for the bill's backers. This stinks of corruption, we need an investigation. At least an investigation would cost less and scuttle the project at least until it finished.

    You Apple fans should be opposed as well. If every kid is walking around with YOUR beloved fashion accessory just how the hell does your self esteem get boosted by being better than everyone else?
  • Re:really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @01:03PM (#18647435) Journal
    > nobody's yet figured out a way to make 30 copies and then take the blackboards home with them

    Mmmm...I'm guessing you never went to school so you don't know how it works.

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FLEB ( 312391 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @01:38PM (#18647753) Homepage Journal
    I believe this is being done for two reasons, shock value "look at what Michigan has done"

    Yeah, but I think that shock and sentiment is working the wrong way. Given the general state of the State, as well as the schools, and the relative uselessness (especially given costs) of iPods in education, this just comes off as mind-blowingly idiotic more than anything forward-thinking, especially when the gov't has been putting forth cuts and finagling tax hikes claiming poverty.

    I could even see buying eBooks or something like that-- at least those have more educational use than a trumped-up portable drive.

    "Look what Michigan has done... dumped a whole bunch of money from a struggling economy into ooh-shiny electronics." Now I (a Michigan resident) get to be thought of either as part of the people who thought "iPods" and "education" were a natural combo, or the people who apparently can be cowed and placated by throwing shiny things at them.
  • Re:really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phlegmofdiscontent ( 459470 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @04:50PM (#18649673)
    I realize you're being facetious, but the obligatory response is bullshit. I learned quite well with old-fashioned books and blackboards and managed to get a degree in Physics years before iPods were ever invented. Millions of people have done just as well. It's not lack of iPods that are preventing kids from learning, it's something else (parents, poor teachers, lack of funding, shitty educational standards, take your pick).

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission