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August 2004


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Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>
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iPod at UVM Campus Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 19 Aug 2004 08:10:26 -0400
text/plain (97 lines)
Apple's iPod invades the classroom

By Helena Oliviero, Palm Beach Daily News-Cox News Service
Monday, August 16, 2004

Hard to imagine a chalkboard or an overhead projector inspiring

But the coolest gadget making its way into education  the iPod  has
digitally enhanced a moniker for Georgia College & State University
professor Rob Viau.

His students simply call him, "iRob."

IPods  known for playing music  are being used to listen to
languages and other material in a few college courses, quickly making
the pocket-sized gizmos the newest sweetheart of the college learning

At Duke University, the accessory is even being distributed to 1,650
incoming freshman for free as part of a pilot program. IPods,
generally used for storing music, will be used for language lessons,
audio books and class lectures, according to Duke officials.

But at cash-strapped state universities in Georgia, iPods, which cost
anywhere between $300 to $400, are only on loan.

Melanie Laphand, 20, a senior at Georgia College & State University in
Milledgeville, about 100 miles southeast of Atlanta, is admittedly
jealous of her Duke counterparts and is saving money to buy her own.

"It actually really came in handy," said Laphand. "IRob gave us music
that reflected the optimism and the pessimism of an era. We listened
to Bob Dylan and Nine Inch Nails."

She also listened to the Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a
Dream" speech.

"When I heard Martin Luther King saying the speech, he sounded more
clear, and you hear the emotion and passion and the actual desire you
don't get when you just read it," she said.

Viau, who teaches English and interdisciplinary arts courses, has
experimented with iPods for about 2 1/2 years in courses such as
"Utopia Dystopia" and "Gothic Imagination." He believes the gadgets
are an excellent resource for his students to easily download the
sound portion of their studies, which can include everything from
political speeches to Tibetan chants to rock music.

The iPods cap off a decade of surge in technological advances at
colleges across the country.

Notebook computers are ubiquitous. Many schools have at least part of
their campuses set up as wireless zones. Students use Palm devices to
keep tabs on their schedule. They can use their cellphones to
photograph friends. Dell recently unveiled a printer, fax machine and
copy machine all in one, designed to fit into a dorm room so the
student won't need to step out of his or her room to fax or make

"College students have grown up with technology," said John Mullen,
sales vice president for Dell's higher education segment. "They are
used to it and they expect it."

Will iPods soon become the latest thing to add to list of must-haves
for college life?

The typical freshman brings 18 appliances from home, which include
cellphones and cellphone chargers, a Palm device and computer,
according to Miami University.

But how much time will students use iPods for brainy activities, and
how much time will they use them to rock out?

A Miami University survey found students use half of their time on the
computer doing academic work; the other half for personal pursuits.

Not everyone is convinced.

"I can envision students deleting all of the information relevant to
learning to make room for their music," said Thomas Skill, associate
provost and chief information officer at the University of Dayton in
Ohio. "I also worry about the perception by the public and how it
might be viewed as college spending getting a little bit out of

Laphand openly admits to using her borrowed iPod for more than just
course work. No reason why work and play can't mix harmoniously.

"I was working out and had it randomly play some of our class music.
While I was stretching, I listened to Mozart, and then  as I sped up
my workout  Nine Inch Nails started playing. It was perfect."