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Duke's gambit: free iPods for freshmen

from the unhappy-sophomores dept.
Slashdot is reporting that this fall Duke University will be giving an Apple iPod to each of their 1,650 incoming freshman "as part of an initiative to encourage creative uses of technology in education and campus life ... 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. They also will be able to purchase music through the site."

Definitely a bold move on Duke's part. This may turn out to ... be a very good investment. Everyone has seen those accounting students around BYU watching their lectures on which are distributed on CD. I don't have first-hand experience with it but I think it works out pretty well for them.

Well, along the same lines, every freshman student having an iPod opens up a lot of options for Duke professors. There are lots of college courses whose subject matter works well in an audio-only form.

I see one huge problem with this whole idea though ... Has anyone else noticed the increased number of people walking around campus with headphones on? Does this bother anyone else? Well, I guess it doesn't really bother me per se, it's just that I don't understand it. Don't these people feel kinda dumb as they see their friends between classes but can only see their mouths move as they say Hi? I feel stupid wearing headphones across campus ... It's like ... "My music is SO important that ... well ... I'm gonna listen to it for like 3 minutes as I walk from the Wilk to the Benson. Nevermind the trouble I have to go through to get out my mp3 player and then put it away again. And yeah ... I can't even get in an entire song in that amount of time, but still, half a song is much better than wasting my time saying Hi to people."

It's also kind of funny though that these iPods are referred to as being "free". Hmmm ... I wonder if any of their $30,000 tuition helps pay for these babies?

I still think it's a cool idea though. I don't see BYU doing this any time soon though.

Hey there, watch yourself! I

Hey there, watch yourself! I must admit that I am one of those "My music is SO important that ... well ... I'm gonna listen to it for like 3 minutes as I walk from the Wilk to the Benson. Nevermind the trouble I have to go through to get out my mp3 player and then put it away again. And yeah ... I can't even get in an entire song in that amount of time, but still, half a song is much better than wasting my time saying Hi to people."
But I like my music, and I hate walking in between classes, it seems to take so long to get there. The music helps me pass the time. Or maybe I am just antisocial and I should admit it.

I just read an article in thi

I just read an article in this week's Newsweek on iPods and I'm tempted to go splurge on one myself. They're just so cool and futuristic with their sleek, flat, tiny cases and those white earphones and everything...! Only I will resist the temptation, because I know I will become an addict. And because I don't have $400. It's bad enough having a Discman in my backpack...which incidentally I don't mind taking out for the walk between classes or home, despite its dinosaurish bulk. That's the thing about mp3 players though...they aren't that hard to get out and put back away. Just keep em in your pocket! Those headphones come out of a holster.

Plus they're so COOL!

I think it's great to listen to music while walking around campus, or anywhere. Commendable. Soundtrack to life and whatnot. What I can't stand, though, is when people feel free to leave the headphones in during conversation. When I worked in the library people would come up and ask me questions without taking their earphones out. At the very least, I'd say silently, take ONE out, so I believe you actually want to hear my answer!

Pointless comment, I guess, I was just babbling. I still think iPods are cool. And, at a few hundred bucks a pop, a status symbol at that, at least for poor college students who don't get them included in their tuition.