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University Requires iPhone or iPod Touch for Journalism Freshmen

The University of Missouri's School of Journalism is requiring incoming freshmen to have either an iPhone or iPod touch. While many of the School's students already have Macs and/or iPod and iPhones, the Apple-requirement has sparked some dissension in the ranks of students.

Ostensibly, the requirement is for students to be able to listen back to lectures, according to a report from the Columbia Missourian, the school newspaper.

"Lectures are the worst possible learning format," Brian Brooks, associate dean of the School of Journalism, told the paper. "There's been some research done that shows if a student can hear that lecture a second time, they retain three times as much of that lecture."

To that effect, University of Missouri is installing Tegrity, a lecture-capturing solution for schools that makes lectures available through a Web-based internal interface. According to the company, "Once integrated with the institution's existing data-sets, Tegrity makes the entire process of capturing, indexing, publishing, and storing every class across the entire campus completely automatic."

Tegrity itself doesn't require iPods or iPhones, but rather any computer or digital media device capable of playing back MP3s, but School officials standardized on Apple's brand because they felt students were already familiar with them. In addition, by making the devices a requirement, they become subject to various forms of financial aid.

"The reason we put required on it is to help the students on financial need," Mr. Brooks said. "If it's required, it can be included in your financial need estimate. If we had not required it, they wouldn't be able to do that."

That hasn't stopped some animosity from developing in the student population, however -- the Missourian reported that a FaceBook group called Rotten Apple had been started in response to the requirement.

"I really like my Apple computer," Elizabeth Eberlin told the paper, "but I don't think people should be forced to buy one brand of computer or one brand of anything."

Similar protests have erupted in the past when students were required to buy Dell computers, for instance, or more rarely, when a Mac was required for incoming students.

Be that as it may, there is no penalty for failing to have an iPod touch or iPhone, according to school officials.

5 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

B Walt. said:

I think it’s 100% reasonable, and the fact that they are specifically saying ‘Apple iPod Touch’ or ‘Apple iPhone’ is great. Apple has a great reputation for long wearing items that work.

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Irving said:

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Tiger said:

I’m a Mac person. Have been for 25 years. But I understand the push back and the animosity. Our administration at one point wanted to standardize everything on Windows and was close to a deal with Dell. It was a long and not so silent battle.

With all the security concerns universities have to face, let alone individual users, I think we finally got the message across that there is a level of “security through diversity.”

Standardizing on one platform or set of hardware just doesn’t make sense. It may look good on paper and initially to the bottom line dollar as well, but in the long run, it could end up costing everybody a LOT more.

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daemon said:

It’s kind of like high schools requiring Texas Instruments calculators. Sure there’s other makers, but clearly students are too stupid to learn how to use a different device.

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online degree said:

All incoming freshman journalism majors will be required to have either an iPod touch or an iPhone upon entering the School of Journalism this fall.Brian Brooks, associate dean for undergraduate studies at the journalism school, said the iPod touch or iPhone would be a great advantage for freshman orientation.Some lectures, such as those for the Career Explorations in Journalism class, will be recorded. Students will then be able to download the recorded lectures to their iPods or iPhones.
online degree

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