“Duke spent more than one half million dollars this fall to supply each incoming freshman with an Apple iPod. The program is aimed at getting lectures, language materials, Duke maps and fight songs into the hands of each incoming freshman,” Alexander Rafael and Emily Anderson report for Newsweek.
“For Lisa Merschel, a professor in the Spanish department at Duke, the program has revolutionized her students’ experience with language. ‘Before, I would just play a CD in front of the whole class and there would be some students whose eyes would glaze over after the first couple of seconds and some who would get this intense look of fear on their faces,’ she explains. ‘With the iPods, each student can listen at their own pace and they have the control to pause or replay certain parts… I find that the slower students have more confidence.’ The technology has made her grading process more efficient as well. ‘It’s digital, easier, and faster.’ Merschel even believes that the iPod program has helped to break down traditional barriers between professors and students. ‘It’s extremely beneficial, especially for languages, and I have to say I’m getting a much closer relationship with my students,'” Rafael and Anderson report.
Still, not all students are convinced. ‘They’re really useful to listen to music on – while I go running or on the bus – but mostly I don’t need them for my classes and I haven’t heard of anyone needing them. I think the program has a lot of room for growth. If the professors get more involved and know more ways to use the iPod during their classes, it would be really beneficial,’ says Katie Brehm, a freshman at Duke,” Rafael and Anderson report.
Full article here.