University of Missouri School of Journalism makes iPods, iPhones mandatory for incoming students

“Books, paper and pens are considered necessary school supplies. Now, so is an iPod touch or an iPhone for incoming freshmen at the MU School of Journalism,” Beverly G. Rivera reports for The Columbia Missourian. “‘Lectures are the worst possible learning format,’ Brian Brooks, associate dean of the Journalism School said. ‘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.'”

“Freshmen admitted into the School of Journalism and pre-journalism students will be sent a letter notifying them of the change. Students may buy either an iPod touch or iPhone in order to meet the new requirement,” Rivera reports.

“Elizabeth Eberlin, an MU journalism student, started the Facebook group ‘Rotten Apple’ in response to the new requirement. ‘I really like my Apple computer, but I don’t think people should be forced to buy one brand of computer or one brand of anything,’ she said. The Facebook group’s description calls into question the School of Journalism’s relationship with Apple, citing a possible conflict of interest.”

MacDailyNews Take: Great, Elizabeth. That’s exactly what we need: Even more half-cocked activist journalists. (dripping sarcasm)

Rivera continues, “Brooks said the iPod was chosen as the required media player because students are familiar with it. ‘There’s a lot of theory out there that says what you want to do is engage students in realms where they are already comfortable, and we know a lot of students are already familiar with iPods and iTunes so we want to get into that space and take advantage of that,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Note: It’s not just a “theory.” Please see: Study: Apple’s ‘iTunes U’ produces better results than attending actual university lectures – February 18, 2009

Rivera continues, “The requirement will not be enforced and there will not be a penalty for students who chose not to buy an iPod touch or iPhone, Brooks said. ‘The reason we put required on it is to help the students on financial need,’ 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.'”

Rivera continues, “Brooks said MU is following other schools such as Stanford and Abilene Christian University in the use of this technology… ‘I anticipate it doing very well because it has proven to be very valuable to other universities,’ he said.”

Full article here.

[Attribution: Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jack F.” for the heads up.]

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