Duke gave up on their give-em-an-iPod experiment, but they are still using them in other ways. I don't want to say I Told You So (because I didn't actually tell THEM) but I knew the problem wouldn't be getting kids to use them, it would be getting faculty to do something so that students would use them for course work.
Students who don't already own an iPod will have to buy one (with education discount, that's $269) but I don't get why it has to be an iPod. Great for Apple sales but there are other mp3 players and many are cheaper. (This is being written by the father of two sons in college who is paying major tuitions & who takes a deep breath at the prices of textbooks and lab items.) One reason they give is that the iPod does not allow students to copy the music to their computers or to CDs which will protect copyright. Of course, there are a bunch of programs like iPod Music Liberator and iPodRip that allow you do that. And if I can find them on Google, I'm sure students already found them.
On to the world of legal downloading services for students. Napster, Cdigix and Ruckus are some of them. They donâ€™t let students burn music they download to a CD unless they pay extra. And you can't keep the music after you graduate unless you keep subscribing for the service. Gotcha. Bummer.
So the kids want to own their own music. Are these NetGen Millenials so different from college students in the 1950's - 80's? I wanted to own my music at college. No Internet, no file swapping then, but we did pass around albums and make cassette mix tapes.
I think colleges would be wiser focusing on using podcasting (course content, lectures, speakers etc.) than worrying about the music. I'm not saying to ignore illegal file swapping (music, films, software) but turn your academic eyes to using things like iTunes for real academic content, rather than for the tunes.