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Duke freshmen get iPods.

This fall Duke University gave free Apple iPods to its 1,650 incoming freshmen, noting that it was part of an initiative to encourage creative uses of technology in education and campus life.

A special Duke website, which the school says is modeled on the Apple iTunes site, will allow students to download faculty-provided course content, including language lessons, music, recorded lectures and audio books. The pilot program between Duke and Apple Computer is being paid for with strategic planning funds that the school has set aside for one-time innovative technology purposes and will be evaluated after a year.

"We're approaching this as an experiment," says Duke Vice President for Information Technology Tracy Futhey, "one we hope will motivate our faculty and students to think creatively about using digital audio content and a mobile computing environment to advance educational goals in the same way that iPods and similar devices have had such a big impact on music distribution."

According to Futhey, the school sees the power and flexibility of iPods as giving them advantages over media such as CD-ROMs and DVDs when it comes to distributing educational content.

Lynne O'Brien, director of Duke's Center for Instructional Technology, says that a growing number of faculty have expressed interest in adding audio and video components to their courses. She expects that, over the coming year, faculty members will suggest ideas for inclusion in the pilot program, and they will be encouraging submission of faculty project ideas early in the fall semester.

This action by Duke was noted in a number of media outlets, among them USA TODAY. The paper also reported that Ross Rubin, an analyst at the market research firm NPD Group, notes that while students are drawn to portable technologies, iPod may have a competitor soon in a new Portable Media Center sold by Samsung Creative Technologies and iRiver.
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Title Annotation:Information Technology Update; Duke University
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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