"Duke University will give each of its 1,650 incoming freshmen a free iPod this fall as part of an initiative to foster innovative uses of technology in the classroom, the school said Monday." Wired News , July 20, 2004
This goes a long way beyond the licensing of Napster for streaming music that some universities have done on behalf of their students. The iPods will come loaded with content relevant to the students: orientation material and the academic calendar for starters. Duke expects students will download course content, audio books, and even record lectures and take oral notes using voice recorders--and music.
"The university also will create a Web site modeled on the Apple iTunes site from which students can download music and course content from faculty, including language lessons, lectures and audio books. The iTunes site allows users to download music legally...The program fits into university plans to use more technology in teaching, said Tracy Futhey, Duke's vice president for information technology. "This was a project aimed at satisfying those goals through a device that is immensely popular with students," Futhey said. " From here.As Jonathan Schwartz, Prez and COO of Sun Microsystems (and he's 38) said on his blog: "They ["They" is Ruckus Network. Check them out--very relevant to this post] exemplify one of my basic rules of business: convenience is more powerful than any other competitive weapon. Against all foes, even piracy."
How many libraries are finding ways to satisfy organizational goals with something hugely popular? This isn't a rhetorical question....examples, anyone?