Duke to give incoming freshmen iPods

On Monday Apple introduced its fourth generation iPod, a 20GB or 40GB model featuring the same kind of "Click Wheel" interface as found on the iPod mini. During an interview with MacCentral, Greg Joswiak, vice president of Hardware Product Marketing at Apple, explained that Duke University would be offering iPods to incoming freshmen. New details about the program have come to light.

On August 19, 2004, Duke University will be distributing 1,650 20GB iPods to all incoming freshman during their orientation as part of an effort to "creative uses of technology in education and campus life," according to a statement. Another 150 are slated for other academic and support needs, and all of them become the property of their recipients. Computer ownership isn't mandatory for incoming freshmen, so Duke will enable those students to hook up their iPods to computers at labs around campus.

The iPods will be preloaded with content related to Duke campus life, including freshman orientation information and the academic calendar. What's more, a special Duke Web site modeled on Apple's own iTunes site will offer course content for download, including language lessons, music, recorded lectures and audio books. Duke students will also be able to purchase music through the site.

This is a pilot program between Duke University and Apple, which will be evaluated after a year. It's being paid for by Duke using strategic planning funds that have been set aside for one-time purposes, rather than with funds that might otherwise have been used for other operational programs.

Duke Vice President for Information Technology Tracy Futhey said the University is hoping that the iPod program will motivate students and faculty alike to use iPods as educational tools. "We think the power and flexibility of these devices offer some real advantages over other media used to distribute educational content such as CD-ROMs and DVDs," said Futhey.

This story, "Duke to give incoming freshmen iPods" was originally published by PCWorld.

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