First it was free internet. Then, some universities were offering free laptops to students. And now, the Gray Old Lady reports that colleges are taking advantage of the popularity of both the iPod and iPhone by offering incoming students one of each.
The idea is to take advantage of our rapidly evolving mobile culture and giving students a means to stay connected while attending class. Acting way too much like “Big Brother,” Universities like the ability to track students through the built in GPS chip, but they also like the ability to be able to contact students with schedule changes. Universities can send emails, IMs or even “tweats” to inform students about canceled classes, campus crises or updates in what the commissary is serving for lunch.
However, the ability to use the iPod/iPhone’s wifi access for the Internet means that students can have mobile research at the touch of a virtual button. But there’s also the nifty ability to record lectures using applications through the ITunes apps store. The options for students is nearly endless.
From the Times article:
We think this is the way the future is going to work,” said Kyle Dickson, co-director of research and the mobile learning initiative at Abilene Christian University in Texas, which has bought more than 600 iPhones and 300 iPods for students entering this fall.
Hat Tip – DIGG