“Still, not all students are convinced. ‘They’re really useful to listen to music on – while I go running or on the bus – but mostly I don’t need them for my classes and I haven’t heard of anyone needing them. I think the program has a lot of room for growth. If the professors get more involved and know more ways to use the iPod during their classes, it would be really beneficial,’ says Katie Brehm, a freshman at Duke,” Rafael and Anderson report.”
I guess what bothers me is that the media isn’t reporting the real amazing parts of the story … there is so much going on behind the scene with the project that I can see why the reall word isn’t getting out. I have to say that Duke gets a serious thumbs up from me by having the guts to move into such a huge initaitve so quickly — talk about a living lab! At any rate, I did something I don’t usually do … I left a ranting comment at the site. Just thought I’d cross post it here …
I have been involved with the Duke iPod project as a part of an academic consortium working directly with Apple (I am not on the Duke faculty, but I am in higher education at another University) … we have been discussing the applications for some time and they are really doing some amazing things … it will take some time for it to really catch on. They have worked with Apple to create an academic version of the music store — it is a great idea and one that should grow as a model for content distribution.
Someone here said something like, all faculty have to do is record lectures and students will listen … well, I’ve been experimenting with that this semester with mixed results. The real power of the iPod is in its ability to do so much more — it can be used for assessment (with the built in ratings system), for creating “choose your own ending” style interactive scenarios that students can work through, and of course audio programs. With RSS enclosures, faculty can drop content directly on students’ desktops as they see fit.
The big rub in the Duke (or any other) project is that faculty have to take the lead to get the materials to students. When we release new instructional technology initiatives at my University, we focus our adoption efforts on faculty — students get it very quickly. Its faculty who have to take time, develop places for it in their classrooms and develop a comfort level with it. The bottom line is that Duke has made incredible progress on several fronts — their ability to work with Apple to build a customized “store,” building a support unit within the University, and for providing a vision for this type of mobile technology. The full effects and adoption will take several years — if it is going be successful. Sorry for the long rant.