That's a lot of recorded lectures and fight songs.
July 20, 2004 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Welcome to Duke University. Here's your iPod.
posted by gottabefunky (25 comments total)
Welcome to UNC. Here's your Victrola.

Fuck Duke.

posted by jonmc at 8:48 AM on July 20, 2004

The audio content thing is actually quite cool, and the iPod would b ethe best delivery mechanism, especially if you could 'synch' with new material through the year. I wouldn't have minded having access to audio of lectures as I walked around campus and ran errands through the day.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:53 AM on July 20, 2004

In related news:

IPod Theft up 99% at Duke University

IPod Prices on Ebay Plummet's meme "Duke Sucks" becomes "Duke Sucks, now with free IPod"
posted by m@ at 8:54 AM on July 20, 2004

iPods yes, health insurance no.
posted by muckster at 9:01 AM on July 20, 2004

Wait, what's this about "downloading legally"?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:12 AM on July 20, 2004

Whoa. Brutal segue.

So, I'm curious as to why Duke's actually giving them out. While I read the article, it gave off such a PR sheen that I actually had to squint. More like "Apple goofed on the new iPod marketing, and need a way to jumpstart business again."

And, why Duke?
posted by FormlessOne at 9:17 AM on July 20, 2004

For $500,000, Duke could've hired several full-time professors at the top of their fields. What a waste of money.
posted by josh at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2004

Yeah, imagine the bitching that would ensue if Microsoft did something like that. (I'm guessing they already do, heh)
posted by angry modem at 9:41 AM on July 20, 2004

The N&O doesn't mention it, but the money came out of a special fund allocated explicitly for 'innovative uses of technology in education.' So, no, technically it could not have been spent on two professors at the tops of their fields (for political science and lit, at least, the going rate for a very top prof is in the $200K range.)

I don't personally think it will succeed, but I have to give Duke credit for trying to break out of some molds and wrap their heads around new ideas.

Apparently all the ipods will be etched with the student's name as well, which should help alleviate the theft issue.

angry modem: given that the only two higher ed degrees in the Gates household are both from Duke, I wouldn't be surprised if MS counter-offers Duke next year. But at this point, it is intended to be a one-year experiment- so it might not happen at all from either giant next year. We'll see.
posted by louie at 9:51 AM on July 20, 2004

I think NYU gave me a pen once, but they asked for it back after my freshman year.

More seriously, what about the kids who are barely affording school? Is there an option on their bill from the bursar to remove the mp3 player charge? Or, assuming the endowment (or whatever) is footing the bill for the pocket-sized status symbols, do the students have the option of giving up the iPod in favor of using the funds as a small scholarship?

At a cost of $303 dollars per incoming student, this is a non-negligible amount of money. That would probably be enough to cover books for a semester, or at least go a long way towards getting basic furnishings for a dorm room. If I were on the board of trustees, I'd rather buy the freshman a copy of Business & Its Publics or Ragged Dick and have them talk to their instructors, as opposed to letting them listen to book-on-tape-on-mp3 audio excerpts and hear canned lectures from professors they see too little of as it is.

on preview: Well, I have nothing to say in response to the special fund issue. That does sort of require that the money be spent on something a bit wonky, but this is still extreme. Further, who's allocating a half a million dollars for experiments in technology when the total cost for attending for one year is over $35k?
posted by mmcg at 10:02 AM on July 20, 2004

When I was there, we were pretty wired compared to other comparable schools. While I'm not sure if the iPod would be better than say a PDA of some sore, it's a great marketing tool , because iPods are a better draw for that demographic. It's not that the brightest kids are going to attend Duke just to get an iPod, but I think that the effort to integrate lifestyle technologies is something that's bound to impress more than a few prospects.
posted by Dukebloo at 10:21 AM on July 20, 2004

Giving free iPods to college students? It's a good thing Apple includes a little sticker that says "Don't steal music" on every iPod!
posted by kindall at 10:23 AM on July 20, 2004

So when is Metafilter gonna crawl in bed with Apple and get us all iPods??
posted by rushmc at 10:30 AM on July 20, 2004

I'll sell you mine, rushmc. Still in the box.
posted by kenko at 11:10 AM on July 20, 2004

It might seem an extravagant back-to-school item, but remember, students pay a premium to study at Duke -- $39,240 a year for tuition, fees, room and board.

Wow, close to $40,000/yr! I went to Duke during the Stone Age, of course (or was it the Selenitic Age?), but one reason I dropped out in my second year was that, at about $5,000/yr back then, I didn't feel like getting myself too deep into debt. (Course if I'd stayed, I might have a real job these days.)
posted by LeLiLo at 11:16 AM on July 20, 2004

Wow. How long until colleges start providing hookers and cocaine? I mean, to the non-athletes.

posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:27 AM on July 20, 2004

best university ever?!
posted by mcsweetie at 11:34 AM on July 20, 2004

"Free iPod with Purchase of Education"
posted by Succa at 11:36 AM on July 20, 2004

(Course if I'd stayed, I might have a real job these days.)

Heh. No worries there... I know plenty of un/underemployed from the classes of 2000 and 2001, who paid around $35K a year. Sort of silly, and I'm not going to argue it is a good value (except maybe for the basketball tickets ;) But in general, given that the school just raised a tad over $2B, and a goodly chunk of that is going to help kids who can't afford that $40K (though not enough) the cost of this is a rounding error in any number of ways.
posted by louie at 11:38 AM on July 20, 2004

As a tech guy at Duke, I've been hearing about this for some time, and assumed they were setting it up with other schools, so I was surprised that it became such a big news item- I guess the negotiations were only going forward at Duke. For Apple, I suppose this is sort of like GM selling fleet vehicles. It keep 'em the number one brand.
posted by bendybendy at 4:49 PM on July 20, 2004

I'll sell you mine, rushmc. Still in the box.

Trade ya for a gmail account! ;)
posted by rushmc at 5:01 PM on July 20, 2004

The question is, are they the new iPods, or the old ones? Because like any fashion accessory, you can't own last year's.

Yes, I own an iPod mini. I use it for workouts, because of the great system Apple made with the arm band and all.
posted by benjh at 6:24 PM on July 20, 2004

It would have been a better idea to get them something more useful, like a PDA. They could have gotten something with built in wifi for the price of an iPod, maybe cheaper with a deal.
posted by Hackworth at 10:01 PM on July 20, 2004

A few years ago, some useless program was instituted to provide all the students in a Pittsburgh area high school with a PDA, an e-book reader and a laptop computer free of charge. This largesse was to be coupled with a technology program in the school meant to make the students' tools worthwhile. Many local educators were abuzz with the possibilities that such a program could hold, especially if implemented in a school in an area where the parents weren't able to purchase the items for their kids themselves.

When the announcement came forth, few were shocked but many were saddened to learn that the school chosen for the program was in a community where the average home is valued in the six figures. The tech products were delivered to a school where the student parking lot is filled with cars far nicer than those found in the staff lot.

The Duke/iPod synergy program strikes me similarly. If someone (or their parents) can come up with the money for a $40k/year college (student aid notwithstanding) they can come up with a couple hundred bucks for an iPod, if one is important to them.
posted by Dreama at 4:30 AM on July 21, 2004

For $500,000, Duke could've hired several full-time professors at the top of their fields. What a waste of money.
posted by josh at 9:31 AM PST on July 20

several professors at the top of their fields?

A few accomplished professors, maybe.

Most top professors I know are unproductive hood ornaments that have no people skills. Better off getting someone who is currently producing scholarship. Or an ipod...
posted by mecran01 at 11:24 AM on July 21, 2004

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