This article came to me via Ray E. Jiminez, Ph.D., and his e-newsletter. (Click here for an enhanced view of this newsletter). In it, he purports that "The iPod had become an icon, a status symbol, an important part of one's life. It is an extension of their personality" (sic) and supports Duke University's decision "to distribute iPods to its incoming freshmen as part of an experiment to motivate both faculty and students to think creatively about using technology in education and campus life. The iPods will be pre-loaded with related content as information on orientation and the academic calendar. Students will also be able to download faculty-provided content."
(Click here for the Duke article)
According to Jiminzez, "The gospel of Duke University and Steve Jobs accomplishes three things:
1. It makes it easy for technology to be friendly, cool and hip
2. It will be ubiquitous, becoming a part of our everyday landscape
3. It will make the learning tool portable, self-paced and easy to use"
Now, stop me if I'm wrong, but every time academia or the mainstream co-opts something that is supposed to be "friendly, cool, and hip" don't they create a backlash that renders things extremely UNhip?
Upon closer reading, Jiminez is trying to sell you a seat in his e-learning seminar on blended learning so you can master the technology needed to dazzle your students with Flash (more "edutainment"). Jobs has sold Duke on the iPod. Now Duke is trying to sell you an iPod with your diploma. Want fries with that?