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April 6, 2005

Duke University pulls in the reins on free iPods

Duke University has revealed that it will once again offer free Apple iPods to its students, but while last year's incoming freshmen were all included in the big give away, this year the University has decided to restrict its policy to specific courses that use the digital music players.

By CBR Staff Writer

The private university, based in Durham, North Carolina, first launched the initiative last fall in an attempt to enhance the learning experience by allowing students to record lectures, store oral notes and play language-training recordings on the device. The scheme was thought to have most effective in theater lessons where the iPods were used to create audio shows, in engineering classes to study sound waves and in music and language courses to record and receive audio files.

Second time round, and the school is apparently still keen to exploit the advantage that popular devices incorporating video, digital imaging and wireless offer to education and technology. However, while it hailed the launch as a success, and subsequently licensed more products on the back of it, the university anticipates a reduction in the reported $500,000 grant it received last year.

Since its move to digitalize its educational activities, the university spurred on other schools to adopt the scheme. Drexel University in Philadelphia is believed to give iPods to its School of Education freshmen next year while Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville will use the players for two of its courses.

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