The Missouri University School of Journalism is now making Apple’s iPod Touch or the iPhone a requirement for incoming freshmen according to an article from the Missourian. The idea being that if students can hear lectures more than once they retain three times as much information. While the school says these devices are required, they really aren’t enforcing the new policy. The school made it a requirement so students with financial aid could pay for these gadgets with financial aid money. Students can still download the lectures from iTunes and review them on their laptop computers.
First off, do you think this concept is overboard? Is an iPhone or iPod Touch really necessary to be successful in school? Seems like students have done just fine in the past without spiffy gadgets in hand. Students aren’t going to be playing back the lectures during class, so why are portable devices needed? Why isn’t the school just promoting playbacks on laptops?
Second of all, why is MU pushing Apple? Brian Brooks, associate dean of the Journalism School, said “the iPod was chosen as the required media player because students are familiar with it.” That may be true but is it fair to endorse one specific company? All the financial aid students who go out to make their purchases will be giving their business to Apple.
Apple is not the only one who manufactures products with these playback and downloadable features. I’m pretty sure downloading from iTunes is easy no matter what device you are using. Don’t get me wrong, I have both a Mac laptop and an iPod. I have nothing against Apple, but as a PR student, I’ve been taught that transparency and honesty are imperative. Does it seem like there is more than meets the eye here? In today’s world do businesses endorse other businesses for free? Usually, there is some incentive or “kick-back” for lack of a better term. If Apple does have an agreement with MU should it be disclosed? If such a relationship exists I think it should be disclosed. What does Apple or MU have to lose? It seems like a good partnership to me.