Duke to Decide Fate of iPods in Two Weeks

Duke University will deliver the final decision on its iPod initiative in two weeks time, The Chronicle reports. The university, which outfitted 1,650 freshmen with 20GB iPods six months ago, has had mixed experiences incorporating the music players into the curriculum.

While the number of teachers using the iPod has increased this semester from the previous, many students feel the iPods are being used more for recreation and less for education. The initiative, the first of its kind, sought to bring the iPod into the classroom by giving students the ability to record lectures, download lectures, and provide special problems and assistance in music and foreign language classes.

"I could count on one hand the amount of freshmen I saw recording classes last semester. Nobody uses them for academic purposes," freshman Janie Lorber told The Chronicle. "I think it is kind of embarrassing that every freshman got an iPod. I think it makes us look rich and silly."

Some professors are very supportive of the program, however, with one reporting that 40 out of her 300 students regularly records lectures, pointing out that recording and listening to a class lecture again seems to significantly help foreign students.

The iPod initiative cost Duke about $500,000.