The University of Missouri Journalism School, which you might remember from the below picture last year showing a pretty high percentage of Mac usage, is taking the Apple love one step further. They are now requiring incoming students to have iPhones or iPod touches. According to the Missourian, Brian Brooks, associate dean of the Journalism School, thinks the entertainment device can also be a learning device:
“Lectures are the worst possible learning format,” Brooks said. “There’s been some research done that shows if a student can hear that lecture a second time, they retain three times as much of that lecture.”
Freshmen admitted into the School of Journalism and pre-journalism students will be sent a letter notifying them of the change. Students may buy either an iPod touch or iPhone in order to meet the new requirement.
While it is technically a requirement, the mandate isn’t going to be enforced. Students could purchase a Zune or use their laptops to play back lectures if they want to, but judging by the picture above, that isn’t likely.
“The reason we put required on it is to help the students on financial need,” Brooks said. “If it’s required, it can be included in your financial need estimate. If we had not required it, they wouldn’t be able to do that.”
The project will use iTunesU to gather and distribute lectures to students.
This summer, Brooks said, the entire MU campus is installing a program called Tegrity which will allow the recording of lectures. Lectures can later be downloaded to media players through iTunes U which offers free content hosted by universities.
Brooks said MU is following other schools such as Stanford and Abilene Christian University in the use of this technology. The success of the new program will be evaluated at the end of the year, at which time Brooks said the program will be changed or scrapped.
“I anticipate it doing very well because it has proven to be very valuable to other universities,” he said.