University Requires Students To Buy iPhones

Columbia University is requiring their new freshman have an iPhone when they start the MU School of Journalism this year. Letters were sent to the incoming class telling them to show up at campus this fall with their iPod touch or an iPhone.
The associate dean of the Journalism Brian Brooks said that the device is going to be turned into a learning device.

The Columbia Missourian reports:

“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.”

The reason for the item to be on the required list is for the students on financial aid. If an item is on the required list a student can list it in their financial need estimate.

Students who can’t afford an iPhone won’t be penalized for showing up without the Apple product.

Not all of the students are happy with the requirement. Elizabeth Eberlin has started the Facebook group, “Rotten Apple” to let her anger out.

“I really like my Apple computer, but I don’t think people should be forced to buy one brand of computer or one brand of anything,” she said. The Facebook group’s description calls into question the School of Journalism’s relationship with Apple, citing a possible conflict of interest.

Lectures will be recorded for all students. The school is installing Tegrity that records the professors lecturing. Lectures can then be downed through iTunes U which is a free content download hosted by universities.

At the end of the year MU will evaluate if the program was successful. That evaluation will determine if it will be offered for students in 2012.

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