A North American college has urged new journalism students to buy iPhones, exploiting a funding fiddle to promote the gadget as a learning aid. According to a local newssite's report, incoming students at the Missouri School of Journalism (MSJ) will now be sent a letter telling them to buy either an iPhone or iPod Touch before …
What is this shit?
I mean really now? A netbook or laptop would be better.
“by the time you purchase photo, audio and video software for a PC, you probably will have spent more than you would if buying a comparable Apple computer”
Apparently they've never heard of Sourceforge..
Not a news worthy
Is it any different then being force to buy Microsoft based computer for college courses?
I thought that too, initially. But remember that microsoft IS the market leader in home and office computer operating systems and office suites by a margin most companies would dream about. So it makes sense that way.
Going for what is- let's be honest here- is only a small step above "niche" hardware (you hit double-digit market share for Laptops! Woo freakin' hoo, you're clearly big enough to take on MS) is a pretty stupid idea given the lack of other incentives (like cost or configurability- even the much vaunted Apple simplicity doesn't count as you'd be using the same software on the PC or the Mac).
It's especially stupid when it's designed to be shiny and noticed- how many (interesting) news stories will come from anywhere where that could be described as appropriate?
Covering inner city violence? Well, you'll get stabbed and have your phone nicked. War? You've just alerted the enemies to your presence with your stupid chrome back or hit the deck and snapped the thing in two. And there's not an apple store for 3,000 miles.
How about somewhere like a fashion show? Well, the Camera's crap so you'll need another one of those and I'm not even sure if it CAN be used as a dictaphone style device. So you're stuck scribbling down notes using the touchscreen while the guy next to you uses a £1 pen and paper set to accomplish exactly the same thing.
If they really need a device that can do everything, surely a more ruggedised, subtle device would be more appropriate?
I'll bet you the school (or the headteacher) has been offered a commission by Apple, or a reseller, for any units sold.
Probably use iTunes U for distribution
...which makes it very sensible to strongly encourage an Apple device. I'm sure they won't down anyone insane enough to buy a Zune, though. Or maybe they make special apps available to students that help them participate in their course - which makes it no different to requiring a certain text book or whatever (unless you think they're paid to help a certain book publisher achieve world domination?). At least there's financial help.
Mizzou is primarily Mac based
People need to realize this School and especially the Journalism Department is mostly Mac based anyway, so using Windows or Linux devices wouldn't make much sense. Here is a photo of a lecture room at the J-School... can you see the preference?
The iPod Touch is a remarkable device, so it's clear they are making a wise suggestion. A lot of people don't yet know what it does, so here's a quick education on the features...
Nope, I'm sure they have, but by the time the students have worked the way through the thousands of precious, closely guarded, broken pre-alphas, they'll have graduated.
Key thing here isn't Apple or any other corporation, it's about using technology as as tool and a means to an end, rather than the end in itself.
No wonder current journalism is fail
If this is the quality of people teaching it, no wonder the people doing it have failed their readerships so miserably in the last decade.
Journalism covers all channels of media
@ Mark Dowling
many people automatically assume "journalism" equals "newspapers"... which is only a tiny aspect of what the Mizzou J-School teaches... tv, radio, the web, and now location aware appications so it shows the professors are very forward thinking to bring ipod touches into the mix, years before everyone in society has them.
check it out... you'll be surprised how much iphone development is going on at the J-School.
I own a Touch and I gotta say your post made me sick with all its simpering and fawning! Clearly you have some link to either Apple or the school!
@ Mark Dowling
And using/recommending a device other than Apple would have resulted in better journalism?
I don't think so!
Go for it.
I say go for it. The better the educational market penetration of any single device for use in studies, the more likely we will begin to see applications for edcuation created (and approved by apple). Frankly, the iphone and ipod touch are two platforms with very tight api and user expereince is repeatable across the breadth of the machines. Cant get that with win mobile handsets, palm handsets and even PC's. Every damned one of them has quirks or usability issues worse than 1/2 battery life the apple devices may have.
BTW, I'm a win mobile user, I know an application written for one win mobile phone doesnt always work on every phone.