Phi Beta Cons

“The Podfather”

Instead of encouraging students to turn off their iPods during class, colleges are handing them out to freshman. Has the world turned topsy-turvy?

Not quite. According to a recent AP story, college professors, such as Hank “The Podfather” Edmondson at Georgia College (GCSU), are exploiting the educational benefits of Apple’s best-selling digital audio player. Edmondson, a CAMPUS Magazine Online contributor, incorporates iPods into a study-abroad program he leads, in order to fit as much education as he can into three weeks. His colleagues are assigning podcasts of lectures, educational movies, and even answers to the week’s most frequently asked questions. This small rural college even has a team of faculty and staff that meet to discuss new ways to use iPods: The iDreamers. GCSU’s support of iPod technology was rewarded when they hosted Apple’s Digital Campus Leadership Institute in November.
And yet, “few campuses have embraced the new technology as doggedly as GCSU.” Expect this to change. The natural progression of education is that impersonal educational experiences, such as movies and never-ending lectures, will be distributed outside of the classroom via iPods, and classroom time will be focused on discussion, interaction, and examination.

Believe it or not, even the prestigious Intercollegiate Studies Institute has embraced the educational capacity of the iPod. ISI is currently running a membership campaign where the prizes include an iPod nano pre-loaded with ISI lectures. There are only seven days left

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