Mizzou to J-School Class of 2013: Be Prepared, Buy an iPhone!
So, starting this fall, incoming Mizzou journalism students will be required to purchase an iPhone or an iPod touch. No, silly, not for texting their friends during boring lectures. It's so they can download lectures and listen to them again!
"Lectures are the worst possible learning format," Brian Brooks, the associate dean of the j-school told the Columbia Missourian. "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."
Brooks added that the devices aren't actually required; the word "required" was just added to get the bureaucrats in Financial Aid to give extra cash to needy students who might not be able to buy an iThing on their own.
Some students have already begun to protest what they consider Apple's hegemony on MP3 players with, naturally, a Facebook group. Brooks claims that the only reason the j-school appears to favor iTunes over, say, Windows Media Player is because students seem to be more familiar with it.
As a journalist, albeit one who attended college back in the days before even Napster (back then, we were dependent on our Walkmans; sad, I know), I have to wonder about the wisdom of this plan. Yeah, lectures may not have always been exciting, but they did give me great practice in what I consider one of the most essential skills of this noble profession: taking notes.