US journo school mandates iPhone, iPod touch
Adjunct Apple PR
Beginning this fall, all students at the Missouri School of Journalism will be required to purchase an iPhone or an iPod touch.
But before both Zune users in The Reg's readership get their panties in a bunch, realize that the key word in the Missouri dictate is "required." If an item is designated by a school as required, the purchase of it may be covered by financial aid. If it's only recommended or suggested, the cost must be fully borne by the student.
Or, more likely, by the student's parents.
Still, the Missouri edict has a distinctly pro-Cupertino bent. The school's iPod Touch requirements statement, for example, could have been written by Apple's marketing department. "Yes, the device is a music player," it burbles, "but it is much, much more."
That "much, much more" - in the academic sense, that is - includes the ability to download freshman-orientation information, lectures, podcasts, and other course materials from Apple's iTunes U, the free educational area of the company's iTunes Store.
The iPhone/iPod requirement is in addition to a four-year-old directive that students also purchase a "wireless laptop" - and the school's preference for Apple's laptops is also abundantly clear.
In a FAQ response to the question of whether Windows-based laptops are allowed, the Missourians state, "That's an option, but it's one we do not recommend...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."
It also argues that "Apple's OS X operating system is based on Unix, which makes these computers far less susceptible to viruses than other computers."
It appears that students are following the school's
recommendation requirement - last year, 99.5 per cent of incoming School of Journalism students made the Jobsian Hobson's choice.
Although some students are sure to rebel - after all, that's what students do - there are four members of the university's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute who aren't complaining. Their entry in the Institute's recent iPhone Student Competition, NearBuy (iTunes link), won them a free ride to Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, a $1,295 affair. ®
Macs and Windows
I don't necessarily agree with an educational institution requiring an IPhone over any other handheld communication device in the first place, though I understand this makes it possible for the students to use financial aid to purchase it as a legitimate educational expense. I don't know that I agree all the Mac applications are superior to other alternatives.
I do, however, see the value of simplicity in having everyone on the same platform, just as students all use the same textbooks, resources, tests, etc. And I agree with the the technological and time-saving argument of not having to worry about compatibility issues, or the danger of infection from hundreds of thousands of viruses and malware applications. Even Mac users should use antivirus software - and fasten their seat belts, and wear condoms - like everyone else. Basic safety rules apply to all OS's. But last I looked there were still only two somewhat serious viruses in the wild, and only a few proof-of-concept. More will certainly appear; fortunately, it's highly unlikely the number will ever be extremely large.
I won't comment further on the university's decision, since others have already made excellent points, except to note that fortunately requiring Macs doesn't leave students Windowless.
The current Mac laptops use Intel processors, so you can install Windows on them, either alone, or on a separate partition. Use Apple's free Boot Camp application to partition the hard drive, creating and formatting one or more additional partitions. (Boot Camp allows you to do this without touching your existing Mac OS installation or having to reformat the entire hard drive.) Then install Windows - or Linux for that matter - on the new partition(s). Afterwards, each time you turn on your computer you'll be prompted to choose an OS.
You can also install a free emulator such as Virtual Box and run Windows inside the Mac OS, allowing you to use your favorite Windows apps at the same time you're running your Mac apps for class. (Advanced users may also be familiar with WINE, including implementations such as Crossover, created to allow Windows applications to run "natively" in Linux, which also allows other *nix's, including the Mac OS , to run some Win apps without an emulator.)
As a computer consultant, I have a Mac laptop partly because I can run 5 different OS's on it, both in emulation and real mode. I don't want to have to buy 5 different laptops when I can use one for all my work, and carry just one on my jobs. I want Mac and Linux and Unix and Windows XP and Windows VIsta at my fingertips all the time. And while it's usually possible to install the Mac OS on, say, a Dell, it's a PITA, not to mention a violation of Apple's EULA.
Macs also hold their value fairly well in comparison to other brands, so if you really hate it and want to sell it when you graduate....well, it would go a long way toward a really nice party :-)
Fail 3 subjects in one school year and your kid is expelled. What state is that in ? Its not in California. In fact I've never heard of that. Can you show me proof. Expel kid and you lose money. Now they will expel you you just stop showing up.
Did read what I posted ? I said 65k I said year round. That's not 8 months She does 230 days in her scool year . Secondly I said 65k for California. You can not us that for the rest of the US. Do you realize that in most of states k-12 teachers max at at 49K
I said benefit packages. How much is her pension, health care and in most states, mortgage discount worth? Easily another 35K.
$600 a month for her and my dad. Mortgage discount ?? that's not some thing you get out here for college teachers. You can get low interest loans as k-12 teacher, but you are teaching in the poorest area for dismal pay. below 39k. In California that's nothing.
I will still like for you to show me how the average US teachers k-12 make 6 figures.
Their school; their rule
If MSJ were a State supported school, I would say government has no legitimate reason to dictate from what company a student's equipment must come. But this is not the case. MSJ is a privately owned university and, barring discrimination unlawful in the US, can set what conditions they see fit.