In 2009, the Missouri School of Journalism told students they had to buy an iPod touch or iPhone to use as “a learning device.” The requirement “was nothing but a bust,” according to the student newspaper, and now the j-school might make the iPad a required device. The student paper’s advice:
Leave it up to the student to decide if they’d rather record an interview on a new iPod touch or a simple tape recorder. Massive, general technological requirements do little for productivity, considering they are rarely utilized, if at all. It’s also offensive to assume that it’s the parents that pay for the technology when, in fact, large numbers of students take out their own loans for their “required” MacBooks and iPod touches.
We strongly urge the J school to stop requiring new technologies for their students, especially when they haven’t even found useful ways to utilize the current ones, like the iPod touch. Even though some students could be reimbursed for the iPod Touch, it was only after purchasing the $2,000 MacBook Pro package.
When administrators push every new device in Apple’s product line every couple years, the policies cease to be requirements. They aren’t even friendly recommendations — they’re endorsements.