Free iPods: Tool, gimmick or bribe?
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5319258.stm
I missed this when the BBC first ran the story: South Kent College in Dover is giving its students a free iPod Nano each so that they can catch up on missed lectures or review material after the lecture is over.
This isn’t a completely new idea, of course; a number of institutions, especially in the US, have already experimented on similar lines. But what I noticed about this particular story is that the BBC managed to find someone to be scandalised about it:-
Pressure group Campaign for Real Education said it was wrong to offer bribes and it devalued education. CRE chairman Nick Seaton said: “Youngsters should want to take the courses for their own sake if they are worthwhile. Let the college keep two or three iPods to lend to the youngsters. It’s a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money.”
The college responded that iPods would only be given to students who had completed their assignments and who had full attendance. (Do the students get to keep the iPods after they leave the college? It’s not absolutely clear.) I also notice that the scheme was paid for with “savings made on a building project”, which I think is an excellent idea, though I do foresee some objections from our Estates dept if we start asking them to hand over their spare cash in order that we can buy iPods for everyone.