Missouri U. journalism school {hearts} the iPhone, makes it mandatory

| May 15, 2009

We may be at the onset of spring, but some students at Missouri University are already thinking about the fall term ? and the geekiest of them are probably salivating.

Why? Because the institution's School of Journalism informed its students that they will be required to have an iPhone. (I?m jealous. The only thing GW ever required of me were textbooks and No. 2 pencils. Boh-ring!)

The school believes that recording lectures boosts information retention. But of all the devices the university could've chosen ? like, say, a digital voice recorder, or heck, even a microcassette recorder ? it singled out a smartphone. (Turns out, iPod Touches are also acceptable.)

But, say administrators, this isn't a rigid rule, and it probably won't be strictly enforced. So then what gives?

Well, the truth behind this mandate, according to Brian Brooks, the journalism school's associate dean, is actually somewhat philanthropic. Brooks told the school paper that the department designated the handset as mandatory to help financial aid students. ?If it's required, it can be included in your financial need estimate. If we had not required it, they wouldn't be able to do that."

This stirs up a small controversy, since some people would rather see limited financial aid resources go toward making education affordable for a greater number of students. I can't say that I disagree with that at all. And yet, the mere thought of being able to purchase an iPhone under the category of 'school supplies? makes me giddy.

Shoot. This is yet another reason I wish I could go back to school.

[via The Missourian]