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iPods for every Michigan child?

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Fri April 6, 2007

iPods for Michigan Kids

Democrats are proposing that iPods and other MP3 players be given to every child in Michigan, according to an editorial in the Detroit Free Press. The party's state house speaker Andy Dillon suggested the idea as part of a larger spending bill, suggesting that it would help students learn. The idea has already triggered a major controversy in the state for the cost it would inflict on the already ailing government, taking $38 million away from Michigan's budget when the territory faces a $600 million deficit this year and an even greater $2.1 billion gap in 2008.

Educators in particular saw the proposal as an excess at a time when far more basic issues were at hand. "My members are telling me they have much more pressing things they're worried about, like whether they're going to be able to make payroll in May," Michigan Association of School Boards spokesman Don Wotruba said.

The choice also drew expected flak from Republicans and their supporters, including an editorial in the Detroit News which accused the Democrats of wasting money on luxuries for youth while putting increasing strain on the parents that support them through tax hikes offered at the same time a the iPod plan.

"We wonder how financially strained Michigan residents will feel about paying higher taxes to buy someone else's kid an iPod," the anonymous author said. State officials hope to have the budget signed by June 1st to take effect when the fiscal year starts in October.

iPods have been increasingly used as a help in many American college and university campuses. Duke University's Digital Initiative regularly hands out iPods to faculty and students for class-related podcasts and other material, while Apple itself has partnered with several schools in North America for its iTunes U feature that hosts school-specific content on the iTunes Store. A comprehensive study of the effect of portable music players and podcasts on learning, however, hasn't yet surfaced.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. broohaha22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    skeptic tank overfloweth

    I love the iPod as much as the next guy, but this is just silly.

  1. Terrin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    Not completely silly

    As proposed it is silly. Some schools, however, have programs that really take advantage of using an iPod. For instance, Duke University and the University of Michigan. There would have to be some real planning before anything like that would be effective.

  1. Rauser

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    would the last person out

    of Michigan, please turn off the lights?

  1. bsnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Michigan

    Michigan is in dire economic crisis, and all the Democrats can come up with is iPods? Maybe the Democrats realized that the students will have all moved to other states and the only way they would receive a Michigan education is via MP3.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    0

    Lessons...

    Lessons and lectures recorded and played back on iPod, with images to go with playable through your TV or if you have a mac, your mac.. Brilliant. For homework tonight listen to chapter one tracks 2 3 and 4. Accompanying visual aides for more thorough understanding of concepts and such. A waste of money to secure a proper education? Even if you're out sick, guess who still learns!!! YEP!

  1. bsnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Michigan (2)

    I don't argue that iPods have their place in the classroom, but Michigan cannot afford them right now. The Michigan State Police are being laid-off due to lack of funds, the roads are falling apart, there is a mass exodus of residents. If Steve Jobs or Apple Computer would donate them, then I would be all for it, but Michigan has much more critical needs at the moment.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    I could see

    the benefit of this in a university environment, but for children? What kid is going to scan through recorded teaching looking for a piece of information? Talk about a total pork project.

    I don't know about you, but seeing kids with high dollar electronics makes me cringe. Especially ones like this that encorage social isolation (not to mention hearing damage).

    Please tell me this guy was just talking out of his a**.

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    I must have miised...

    I must have missed the previous news items where they said every MI kid is first getting a computer. danviento is right about iPods making sense in a college environment but a foolish idea for children. Not only for the reason stated, but also because an iPod is useless without a computer. I don't know how university programs do it, but I assume material is sync'd via iTunes (lesson podcasts, for example) on the student's own computer. Does every kid in MI have a computer?

    Next lets give out gas cards to the homeless folks who don't have a car.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000

    0

    Territory?

    Ummm, Michigan became a state in 1837. Yes, it's sad but true. :)

  1. Beechlady

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    0

    Lack of....

    To rauser and msuper69, your comments show your lack of intelligence. Economic crisis aside, unless you've spent any amount of time in Michigan (and no airports and highways don't count) you'll find Michigan is a very nice place to live.

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