Some US universities have started handing out free iPhones and Internet-enabled iPods to students, the New York Times reports. The institutions view the gadgets as tools for online research, student polling, and as-yet undeveloped educational applications, while Apple gets an in with a new generation with consumers. Professors with easily distracted students stand to lose out, however.
Some lecturers still balk at allowing even laptops into classes, but many university officials are keen to make their campuses interactive. “We think this is the way the future is going to work,” said the head of a mobile-learning initiative at a Texas university that has stocked up on Apple gear for this fall.