Taking a step that professors may view as a bit counterproductive, some universities are doling out Apple iPhones and Internet-capable iPods to students.
The always-on Internet devices raise some novel possibilities, like tracking where students congregate. With far less controversy, colleges could send messages about canceled classes, delayed buses, campus crises or just the cafeteria menu.
While schools emphasize its usefulness -- online research in class and instant polling of students, for example -- a big part of the attraction is, undoubtedly, that the iPhone is cool and a hit with students. Basking in the aura of a cutting-edge product could just help a university foster a cutting-edge reputation.
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