Melbourne-based Apple reseller Connecting Point will supply 90 iPod Touch devices for a new learning initiative at La Trobe University.
The $55,000 initiative was launched last week for the University's Graduate Diploma in Education (Middle Years) course.
iPods were purchased by the university for students, who were required to return the devices upon completing the course.
According to Connecting Point's client services manager Frank Ryder, the deal followed a seminar held by the reseller for La Trobe late last year.
"Part of the idea from that [iPod initiative] came from a seminar outlining how iPod and web 2.0 technology could be used within the classroom," he told CRN.
La Trobe's Diploma in Education (Middle Years) course was a "blended learning" course for which students physically attended only five weeks of classes per year.
A majority of the course was conducted in a virtual environment using software by e-learning vendor Elluminate, course co-ordinator Caroline Walta explained.
The iPod Touch devices would be integrated with La Trobe's learning management system and a wiki server that allowed students to collaborate.
Last year, La Trobe also joined Apple's iTunesU, which allowed students to access educational podcasts and videocasts for free.
"By using cutting edge technology now, our students will be better equipped to implement new learning technologies into their teaching in the future," Walta said.
"At the moment, I've had conversations with the Health Sciences and Law and Management faculties and they are looking at blended learning aspects of this course," she told CRN.
"I can't positively say what sort of impact the iPod initiative will have, but if it follows the trend, it's possible that people will see functional uses for the iPods as well."
Connecting Point has worked with customers from kindergarten to Year 12 and the higher education sector.
Ryder said that although many educational institutions were interested in e-learning solutions, there were "not so many in terms of that [iPod] take-up at the moment."
"I think it's very exciting; it's got heaps of potential," he said.
Issue: 316 | July 2013
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