University of Cologne set to order 45,000 iPhones for its students - Macenstein

University of Cologne set to order 45,000 iPhones for its students

Wow. When I went to college, I didn’t even get one of those “I went to college and all I got was this stupid T-shirt” shirts. These days the kids are making out pretty sweet with universities lavishing the student body’s bodies with iPods, laptops, and iPhones. The latest institution of higher learning to apparently jump on the “here’s a ‘free’ iPhone that your parents have actually paid for via increased tuition costs” is the University of Cologne in Germany, where physics professor André Bresges is spearheading the initiative to give an iPhone to to all 45,000 of its students.

The funny thing (and there always has to be a funny thing for me to bother writing about it) is that apparently the professor isn’t yet sure what exactly the students will use the iPhones for, but he knows they should get them. In what appears to be a case of “technology for technology’s sake”, Bresges has called for students and faculty to come up with some ideas for useful learning-based applications for the iPhone. So far all he’s come up with is that maybe the kids could take some in-class polls on their $399 device. Back in MY day (which was like 5 years ago) we had a little thing called “Show of hands”. It was insanely cheap, and worked pretty well.

Given that Europeans are handed a cell phone at birth, I’m not sure why Bresges is going with the iPhone over the iPod touch, unless he has some cool idea for taking GPS-based in-class polls.

Thanks to faithful Macenstein reader Andy for the tip!


5 Responses to “University of Cologne set to order 45,000 iPhones for its students”
  1. Nick says:

    Next step up from raising hands is a $15 blue piece of plastic that looks like a remote control. Has buttons for A-D. You also had to ‘subscribe’ online for the service (with a $10 per class fee). So people could submit answers in class and the teacher could instantly show them. Or do quizzes with them.

    Even THAT was considered a waste of money by students. (made it easy to cheat on quizzes)

    (this was 2 years ago)

  2. sfmitch says:

    You should watch the ‘Connected’ video that Abilene Christian University produced and posted to iTunes.

    ACU made news when they announced they were going to be the first college to give out an iPhone (or iPod Touch) to each incoming freshman.

    The video was made before the 3G iPhone & App Store so the functionality they show was definitely not possible with the stock 1st Gen iPhone.

    They do a good job envisioning all the things an iPhone in every students hand would allow.

  3. matt says:

    just FYI, the tuition that brings students and their parents all across cologne to the brink of bankruptcy amounts to the ridiculously high amount of ……. drumrolll please ……

    1300€ per year (some $1700)

    If you´re slow getting your M.Sc. that gets you in 6 years 10k into debt. ouch

    /irony off


  4. Justin says:

    Doesn’t everyone have to pay for their tutition anyway? Are you talking about the costs on top of the cost per unit?

    I remember when we all got shiny new abacus as a freshman.

    Those were the days, hanging out with Soco, Galio and the boys…..

  5. Andrea says:

    I would have approved of giving the by merit after 1-2 years or something to a handful of 200-300 students, we pay about £4,000 in tuition fees per year so 4×3 yrs=12,000.. with 10 hours spent in university per week…why not!

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