The latest edu-gimmick to hit small-town America: Liberty, Missouri's handing out a hundred and change media players -- Zunes, to be specific -- to local high school and middle school students for listening to lesson-supporting podcasts in the hopes of saving them "lost class time." Surely this will raise test scores, right? Or at least improve the Zune's cachet? Who knows -- even the district superintendent said, "Is it the next great thing? I don't know. Maybe. But it is another tool." Maybe the Kindle might make a better tool, but either way, Microsoft apparently intends to release data on the case study later this year.

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Local public school students get assigned Zunes