The University of South Florida wants to ensure that their athletes maintain their academic pursuits while on the road. To that end, the University has purchased 460 MacBook Pros (13") to loan to active athletes. The Macs will remain school property to be checked out by athletes at the start of the semester, and returned before break.
The school will use iTunes U to distribute lectures and other materials. Once the traveling students find a Wi-Fi signal, they can connect and download what they need. "The goal is to create an anywhere, anytime learning environment for each of our student-athletes," said USF Director of Athletics Doug Woolard. "Our traveling teams will now be connected to classes, academic advisors and tutors anywhere in America, or for that matter the entire world."
We've seen large-scale adoption of Apple products by schools before. Last June, The Maine Department of Education ordered more than 64,000 MacBooks as a part of Maine's Learning Technology Initiative. Additionally, the University of Florida (not to be confused with the University of South Florida mentioned in this post) strongly encourages all pharmacy students to have an iPhone or iPod touch.
But what about those USF students who won't go Mac? "All student-athletes will receive one if they chose to accept," says Chris Freet, USF assistant director of athletics. "Right now, we won't force them to move away from their existing computer if they are reluctant to use the MacBook."
If any USF students are reading this, might we suggest these five useful accessories for college students?