iPods not needed for great education

Aside from the Olympics, news of the presidential campaigns and occasional visits to the Duke website, I have been rather cut off from U.S. news while studying abroad at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa.  Today, however, I was reminded of life at Duke when I opened Varsity, the UCT student newspaper.  On the second page, in a section labeled “Intercampus,” there was a brief article about Duke freshmen receiving iPods.  The article explained Duke’s technology experiment and concluded with the recognition that, “with more processing power in a single iPod than there are in some of our lab computers, do not expect such extravagance from UCT any time soon.”

I feel very fortunate to be a Duke student and to attend a university with the resources to launch this kind of technology experiment, and I certainly don’t begrudge the class of 2008 for reaping its fruits.  What I have learned here in South Africa, though, is that great minds, world-class research and extensive educational opportunities can exist without lightning-fast Ethernet, without first-rate library facilities and without the technology and innovation we so easily take for granted at Duke.  When I finished reading Varsity’s article, I was reminded that education is about personal growth, intellectual exploration and seizing every opportunity.  And that can be accomplished with or without an iPod.


Becky Logsdon

Trinity ’06


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