Michigan iPod proposal possibly influenced by Apple

Michigan State representative Matt Gillard and House speaker Andy Dillon that support a plan to spend $36 million to buy an iPod for every student in the state may have flown to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino earlier this year thanks to Apple. The accusations raise questions as to whether the two lawmakers have other ambitions with the iPod plan. Unsurprisingly, the proposal was somewhat vague and sparse on details, but the suggestion to spend that much money on digital music players has been heavily criticized by other legislators and residents of the state, who argue that Michigan is in the middle of a $600 million budget crisis and cannot afford the iPods.

Gillard maintained his motivation for making the trip and backing the bill was not about Apple or iPods, but primarily about technology in the classroom. "I don't know that it has to be iPod-specific technology," he told the Detroit Free Press. He also pointed out that the devices could be used to download lectures and other classroom-related materials. Whether or not Apple financed all or part of the lawmakers' trip, we may never know, as Michigan's disclosure laws for lobbyists do not require them to report on travel expenses or the reimbursement thereof. However, the damage has been done: Gillard's and Dillon's motivations have been called into question.

News source: Ars Technica

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This is retarded..........
Spend the $36 million on more important things like, pay the teachers more, helping the homeless, research for cancer, loans to start new business, well anything that helps anyone........

Not a surprise with the reps being Democrat...big government is one of the reasons why our state is going downhill. Unions + un-necessary taxes + Granholm failed leadersip = Michigan being the worst state in the country.

Troll said,
Not a surprise with the reps being Democrat...big government is one of the reasons why our state is going downhill. Unions + unnecessary taxes + Granholm failed leadership = Michigan being the worst state in the country.

That's most politicians these days... but yeah, you have a point. Apple USE TO give computers to schools for FREE or extremely discounted. Think that would happen in this case?

/I do not support this action

See I dont get it. The iPods dont help while in school as your listening to the lectures 1 on 1 anyway. At home they dont really help as you need a PC to download the tracks which lo and behold can be played on the same PC downloading them so the students already have a device capable of lecture playback. Biggest waste of money ever.

$36 million will not even cover the cost of an iPod Shuffle for every student in the state. There are almost 2 million students in Michigan in the K-12 range. And what about the infrastructure needed to implement the devices use as a storage and distribution medium for lectures and content? Where does that figure into the bill? This seems very fishy.

What a terrible idea... a proof that local governments, not just a federal government, is perfectly capable of wasting tons of our money!

In any other topic, I'd say "fanboy", but here that would definitely be more practical.

In fact, any cheap player with a mic built in (256 MB would be enough, they can move the stuff onto the computer) would be better.

Still a stupid plan, though.

I'm sorry but no mater how many people say they do, students do NOT need iPods! they need books! and the schools need better supplies! spend they money where it will have the biggest impact! in the actual schools!

Waste of money. There's other stuff they could use to store lectures or other material. Giving them all free iPods is just a waste. 95% of those students will use it for music only or just sell them and not all students have computers to use those iPods. So you'd have to find out how each student would have access to a computer.

They really thought this through didn't they?

They could buy books or add on the the school. There's a lot more that could be done with that money.

This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Next we will have to give every kid a computer so they can put things on the iPods we gave them. If this bill passes I may have to think about moving to Ohio.

Student, as in k-12 student, or k-college/university student? If its the latter, then my brother will receive a lot of calls from me.

Ah, Michigan can look, with pride, at how their tax dollars are going to waste (if this passes). Government should never go this far for people. Private funds can pay for this stuff, if it's really "needed".

Also, my college nor my high school posts their lectures. It's either come to class and learn, try to get the notes if you miss the class, or don't get the material. I would support lecture podcasts though.

What a stupid idea. They will just use it for music, and break it pretty fast.
How about fixing up the education system first? I would rather see new books being bough and classroom/schools being upgraded instead.

i agree with you its basically a stupid idea even though it would be nice getting a free ipod... it's basically a waste of money.

i live in michigan to.

If they feel they have to do this, but cheap MP3 players and spend the rest on the education system itself. It's not like a $50 player isn't as good as an iPod... and it certainly won't break any sooner.

Hah! Most of us want to get out...
economy is doing horrible here, last thing we need is to blow money on ipods...give them cassette recorders if theres a need to record/listen to lectures