Proving that life as a student is much too easy these days, South Kent College in Dover has spent £25,000 on 250 iPod nanos to give to students. Why? To 'help them learn' of course. No really.
The college expects students to use the players to keep up with lecture podcasts. I expect students to use them to listen to illegal MP3s of dreadful teenage bedwetters. I also suspect a few will be exchanged for tins of beans, stale bread and packets of Marlboro Lights come the end of term.
In a remarkable display of understatement, local protesters have described the scheme as "wasteful". (Some may have admitted that pandering to stoodents in this way is a far more efficient use of money that running courses such as Media Studies, Sub-aqua Basket Weaving and, er, Science).
In the US, iPods have become integral to the courses of many schools and colleges. At South Kent College initial topics made available as podcasts at the college will include IT, motor vehicle engineering and childcare. And in my day, things were a lot harder.