Engadget reports that local public school students were provided some free Zunes in Liberty, Missouri...
"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."
Turns out this was kicked off by Eric Langhorst, the 2008 Missouri Teacher of the Year. On his blog, Langhorst noted that his class is involved in a student Zune pilot...
"Microsoft is providing each of my 25 students in my 3rd period 8th grade American History classroom a 4GB Zune to use during the spring semester."
How did Langhorst get the Zunes?
Simple: he asked.
From the article via the Associated Press... (available here)
"He approached Microsoft at an education conference last year and pitched the project that allows 25 students in one class to have the Zunes. He now can beam notes on the Gold Rush, Power Point presentations and Civil War battlefield maps directly to the students."
Zunes are also in use in a rural New Mexico school as well, according to the article. And what does Microsoft get in return? Data, with a promise to publish the info in time for a future education conference...
"In exchange for the donated Zunes, which retail for $129 to $249, the schools are providing data — expected to be more qualitative than quantitative — on how helpful the devices were in the classroom. Microsoft plans to post a case study on the pilot project following this summer's National Education Computing Conference in San Antonio, Texas."