In its roster of more than 1,000 courses, Duke has only fully integrated the iPod into the coursework of 16 – that's 1.6 per cent of classes.

1,650 freshman students at Duke have been taking part in a one-year experiment in which they were given a 20GB iPod on the assumption that it could be used to enhance their study.

The iPods are being utilised in the language and music departments, for example. Foreign-language student Morgan McGhee told "You can record vocabulary words and listen to them on the bus instead of having to use flash cards."

Not all students are positive about the programme. One student admits: "I would say up to this point, I have not used it enough for academics to legitimately justify spending that much money every year." She also admits that she uses hers mainly to listen to music.

But freshman Duy Nguyen is optimistic: "The reason I came to Duke is because of its innovations and the iPod program is really a pilot program. Obviously, there will be criticism, but I think it was well worth the money and the hype that the university got over it."