It's one of those stories where you think, "Well, that's what happens at NYC private schools." Languages classes for girls in grades 7-12 at The Brearley School now require the use of iPods. The NY Times reports that little over a third of the 300 students bought a discounted $269 20GB iPod, while 95 students are renting them for $50/year (the rest of the students already had iPods). Sure, part of the reason why Brearley turned to iPods was because the language computer programs were for PCs, and they are Mac school, but Gothamist can't help but shake our head. Back in our public school days, we had to use tape recorders, massive headphones and dog-earred books... which is probably why our high school French sounds exactly like high school French. Of course, in the course of spending major change for a private school education, $269 is a drop in the bucket, but it still is an interesting evolution to needing certain material items in order to be able to learn (Remember when people started to buy their own graphing calculators? Nerds, yet not.).
Gothamist wonders if the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will feel the pressure to give some sort of Windows-based MP3 player to public schools. Brearley kids, get a cool sweater for your iPod. And we know that Brearley has celebrity history, thanks to Celebrity Prep Schools. And there are some NYC public schools that need basic supplies, period: Go to Donors Choose.