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The Times trots out that, duh, iPods are being utilized as an academic tool in some schools! The paper notes that Brearley School (disclosure, disclosure, I went there) has been using iPods for foreign language, music, English and drama classes for the last several years. Not a bad idea, merging cultural phenomena with scholastic curricula, and it sounds like an effective learning tool. Yay! Well, actually, we were disturbed a smidge by something. What kind of fee is Apple paying Brearley's head-of-school Stephanie Hull for her testimonials? Or is she just perversely testifying for free?

Hull imparts marketing gems like this in a lengthy "profiles in success" on Apple's website: "The amount of storage space on the iPod is substantial; it's a very powerful machine"

And: "The iPod is portable; it offers wonderful clarity of sound. And there are accessories like the Griffin iTalk that allow students to have the speaking as well as the listening function." Hull goes on tout the iPod's "incredible storage space" and its superiority over its competitors.

You really can't buy testimonials like that. Or maybe you can!

We're sure if Hull had asked, gazillionaire Brearley dad and one-time New York Times reporter Steve Rattner would have ponied up for the equipment. Or maybe the Bacon-Sedgwicks would have? Though "Your Diploma, Sponsored By Steve Jobs," does have kind of a nice ring to it.