I am a high school info tech teacher in Michigan. Some of my classes are currently working to produce podcasts to help improve their understanding of available resources to support their current and future learning and to increase the range of media that they can communicate through. I have only just heard of the iPod initiative. The research I share with my students shows that good podcasts take planning and use intelligent editing. Class lectures done in podcasts will be of no more value than current hard copy if the students don't listen to or view them.
iPods for learning have potential, but despite the good intentions, it currently is just another top down, half-baked solution to a serious problem. Past experience leads me to be very cynical of tech initiatives for education, not because they can't work, but because they are incompletely supported.