Apples for Teachers and Students?

A few days ago Christopher Dawson (technology director for the Athol-Royalston School District in northern Massachusetts) wrote an article titled The end of my love affair with Apple? It resonated with my thinkings about the cost effectiveness of Apple technology in business. Here are a few excerpts from his article:
Since the moment I purchased my MacBook, I’ve sworn it was the best computer I’ve ever owned. It’s light, durable, elegant, the screen is bright and crisp, the built-in iLife software works brilliantly, and OS 10.5 is stable and fast. What’s not to like, right?
Apple makes some great products, but they are not exactly key to getting the most bang for your buck. As more teachers and students have a chance to play with the Acer Aspire One netbook that I’ve been floating around, most find, even if they don’t care for the form factor, that it does everything they need it to do.
I no longer need a Mac at home and I’m struggling to see it in the schools, either. For our last refresh in several of our elementary schools and the middle school, we stuck with Macs since an Apple infrastructure and a fair amount of software and staff expertise was already in place. As I try to engineer additional refreshes over the next few years, though, I’d rather spend the money on interactive classroom appliances and moving us closer to 1:1 instead of on Macs, no matter how easy/pretty/elegant the interface.
I like the way he started his last paragraph: "Make it cheap, make it open, and make every one of my dollars enhance student learning."

I just bought a new HP 13" notebook and looked at a Mac.. something comparable was about 30% more.. I chose not to bite on that apple :)

What do you think? Is Apple doomed to it's current niche market? Have they priced themselves out of the lion's share of the tech market?


  1. this makes me feel better than I don't have an apple :)

  2. I forgot to mention my conversation with a friend yesterday who bought a Mac with promises that she would be able to convert all of her Quicken history.. she gave up after a long and noble effort and still does Quicken on her old Dell desktop PC.. shame on Apple :)

  3. I started on the original Macintosh. I was excited when I started a new job and moved up to a Mac SE with a 9" monitor. We paid $2000 for a 20BG external HD. My manager and I were interviewed in Aldus magazine because we were heavy PageMaker users.

    Over the years we upgraded until finally we were forced to go PC. I HATED it. There were fingernail marks on my Mac as they tore it from my hands. I had to use Windows NT. Most games did not work on NT. It crashed often. At work whenever something else would not work on the PCs in our group, we would always say, "This would never happen on a Mac." Usually that was true.

    I've been using a PC for years now. Things have changed greatly since those days. Graphics software works equally well on a PC now. There is no comparison between when it comes to economic considerations. Is Mac still cooler? Yes? Do they lie about how stodgy and limited PC products are? Yes.

    Still, my son at college said that he is the only student he knows who uses a PC laptop. Everyone else uses Macs. I've heard that elsewhere. Oh well.

    At work we have never seriously talked about developing a Mac version of our software platform. There is not enough of a market in nonentertainment markets.


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