Apple make amazing software that allows you to create a plethora of digital content from movies, songs, slideshows, websites, podcasts, digital books with embedded multimedia, you can even make ringtones! All of the software that is needed to create these comes FREE with every Mac. Not only is it free, but it is designed in such a user friendly and intuitive way that nearly anybody can understand. You don’t need a degree in software engineering to figure it out, it’s beautifully designed software that enables you to create the most professional looking products with simplicity. The notion that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” is a core principal that is at the heart of every Apple product.
Apple in Education
People in schools often say that “I don’t like that we can’t use Apple software on other machines”. Apple make products for their devices and their users. They are one of the only tech companies to design both software and hardware. By creating software to run specifically on their hardware, they can ensure that the software runs perfectly as designed and the user’s experience of the software is a positive one instead of a glitchy, clunky and frustrating experience often caused by cheap and unrealiable hardware.
“Apple products are expensive.” Schools need to consider how much money they waste on paying technicians to fix and maintain “cheaper” computers as well as the thousands spent on software and licensing when thinking about purchasing new technology. Once those hidden costs are calculated and factored into the equation, they then should ask themselves whether Apple products are “too expensive”. This type of thinking worries me as an educator because it is based on false and inaccurate economic rationalisation rather than improvements to educational outcomes.
Rather than asking “what is the initial cost of purchasing this technology?”, schools should ask themselves “what will our students get out of using Apple products?”
Some of the answers they might find are:
Students will use technology that is relevant to their everyday lives (how many students already own iPod touches, iPhones or iPads?)
Students will use technology that is reliable, that hardly ever crashes and is not susceptible to software viruses or glitches.
Students will be able to create digital content of stunning quality right out of the box without needing any other software.
Students will have direct access to 1000’s of free educational resources via the iTunes U store.
Students will be offered the opportunity or hands on learning through the built in features that are not found in other technology.
Students will be engaged by using “cool technology” (97% of students worldwide think Apple products are “cool”. Fact! The remaining 3% don’t know what it is 😉
It’s no coincidence that most schools that have opted to purchase Apple products have then decided to phase out their existing technology.
I hope that this post has raised some important points to consider if your school is looking at purchasing Apple products. Other important things to consider is that Apple has dedicated education staff who are responsible for offering advice and guidance to schools. They are highly knowledgable and in many cases former teachers who have implemented Apple products in school, so you can rest assured that they understand the educational issues that may present themselves. They also have invaluable real life experience when it comes to implementing Apple technology at both classroom and management levels and they are more than happy to visit your school and offer support.