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Apple Tests Well in Education 93

wongaboo writes "Business Week has some interesting insights into Apples in schools. I remember when I was in K-6 an Apple was about the only computer you could find. Then in high school there were some PC's around but it was still mostly Apple. In college is was just the reverse: all PC's and no Apples. Now they are giving kids in high school a laptop when they show up; will it be an Apple? Either way, it makes me want to be a kid again."
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Apple Tests Well in Education

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  • Good. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nepheles ( 642829 )
    This must be a good thing. At least they're getting started on a UNIX OS, and not contributing to the Windows hegemony.
    • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ctr2sprt ( 574731 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:37PM (#8513135)
      From an average user's perspective, MacOS X has as much in common with UNIX as Windows XP does (absolutely nothing). It's extremely disingenuous to claim that casual familiary with MacOS X results in casual familiarity with UNIX. The similarities between the two are almost exclusively beneath the hood, so to speak, and far beyond the reach of all but the most advanced users.
      • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MrTangent ( 652704 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @05:24PM (#8513777)
        That's not entirely true. With Unix under the hood, the casual user still has access to Unix attributes; namely, Apache. With one click in the System Preferences, even the most naive user can set up an Apache-driven website right from their Macintosh. There's not a lot of other Unixes that make it so easy to set up Apache.
        • Apache isn't exactly a "Unix attribute." I know people who run it on Windows natively.
        • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:31AM (#8520664) Homepage
          The point is that this doesn't give the user any practical familiarity with unix. They may not even learn the name "Apache" from this experience. The opportunity is there, but I don't see any students (except those with a predisposition to hacking) learning anything particularly unixy from using Macs.
          • in school the students will be required to do what the teachers call for. if some teachers want to have students play with the command line then the students will learn it even exists. If a teacher wants to teach some basic Unix commands they can do that easily with existing hardware. Even if it's just a day here and there, the students will learn it is in there and may go home to play with it and if that gets a few more kids into learning... that's great. Even 10 years ago the college i went to still requi
            • with OS X creating webpages is as easy as dropping your webpage files into a folder and turning on an option in prefs.

              And how, exactly, does doing this promote familiarity with Unix?

              I'm not saying that this is a Bad Thing. Setting up your computer to act as a web server should be this easy, and the typical user shouldn't need to know or care whether the daemon is Apache or thttpd or Sambar or WebStar, and a nice big hand to Apple for doing it. It's great that there's a command shell available for tho

            • If the schools had their way they wouldn't allow students to access the command line.

              Disclaimer: I work for a public school system.
      • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @05:42PM (#8514006)
        From an average user's perspective, MacOS X has as much in common with UNIX as Windows XP does (absolutely nothing). It's extremely disingenuous to claim that casual familiary with MacOS X results in casual familiarity with UNIX.

        You are correct that for the average user this is true, but it does open up a whole new world for the curious or power user. It is easy to get to a command prompt and almost all open-source software of any quality has been ported and is easily installed. lots of free X-window software (most all apps you find on linux)

        I am a happy convert. I got a mac last year for the first time and I could be happier with it. I am a software engineer in a Unix world. The great thing about the mac is that I have all of my programming tools that I am used to in Unix, some open-source productivity applications, and access to great commercial applications.


      • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @11:40PM (#8517509) Homepage Journal
        Remember that we're talking about schools here. Schools are supposed to educate.

        Granted, 90% of the students aren't going to look past the surface cosmetics, any more than they'll ever learn much in their math or history classes.

        But for the minority that wants to learn, OSX is open to them in a way that isn't remotely possible with MS Windows. They can dig as deep into the system as they like, and except for a few proprietary apps, the underlying system is accessible.

        Maybe in your office, the sysadmin corwd wants to keep you ignorant and at their mercy. But in a halfway decent school, closed system should be avoided for a very good reason: It's their job to help their students become educated. They need computers that can be opened up and studied.

        Of course, a really good school will have a variety of computers. Even a few Windows boxes, so that the students can compare their design and construction with the others that are available. But OSX, linux and *BSD should probably be the workhorses, since those are the ones that are accessible to the students.

        (And note that I haven't even mentioned quality. In an educational setting, bad examples are just as useful as good examples. ;-)
      • When I was a kid, there was little that could be done to keep me from tinkering under the hood whenever I was given access to a computer. My natural curiosity led me to the "advanced" features right away. Something about not liking the idea that the "grown ups" had hidden away features and functionality rubbed me the wrong way. I suspect a lot of kids are like that. In this reaspect, then, the fact that UNIX is under the hood in Mac OS X is a good thing. Open up the terminal window and your're right th
  • Around here.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hookedup ( 630460 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#8513035)
    The public school board offers a curriculum which involves all students to have a laptop, specifically an iBook. Apparently the kids take rather well to them too. When I was speaking to one of their techs, he told me they recieve less calls for help since they've made the mac 'switch'.

    I would have assumed it'd be the other way around, since the kids were already used to windows.
    • Re:Around here.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:45PM (#8513223) Homepage
      Virii and spyware kill Windows machines stone dead.

      Apple will have to increase their market share by 400% or more before it proves truly worthwhile to make a Mac virus designed to spread virulently, or to write Mac spyware programs.

      There is so much spyware under Windows that even the anti-spyware applications aren't keeping pace. And of course multiple spyware applications on the same PC do their best to stomp on each other, creating an environment more like a war zone than anything else.

      Because Safari is not "an integral part of the operating system", it can't be used to install software and therefore you cannot manipulate it to install things automatically without the system asking for a root password. This is a huge advantage of the Mac over Windows security-wise, so even if the Mac were to gain ground over Windows it would still be a lot harder to plant unwanted software in a machine.

      Microsoft was downright stupid to make their software update mechanism rely on using their browser instead of a standalone update application, as is done on the Mac. Being able to update software through the web means that, well, anyone can do it.

      All of this makes Macintosh support a walk in the park compared to Windows' walk in the ghetto.

      • Re:Around here.. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by obeythefist ( 719316 )
        That's an amazing argument you got there.
        Allow me to paraphrase.

        "Macs are great, because nobody uses them, so nobody bothers to write viruses for them. Ergo, Mac PCs are more secure than Windows PCs."

        And your supporting argument is:

        "Windows has spyware."

        The only reason Windows has a lot of spyware is, firstly, as you rightly pointed out, people (plural of the small handful of persons that are Mac users) actually use Windows, making it a target. The spyware isn't bundled with the O/S, it's installed th
        • Re:Around here.. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wfisher ( 676105 )
          Hold on. I thought Apple does not believe in security through obscurity, that's the whole point of having an open source kernel. Windows does not release any of there code while Apple's Darwin is completely open source. Of course the GUI and applications can't be open source because they'd have a hard time selling it then. What else of Apple's do you expect to be open source? All the security, correct me if I'm wrong, is based in the kernel if not in the open source utilities the kernel employs like the fir
        • Re:Around here.. (Score:4, Informative)

          by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:34AM (#8520692) Homepage
          Um, much of OS X is open-source (it's called Darwin)... especially the most security-vulnerable parts: those exposed to the network.
          • true but the people running Darwin w/out Aqua are few and far between.
            • That's true to a degree, but does that really matter?

              I mean, if the sources are available, people can check them, without having to actually be running the software all the time, right? An install would be useful, but not crucial.

              I'm sure not all the people who exploit Windows run it.
        • Windows has Spyware"

          because on Windows - in contrast to Linux, BSD and MacOS - you have to install lots of applications to make the system useful.
          Windows just has no good software included: You need
          • Firewall
          • Browser
          • Movie-Player (divx..) or at least codec pac
          • Music Player (everyone I know uses winamp, not Windows Media Player)
          • PDF Viewer
          • ...

          Heck, you even need an Editor because Notepad is really crap.
          Thats why there is succesful spyware on Windows, and because you have to install all this crap with

    • Re:Around here.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by pvt_medic ( 715692 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:50PM (#8513284)
      I remember in high school all the student computers were Macs, all the administrative computers were PCs. A couple of the students who complained about the enequalness of this were allowed to help out the computer dept with keeping computers running. The arguments ended quite quickly when they saw how easier it was to maintain the macs despite the heavy abuse they took from students.
      • I was in charge of upkeep in the Mac Computer Lab at my high school (1986-1988) We had a bunch of II+ and IIgs and some others. The only problems I had were with the goddamn AppleWriter printers. Of course everybody used the hell out of them with BroderBund PrintShop making dumb-ass banners. Ah, the memories...

      • I remember in high school all the student computers were Macs, all the administrative computers were PCs.

        Why were all the administrative computers PCs?

    • I would have assumed it'd be the other way around, since the kids were already used to windows. they were very adept at ctrl-alt-del X2
  • My old high school (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:29PM (#8513054) Homepage Journal
    My old high school dropped all their PCs for OSX Macs the year after I graduated. On one hand I was pleased, but on the other hand I was kind of pissed. It's as if they were waiting for me to leave!

    Sarcasm and conspiracy aside, I'm glad that so many schools are realizing the benefits of upgrading their pre osx Macs and/or replacing their PCs. The world needs more *nix and less wintel.
  • by andy666 ( 666062 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:40PM (#8513161)
    In district 26 in Queens, the school board refused to let schools buy Apples, even when the entire school was in favor of it.
  • Waste. (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Daleks ( 226923 )
    Giving kids in school a laptop is a waste. Studies have been done that show using Word with spell/grammar check is a detriment. Also, the students will most likely browse the web or IM each other during class. Computers in the classroom are more of a distraction than anything else.
    • Studies have been done that show using Word with spell/grammar check is a detriment.

      What methodology was used? can you cite sources?


      • Re:Waste. (Score:4, Funny)

        by NaugaHunter ( 639364 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:36PM (#8514702)
        --Studies have been done that show using Word with spell/grammar check is a detriment.

        --What methodology was used? can you cite sources

        He's extrapolating upon the 'Calculators are a detriment to slide rule skills' research conducted back in the 70's.

        Which, if you'll recall, dates all the way back to the 'Pointy sticks are a detriment to bludgeoning-with-rocks skills' study of 20,000 BCE.
        • The difference between using a calculator and a spell/grammar check is that if you use it correctly, a calculator will give you the correct answer. MS Word, on the other hand, will take a perfectly well-written sentence and destroy it. I use many words that aren't covered by the spellcheck; I use many constructions that Word considers ungrammatical. Fortunately I know enough to know when I'm right and Word is wrong, but most kids will be scared by those wiggly green lines. They will end up being stylistic p
      • Studies have been done that show using Word with spell/grammar check is a detriment.

        What methodology was used? can you cite sources?

        Slashdot... The methodology, the source, and the documented results!
      • Here [] is an article on a study done by the University of Pittsburg.
        • Re:Waste. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @09:58PM (#8516698) Homepage Journal
          That was a study done with 33 participants proofreading a single page letter loaded with errors that Word could not catch. I'm talking about what the parent was implying; that it causes a reliance upon those tools and a long term inability to write without those tool and/or lesser ability to write in general.

          This study does show that people are willing to trust the software over their own abilities, but that's a different issue.

          And I'm not taking a position for or against spellcheckers helping or harming students. I have seen it cited as a 'well known fact' too often, and I wonder if there is any real legitimacy. I also ask about the methodology because you can find a limited or just plain bad study to prove just about anything.

          Evan "Grad students! They produce every fact you'll ever need to cite!"

    • "Dammit, when I went to school we had to use a slide rule!

      Sorry, couldn't resist, you almost sound like my Dad there...
    • Using a word processor just for spelling and grammar checking is the least of its advantages. The other advantage is using it to edit and rewrite. If you know how to use a word processor, you can go from "note cards" to finished paper in one document. You can also improve sentence structure, clarify your ideas and remove redundant words, clauses and phrases. Admittedly, you can do the same thing without a word processor. However, the software lets you avoid a lot of recopying or retyping.

    • Re:Waste. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by alikat ( 592420 )
      Do you think that the only thing that students are using their laptops for is to type up reports in Word? There is a LOT more that goes on in schools with Student Laptop Programs than just composition, though increasing writing is an important part of improving student achievement.
      A number of recent studies have shown that 1:1 laptop ratios can have a very positive effect on student achievement rates (as well as increasing student engagement, reducing drop-out rates and school truancy...)

      If you implement
  • K-6? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aduzik ( 705453 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @04:49PM (#8513269) Homepage
    It's been a few years since I've been in the K-6 category, but can anyone else remember doing anything truly educational with computers in grade school? They tried to teach us typing -- "tried" being the operative word -- throwing out a couple of dozen decent typewriters in favor of Apples with typing software.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm a Mac lover through and through, but looking back on it, I've always felt that the money could have been better spent elsewhere -- like fixing the dilapidated building we called a school. I went to a Catholic school where the textbooks were in terrible condition, the desks literally fell apart from time to time, and the "heater" keep the rooms at a balmy 55-60 degrees. But we had a bright, modern computer lab with lots o' Macs that we used for, well, nothing much, really.

    By the time I made it to eighth grade -- yes, grades K-8 were all in one building... sigh -- the computers were so woefully out of date that they couldn't use them for anything more than teaching typing.

    I've read a couple of studies recently that demonstrate that tech education for grade/middle-schoolers really doesn't benefit them much in the long run, given what they try to teach the kids, particularly when one considers the expense such education naturally engenders. Just about any educational software marketed to schools can be easily replicated by much cheaper (gasp) low-tech tools.

    I think the highschoolers on up can benefit a lot more from technology, and computers are so ubiquitous in the home these days that it's not like they'll get to high school and have never seen one of these glowing boxes before. I have friends with kids who are in fourth grade or higher and who read well below grade-level, but they have plenty of access to technology at school. All this technology won't do them any good if they don't have the education to use it. Computers are just a tool -- bicycles for the brain, as Steve Jobs once said -- but you've got to know how to ride first, and where you want to go.

    Although, none of us will deny that Number Munchers was hella fun :-)

    • Re:K-6? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @05:34PM (#8513903)
      The problem isn't the idea of teaching computing at an early age, it's that of all the teachers in the school, maybe one understands more than how to check their email.

      My mother teachers at a k-6 school in a low-income neighborhood. Their text books are ancient, but thanks to a state grant, every room has five top of the line computers (for 20 elementary students). I look at that and say, WONDERFUL. I would have LOVED to have that technology in class.

      Then I look at how thick the dust is on them. The kids only use them during play time, or indoor recess to play educational games. The teachers use it for email.. maybe, half the time not even that. To many of them, the concept of double-clicking is as confusing as calculus would be to their students. The teachers don't use the computers to teach anything, especially not computing, and therefore they are a waste.

      If schools want to invest money in computers, they should invest something into teacher training and make technology PART OF THE CURRICULUM. Teachers don't know computers because they don't care, and so they don't, won't, and can't teach them. They don't see technology, or in elementary, often even science, as important. And so.. the kids get $1500 game systems that they can use twice a day, and they learn how to click a mouse. Woohoo.

      • You make some good points. I recently helped work on some software for a teacher technology training program here in SC. At the time, I wondered about the usefulness of the program, since it didn't seem to be teaching the teachers much beyond the basics and seemed to me to be just another administrative burden on already overworked teachers. But it hadn't occurred to me that a lot of the teachers might need this training in order to use the equipment in their classrooms and bring them up to speed with their
      • Re:K-6? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by zenwaves ( 610082 )
        I'm teaching 5th graders to make their own sites with Adobe GoLive, my 4th graders are using Photoshop, and all of the students from 3rd grade up are checking their test scores online.

        See our work:

        But there are teachers like the one described by the previous poster. Most "computer teachers" come equipped only with an education in Education! They must learn all of their tech skills on the job. Now picture an older person with a family (not my case) thrust into that position, and you
    • Dude, I can recite every stop on the Oregon trail. I can't say that for much else I did in elementary school. (Except maybe reading). Now thats what I call learning.
    • We do a great deal with our iBooks including data analysis via spreadsheets, lab interfaces with chemical experiments, lab interfaces with biological elements such as EKG, basic programming in PHP, mySQL, RealBasic and Applescript. We also teach students basics in common file formats so they don't fall into the Office Suite expense/upgrade trap. The computers are also used of course for extensive multimedia use with photography and movies as well as presentations. We do quite a lot with photoshop as well
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @05:51PM (#8514152)
    Schools could make better use of their investment in computers by using open-source textbooks or a wiki-like curriculum content system. Seems like a bunch of teachers could put together a great set of tools (like these college calculus texts []) and eliminate the cost of paper textbooks.
  • I graduated from high school in 2001. My senior year, my private K-12 prep school in St. Paul MN, Mounds park academy [], started an apple iBook program (only grades 9-12) that continues today. Despite my fervent support of Macs, i was dead set against the program because i thought it was an expensive distraction. (we also started horrible block scheduling the year before, which drove me nuts). We got the Clamshell models, but these have now been replaced by the white iBooks. (software licensing was WAY expensive)

    Overall it was useless much of the time, but it also taught everyone in our class the fundamentals of TCP/IP, an important skill in the Modern Age. As we were seniors, the administration didn't pick on us too much, but they tried very hard to crack down on the younger kids, particularly boys. They didn't want people installing games, of course, but they also decided to ban the use of the CD-ROM drives, a bizarrely unenforceable rule given that we took the computers home every day (these rules are No More). Since the Techs would often erase a computer as a first resort when fixing it (spotting warez along the way), I had to step in and deal with things all the time.

    There was a real problem with understanding how the "private space" of an object owned by the school actually worked. I recall being commanded not to tell people that the MacOS had a handy "Encrypt..." command in the File menu.

    The unfortunate irony of the program was that the kids who were formerly the most obedient in school--ie the geek types--were placed in a position of violating rules left and right if they wanted to set up their computers in a comfortable sort of way with the usual warez etc. So the good kids got in trouble, and some otherwise harmless guys basically got caught in enforcement feedback loops that disheartened or chased them right out of the school.

    Also it was interesting to run AirPort packet sniffing and watch AIM conversations and unencrypted email passwords. Since then, instant messengers have been blocked. There were a lot of technical snags that year--infuriating and time wasting. As I tend to be easily distracted sometimes, the magic boxes were all too tempting.

    One of the best moments was when I made a comment on Slashdot about AirPort packet sniffing at the very beginning of Statistics class, and by the end of class it reached the vaunted 5, joy of joys.

    The older iBooks had kind of crummy CD trays, where the outer plastic shell would break off too easily, not to mention all the cracked screens. Generally students have to pay for all replacements and repairs, which are very expensive. Power cords get lost frequently, and laptops have been stolen from time to time.

    We had a rather moody senior class, and it was disheartening to come into our senior lounge to see everyone silent inside the screens, oftentimes communicating by AIM across the room to make furtive conspiracies. Did we trade off natural interaction for this cold mode of operation?

    Fortunately, the subsequent classes of kids adjusted to the laptops more socially, and they have not "run amok" in that sense. However, where the old geek population that was there when i was a freshman was more rebellious and linux oriented, these new geeks are very obedient, obnoxious condescending bitches, according to my younger brother and sister who are now sophomores at the school.

    The whole program was driven by an urge to keep MPA at the cutting edge of innovation bla bla bla. I was really impressed by teachers who came up with innovative ideas but i really wished we didn't have to be the damn guinea pigs. I started my website in those days, and it was fun to have everyone reading it all the time, but then when i got uncontrollably angry i said hasty things and got in big trouble. Hazards of the new territory.
    • The unfortunate irony of the program was that the kids who were formerly the most obedient in school--ie the geek types--were placed in a position of violating rules left and right if they wanted to set up their computers in a comfortable sort of way with the usual warez etc.

      Am I reading this wrong, or are you saying that people who pirate are "good" people?
      • I'm pointing out that the ones with the real computer skills were generally the least problematic in school before the program started, but they also used whatever software they could find at home. With the program in place, these kids would still bring the software into the school, to the alarm of an adminstration fearing the BSA. So the program put them in that position... The same kids who were copying things were the ones who tended to help out when the computers got messed up, so yes I would still call
    • I recall being commanded not to tell people that the MacOS had a handy "Encrypt..." command in the File menu.

      Wait...what? Is this still around on Panther, or was it completely replaced by filevault?
      • AFAIK Panther doesn't have single file encryption like OS9 did. You can however make an encrypted disk image with Disk Utility and stick sensitive files inside of that. File Vault is nice and all but it encrypts your entire home directory. I much prefer the encrypted directories on Windows 2000/XP. Simulating that feature on Panther isn't too difficult.

        Make an encrypted disk image of whatever size you'd like and keep it in your home directory. Set the permissions to 700. Mount the image and make an alias t
    • After thinking about the experience some more, I have to add a few more things. Firstly my bro and sis never refer to the tech kids today as "bitches" as such (i shouldnt have put that), but they have been treated very rudely and it upset them. It makes me angry since I have to deal with the public in a computer lab, and I always try to be very polite, it upsets me when these kids deem their knowledge and their positions to somehow elevate them from common courtesy and all that.

      Also I would say that the ad
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lpangelrob2 ( 721920 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:38PM (#8514720) Journal
    Worth $68 million over four years, it calls for HP to provide laptops to as many as 132,000 middle-school students in the Wolverine State.

    I really do wonder how Michigan schools tech support are going to keep their heads on their bodies after this.

    Personal experience tells me; How many students will install Mozilla? Will these computers be running XP? Will they be up to date? Patched? How many of them will click "yes" whenever something comes up as they're surfing the Internet? How much of that software will break the computer? When viruses invade (you know... ones that come in through Outlook that the virus companies haven't quite caught yet) how many computers will break? Spam other computers? How many 6th graders know not to open the attachment? How many would do it anyway?

    To each company I will give their own (read: Macs have problems too), but... for as long as I've had a Mac, I haven't had to deal with the above. And for as long as I've given over Windows systems to my parents, I sure as hell have.

  • Are any of Apple's APIs popular in the schools? The AppKit is easy to use, but, having graduated from high school after the whole graphing calculator craze, I must confess I don't know much about the pedagogical effects of teaching simulation building to students.
  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:36PM (#8515314) Homepage
    Here in Australia, Apple appear to be doing next to nothing to sell computers to schools, colleges and universities.

    The other day I went to a poorly advertised "iMall" at our local university. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it wasn't this: a few rickety tables, with one iBook and one iMac, both running GarageBand. A lot of leaflets, iPod badges and a free draw to win an iPod. All the signs were scrawled in marker pen on bits of photocopy paper and sellotaped to the desk. A couple of geeky students were there to "sell" the systems, but instead hogged the two machines making music loops. Anyone wandering past would a) think it was a jumble sale and b) would be put off because there wasn't an actual machine to try out. I couldn't see the point of it, and doubt very much if it led to even one sale. I left very disappointed and pretty miffed at Apple for their lack of effort.

    This same uni has about a 40% Mac usage among its staff overall. There is a strong Mac following here, but it's totally thanks to staff who are able to specify their own PCs.

    The other day I met a lecturer at our local TAFE (further ed college). He teaches film and cinematography. Thanks to his own efforts, he has got two labs installed with Macs, an iMac lab for general still and basic work, and a G5 lab for Final Cut Pro. Where was Apple? Nowhere, he did all of this off his own bat. The rest of the college has PCs for all the courses they run, including desktop publishing and graphics arts courses, where they use Photoshop, Illustrator, et al - all traditional programs that are strong on the Mac. Apple Australia should be convincing TAFEs to use Macs for these courses - it's what many of these students will find in industry after all (well maybe, eventually those students will say, Oh, I used a PC for this at college, let's buy a PC). Get Macs into schools and TAFEs now, and industrial sales will pick up later. I just don't see Apple doing it here.

    Another lecturer I know at a university in Sydney recently told me that after a recent policy change, there are now no Macs at all left for general student use in the uni. The only ones remaining are those that particular staff have clung on to because they refuse to have a PC. Even he, a long-time Mac fan, has had to buy a Dell laptop so he can use the same software that his students are using, and he says it's a backward step because he now has far more issues with stuff failing to work, and many projects such as creating QuickTime panoramas and so on has become a lot more long-winded and difficult. Has Apple lifted a finger to slow or reverse this trend? Not according to him, and the evidence speaks for itself.

    It seems to me that Apple succeeds in its small way despite itself. It's enthusiastic users who make Apple sales in education, not Apple. At least not in Australia. I'm starting to think that the Apple Australia sales office doesn't exist - or maybe it's like a spidery old dusty corner in a building that no-one has bothered to enter in years. For fuck's sake, it's about time you made an effort guys!

    • I agree with the above post. Apple in Australia is not doing much, despite many opportunities to act.

      I am currently working on some bioinformatic projects at a university in Sydney. With the need to use commercial software (e.g. Word and EndNote) and open source bioinformatic tools, I can't imagine doing this without OS X. Sometimes, I come into contact with other people doing similar things, with similar opinions about OS X.

      Open Source is making quite an impression here on campus, with many students i
    • Personally, Adobe has completely dropped the ball with the OS X versions of their software. Photoshop and Illustrator CS are a hell of a lot snappier on our 2ghz duron under win2k than they are on our dual 2ghz G5s.

      I can, in fact, launch Classic and Photoshop 5.0.2 in roughly the same time it takes to launch Photoshop CS. And 5.0.2 is a hell of a lot more responsive. :|
  • Apple vs. Dell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nic barajas ( 750051 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @01:45AM (#8518353)
    It's funny how the article mentions Dell as the arch-nemesis of Apple in the education market, because at my district Dell took over for Apple. In my elementary days, you couldn't go around school without seeing an Apple in every classroom. But around the 5th grade, they switched to Dells. [tear]

    It made sense at the time, seeing as how the Apple computers were around a decade old; archaic next to a computer with Windows 95. (GUI -- wow!) But looking at the school situation now, it's terrible. The schools have been overloaded with Dells -- there must be three thousand machines in my high school alone (a school of about 1,600 students) with several thousand more in the remainder of the district.

    What's worse is that these machines are outdated for the most part. The district goes out every year and buys a new set of fifty to one hundred machines per school - the last was for a significant speed bump in the high school. Unfortunately, until this school year (my senior year) they had used Windows NT, meaning they had to go out and buy thousands of licenses for XP - a complete and utter waste of funds.

    I work as an editor for the school newspaper, and it's the opinion of the editorial staff that the time to move back to Apple is now. It's been proven that the longevity of Macs outweighs any PC, and they are more reliable than a PC in terms of security. I won't even delve into the amount of time/money spent on Internet blocking, virus problems, networking issues, etc. But you know how tech people in school districts can be -- ignorant fools who don't know enough about what they're in charge of.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.