Apple and Education Part 2
Apple held their education event on March 27, 2018 at a public school in the Chicago area. They didn’t stream live but posted a video at the Apple site later in the day. I wrote a post Apple and Education a few weeks back and following the event felt like I needed to write another.
I may be alone but I feel like Apple did a very good job with the presentation and the announced hardware and software. I feel like many are disappointed in the announcement and did not feel that Apple went far enough to increase their market share of the education market. Many have expressed the opinion that if Apple doesn’t compete on cost the balance of their offerings don’t matter. In addition, I am hearing of the privileged few who can afford Apple’s hardware and software solutions for education. The irony is that most, if not all, of the writers and prognosticators land in the pool of the privileged.
As I mentioned, I like Apple’s offerings and their focus on creativity in all areas of education. The question I have is: If money were no object which environment would teachers gravitate towards? I wonder if Apple would lead in this scenario. I am afraid that in education we don’t use the overall best but the best that our system can afford. For some that is iPad (Apple) and for others it is Chromebook (Google) and I assume for others Surface (Microsoft).
Maybe Apple’s approach to the education market is the same as their approach to all of their markets. They make the best they can and as a result not everyone can afford their products. Apple does not apologize and markets their product to everyone knowing not everyone will be able to afford the product but enough will for them to make a successful business. So the same can potentially hold true for the education market.
The fact that not all can afford Apple’s products for education does not inherently make Apple bad or out of touch. They continue to provide what they feel is the best product and services for education and hope school systems will be enticed by the products to do all they can to find a way to bring those products and services to bear in their environment.
Could Apple do more to make their product more affordable? Of course, but couldn’t we all? Could Apple make their services more affordable? Of course, but couldn’t we all? Apple, like all of us, determine their price points for products and services based on their perceived value just like all businesses. I may be out of touch but I don’t think that all companies who serve education markets offer their products and services at rock bottom prices.
Case in point: Chromebooks are cheap therefore more attractive to education markets may be the most popular viewpoint. However, Chromebooks were cheap before becoming the de facto education computer not because they were after that market.
I, fortunately, was able to provide Apple products for my children throughout their educational years. Believe me, it wasn’t always easy and other areas of my budget had to suffer but I believed that was the best tool and wanted my children to have great technology experiences as part of their educational experience. I realize not all have the same ability and opportunity.
Personal Note: Today I use Apple products in all areas of my life. My work computer is a Windows computer but I use it very sparingly and do most work on my personal MacBook Pro. I also use my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil at work. My environment away from work is all Apple. My wife uses a Windows computer at work and a MacBook Pro and iPad Mini at home. My daughter uses her MacBook Air at her work as they don’t supply computers for their employees. My son uses Window computers at work as the supplied device. At home he uses a Chromebook for minor spreadsheet and document creation and an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil to meet other needs. His wife used the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for her school work and I assume will continue as she pursues a teaching position. We all use iPhones.