Pinellas County Florida schools forces migration from Mac to PC

“Pinellas County schools will phase out Apple computers and only buy PCs. Some teachers and administrators are upset,” Monique Fields reports for The St. Petersburg Times in her article, “Teachers losing their Apples.” “Lisa Ristorcelli, a third-grade teacher at Douglas L. Jamerson Elementary School, helps Deidre Worth work with an Apple iBook. Some teachers are upset that Pinellas County schools will no longer buy Apples.”

“In the world of computers, you’re either an Apple person or a PC person,” Fields reports. “‘I am an Apple person,’ said Suzy Dross, a technology coordinator at Azalea Elementary School in St. Petersburg. She and Pinellas County school administrators, teachers and students will have to become PC people as the district slowly replaces Apple Macintosh computers with personal computers. The directive came from Pinellas County superintendent Howard Hinesley, who wants to the district to use one type of computer instead of two.”

Fields reports, “That decision has angered some administrators and teachers who can’t fathom parting with their Apple computers, even if it won’t happen for several years. Two of every three computers owned by the school district are Apples. Hinesley said the Macs will be replaced by PCs as they become obsolete. ‘I’m an expert at Macintosh. Most of us are. So, we’re going to have to be trained,’ Dross said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Funny thing is, teachers in the reverse situation, going from Windows PCs to Macs, hardly ever get upset and, if a few did, they usually recant once the’y had a few weeks with a Mac as they were Mac newbies just scared of change). They’re usually grateful, in fact. And excited. We predict Pinellas County will have more problems over time with the move to Dell from Apple than they can imagine.


  1. The school board must have stock in a Virus company, probable M$. After all the wintel based crap has been through with viruses, these people want to go to Windows. They are very stupid or being payed off, probable both. Fire the idiots, and make the world a better place.

  2. I have experienced a Mac-to-PC transition first hand and my belief is that any cost savings were obtained through an automation or reduction in service, not because of homogeneity of platform. In fact, even when you go “all Windows PC” you still do not have one platform – different versions of Windows, motherboards, CPU’s, graphics cards, etc. The list goes on and on.

    One interesting fact – we had one (great) IT person servicing about 90 Macs, 30 PC’s and two small UNIX labs. During the “all PC” changeover the estimated IT requirement grew to 3.5 people. Some savings…

    There are only two “benefits” to an all PC business:
    1) All of the IT folks can focus on PC problems (which is largely the case anyway)
    2) The business can fully buy-in to all sorts of proprietary Microsoft software that twists industry standards just enough to make cross-platform access difficult or impossible.

  3. Hardly surprising something like this would happen in Florida where they’re known for their technological genius. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> But who cares really, when sometime very soon their entire network is shutdown by a worm or virus, they’ll realize they’ve made a huge mistake…

  4. As if kids never bring downloaded files to the school’s computers…

    With a MS Windows-based system, a virus can shut down the whole system as the IT dept waits for the anti-virus software to be developed, then they must clean/reboot EVERY machine connected to the system (impossible). Then the administration makes a new rule “Kids and staff can no longer share ANY data such as their own essays, artwork, poems, songs, or programs they wrote themselves, or upload homework from their own computer.”

    With a Mac system, a virus is a topic of conversation over coffee and donuts in the teacher’s lounge which is quickly interrupted by the art teacher showing them the iMovie a group of the 4th graders made.

    It’s a shame when those in charge don’t know how to “Think Different”: we all suffer. It’s not just waiting a week for the IT dept to fix a computer, but it’s the long-term effect when our children don’t grow up in a creative environment. Sometimes the true cost can’t be seen in the accountant’s ledgerbook.

    “Mac’s aren’t the real world.” Do you want your kids to learn to reboot, lose files, and be restricted from sharing files, or do you want them to produce their first movie, unencumbered, at age 8?

    Kids grow the fastest and the brightest in a world where their parents “Think Different”. Rent the movie “Dead Poets Society” (,7286,VID-V++++12714,00.html?).

  5. An educated populace wouldn’t put up with abuses like the voting fraud fiasco. It is in the best interests of the entrenched power to keep the populace ignorant (and docile.) To that end, pulling Macs from the schools only makes sense.

  6. That someone plans to replace a whole park of Macs (>200) with PC where all the staff is Mac traiend and all the virus and worms attacks of these days casts a doubt on the integrity of the decision.

    How much of the cake for that school official?
    Sorry but truly smells of personal gain from public money, epsecially because it does not come from a review, a survey nor a committee of experts. It is a one man decision and a suspicious one these days.

  7. Read this post (not mine, I just found it):

    Some key excerpts:

    “This directive/decision was never brought before any of the usual technology committees, it was just slipped in through the back door. They didn’t even bother to get input from the Department of Instructional Technology, who is in charge of technology training, integration, tech support and Oh, that’s right…distributing the technology budgets for the district! This department has REAL tech professionals trained on both platforms, capable of being objective, but they were not involved in the decision making process.”

    “The MIS department claims that this will be a way for the district to save money, but has not been able to provide the data that proves this statement.”

    “MIS also claims that the new Student Information System (SASI) is a driving force in this directive, and that it is not compatible with the Macs. MISinformation once again!”

    “This is a quote from a Pearson senior systems engineer who works in their technical support group, “There are no modules in SASIxp that do not work with Macs.”

    “Considering the district spent 8 million dollars on computers last year, you would think that a decision such as this would have been made by OBJECTIVE, educated, technical professionals with input and consideration from all of the stake holders involved.”

    “Unfortunately, the majority of School Board members aren’t tech savvy so they don’t want to open it up for discussion or review, and are therefor just going along. Our tax dollars hard at work folks!”

    The whole thing is worth a read, though.

    Time and again I hear about ignorant school boards allowing a dictator to damage education terribly with no accountability. This is one more example.


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