Oregon’s George Fox University has announced that they will transition the Computer Across Curriculum (CAC), laptop option from offering a Windows PC or an Apple laptop to offering only Apple laptop options beginning for the 08-09 academic year.
This decision is the result of a multi-phase proposal and debate process. Phase I of this proposal was distributed and commented on by the IT Advisory Committee, ITAC. Many of issues were discussed and the proposal was modiﬁed, however, there were no major objections to moving this proposal forward. Phase II of this proposal was circulated through ASC to the students and feedback was only positive. Phase III provided speciﬁc feedback from the more technical programs such as Engineering, Graphic Arts and Music. Phase IV was focused on gathering feedback from the faculty and staff while beginning to deﬁne more of the speciﬁcs of the plan.
The goal for the proposal was to consider the case for the switch over to an all Apple undergraduate laptop program. By looking at this option George Fox University opened up opportunities for goals such as support standardization, 2 tier laptop offering, communication strategies, marketing exposure, etc. However, the overriding goal is to ensure that the CAC program continues to offer GFU undergraduate students a technology advantage in their academic pursuits. This overriding goal is already being realized by increased use of podcasting and utilization of GFU’s iTunes U.
The primary solution is to offer an Apple MacBook to all incoming freshman students next year. George Fox University plans to try to add desired features such as a DVD burner, more disk capacity and more memory if the budget allows. The ﬁnal decision about the MacBook model speciﬁcations will be determined through negotiations with Apple with a deadline that allows for delivery based on Genesis event distribution. The MacBooks will be offered with a dual boot option allowing for the MacBook to be used as a Microsoft Windows based PC if desired. The student will choose whether they want a dual boot option. There are many more decisions relating to exactly how this conﬁguration will be handled as well as how Microsoft Ofﬁce will be installed.
There may be other Apple purchase opportunities that may or may not directly relate to the CAC program. There may be good options for offering an upper class upgrade, however, this will be considered in phase II of this transition. George Fox University is excited by the possibilities that will be realized by this new relationship with Apple.
George Fox University lists opportunities they expect to occur, including:
• Standardize support for the CAC program which would gain efﬁciencies for IT User Services.
• Offer an option for a more powerful laptop for upper class students when the demands on them are greatest.
• Leverage the value of Apple (iLife, iWorks) or open source applications.
• Enhance environment for multimedia distribution based on QuickTime/MP4.
• Encourage the opportunity to move into video story book projects for all students.
• Take advantage of growing trend of podcast type posting to FoxTALE and iTunes U.
• Utilize new Apple Leopard Server applications such as Podcast, iChat, Time Machine and Final Cut Server
• Groundwork could be laid for a transition to an iTouch or iPDA type of device which might replace the laptop someday.
• Develop a true GFU branded program/website to offer selected Apple products at considerable savings to faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Source: George Fox University
MacDailyNews Take: A trend seems to be developing. Lately, more and more colleges and universities seem to be realizing that OS-unlimited Macs make for more sense than OS-limited PCs from the likes of HP, Dell, Toshiba, etc. As for Windows on Macs, remember: embrace first as extinguish will follow naturally. Many people have told us about how they bought a Mac because they had the ability to run Windows only to discover with surprise that they stopped booting into Windows altogether. Most people think they need Windows. They don’t. The word is spreading. The world is finally waking up!