Apple’s education strategy is not based on reality

“On Tuesday, Apple laid out its clearest vision of their education strategy to date. That strategy revolves completely around the iPad in classrooms. Apple is keeping the iPad at the center of everything it does in education,” Bradley Chambers writes for 9to5Mac. “Some teachers will look at some of the new apps that Apple has created for educators, but will 50% of teachers in the US explore new solutions? I highly doubt it.”

“Apple’s latest education story is 100% based on that iPad which is the same price it was last year — with newly added Apple Pencil support. They’ve introduced more apps that still don’t fit into a school’s existing systems (SIS, LMS, etc),” Chambers writes. “Do you hear of any CIOs/CTOs getting excited about the Schoolwork app coming in June? Imagine if you are a school district CTO with 15,000 students. Is this something you are rolling out in August?”

“If Apple believes they can make a significant contribution to schools, then they should go all in to change everything about school technology. They should buy major a textbook publisher and change the purchasing model for books when you deploy iPads. They should buy (or buy back) a student information system platform and integrate it with all of their new apps,” Chambers writes. “They should build a viable alternative to G-Suite that makes it easy for schools to manage communications. They should do all of this at a price where the least affluent districts can deploy it as easily as the most affluent ones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When you’re pulling in over a quarter of a million dollars per day, as is Apple CEO Tim Cook, how much touch with reality can you really be expected to have?

Despite Apple’s latest “education” dog and pony show, the paradigm hasn’t changed in 40 years: The richest and/or most forward-thinking schools will have Apple solutions and the rest won’t. The former will produce the type of people that will get the best jobs.

Apple’s iPads are for the U.S. public schools we want, Google Chromebooks are for the ones we’re stuck with – March 28, 2018
Apple banks on creative learning to convince schools that iPads are better than Chromebooks – March 28, 2018
New iPad’s enemy isn’t just Chromebooks, it’s the U.S. public education system – March 28, 2018
Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 keyboard and case for Apple’s iPad has its own smart connector – March 28, 2018
Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad offers 2GB of RAM, 2.2 GHz A10 processor – March 28, 2018
How Apple lost its place in the classroom – March 28, 2018
Apple bids for education market with new software, new iPad – March 27, 2018
Apple takes aim at Google Chromebook with $299 iPad with Apple Pencil support for schools – March 27, 2018
Did Apple do enough to grab back education market share? – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support starting at $329 – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum – March 27, 2018
Apple’s iWork update brings drawing, book creation and more to Pages, Numbers and Keynote – March 27, 2018
MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple’s March 27th ‘Field Trip’ event – March 27, 2018
Apple product delays have more than doubled under CEO Tim Cook – January 5, 2018
Google’s Chromebooks are still spying on grade school students – April 21, 2017

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JWW” for the heads up. Thanks to “trondude” for the Take fix.]


    1. Like most countries i dont see Canada, Korea and especially UK having Apple computers in their schools. In Korea, Samsung will make sure Apple Macs and iPads dont get used in Korean schools, the corrupt Samsung bosses will deal with the issue silently with a vengeance, bribing Korean education fatcats with threats and calling then unpatriotic for using Apple gear

      Also, Canada according to the study is the no1 educated country in the world, so how come thier Blackberry cannot compete with American Apple?? What i am getting at is these compilations, studies and compilations are not always based on reality.

      1. What made you come to those conclusions? Apple has specific education home pages for Canada, the UK and Japan.

        While I haven’t found similar Apple pages for South Korea and Israel I did find one South Korean school that supports Macs and there are several educational support pages on the Apple’s Israeli web site.

        Blackberry is actually turning around and they are doing relatively well. You can tell by the lack of MDN posts bad mouthing the company. Mind you that the company is still alive is astonishing.

        I agree that these compilations, studies are not always based in reality but they are far superior in my opinion to the chest thumping “Our country is the best, the greatest, the most generous” without any reference to it.

    2. As a Canadian who went to public high school in the 90s, we had big tech budgets. All new Mac desktops. Colour printers. AutoCAD. Animation software and DVD writers, etc.

      Going to University we had all iMac computer labs.

      There’s a lot of choice now.

      I’m an Apple guy, but not a fanboy as many on here know. I’m critical of Tim Cook’s Apple a lot.

      Apple has many problems that run deep. The world has been moving over to the Web more and more, and Web Apps are starting to become superior to native Apps for a chunk of things.

      Apple is trying to hang onto the traditional hardware/proprietary software model when that is dying a bit.

      Apple is not good at Web and being open, but this is what is coming in and the future.

      Hardware is just a window to that open Web world.

      This whole Apple education thing should be a Web product, not dark native Apps locked down. But Apple is about a closed world and for things like this, that way of thinking is dying because there is too much competition now for online platforms and cheaper devices that are windows to these platform agnostic Web Apps.

      I’ve said this before: Apple needs to do a search engine, move Apps and services online and Siri as the world’s number 1 search agent, and vet every Website like their App Store or at least have min. search listing standards.

      This would clean up the Web and usber in a new online era.

    3. Japanese schools tend to lack tech in classrooms. In general. I work in Korean schools they have tech in the classroom and its almost always Korean made.

      That source only shows adults not kids and it just ranked countries by who had the most adults who had 2 years of post secondary education or more. Which frankly isn’t saying a lot.

  1. Oh, and Apple should make every senior manager, including their “I can run Apple on my iPad” CEO type a 2,000-word essay every week on an iPad without a keyboard or pointing device. I have had enough trouble typing these few lines…

    This is the modern “Jobsless” Apple: Arrogant and out of touch.

    1. @ SunbeamRapier
      If you been typing on iPad software keyboards for a long time and not uae the “crutch’” of an external keyboard, you can get pretty fast at typing on iPad software keyboards.
      Been using the iPad software keyboards since the first 2010, iPad.
      I have little issue doing long typing on my iPads using the onboard virtual, software keyboard.
      I suspect kids using tablets have a much easier time typing on a tablet software keyboard, too!

  2. The private high school where I’m a volunteer has a good mix of technology. The computer labs have both iMacs and PC’s, and the students are expected to use both in the course of a year. But, what do the kids take home with them?


    Each student gets a Samsung Chromebook for personal use in class and to keep. So, while there are Macs and PC’s in the computer labs, all homework that can be done is done electronically in Google Apps. It’s the portal for interacting with the assignment system, the place where school announcements and schedules are stored.

    The Macs and PC’s are used for the things that a Chromebook can’t do. CAD drawing, for instance. Photoshop, page layout software, things like that. Or if the student just wants to have a larger screen, they log into an iMac and use the Google apps.

    And this school isn’t poor by any means. Tuition is over $12,000 a year. But the schools settled on Chromebooks for the students because Google put together a system that worked and worked pretty well at a very attractive price. One technology teacher and his backup administer the system for all 500 students.

    There’s no way on Earth they are dropping the Chromebooks for Apple’s system.

  3. Apple needs to up its bribe game. You’d think they would have learned something from the LA iPad scandal, guess not. If they were serious about this they’d be willing to lose a couple hundred million $ (or perhaps even just break even) by subsidizing iPads bundled with keyboards for $299 or less. Apple doesn’t have to rape people’s privacy to understand that giving people free or cheap products is one way to get your foot in the door.

    1. Apple originally gave away thousands of computers to schools back in the 1980s in order to get their foot into the door. That was a decent goodwill gesture for a growing company and it seemed to have worked quite well. It’s very strange that despite how large and wealthy Apple is now, they can’t manage to do the same thing they did before. I suppose the bean counters are in charge and no one is going to get anything for free because it would ruin Apple’s high-profit business model. For the sake of protecting Apple’s business model, I sort of understand why Apple doesn’t intend to take any financial losses. It appears Apple is just going to have to rely on schools that have the funds to spend on Apple products and hope they see the benefit of iPads and whatever else Apple has going for them.

      Apple’s approach seems to be more ambitious than what those simple Chromebooks can offer, but if cost is the only factor that matters to schools then Apple isn’t going to prevail.

      Although I feel Apple’s education push isn’t going to help move most schools away from Chromebooks, it may help Apple sell at least a few more iPads to consumers. The new low-cost iPad with Pencil support still seems like a pretty good deal for students at home.

      1. I think Apple could move plenty of iPads at a profit, but the beancounters don’t want any more than a few percent loss to their margins. Maybe once they see that price is ALL that matters to the Googlebots running our schools, they’ll change their approach.

    2. not so sure about their upping the bribe game, but am in general agreement that apple needs to engage in what is known in the grocery business as a “loss leader” you offer some product at a low cost to get people into the store to buy the bargain product and expose them to other more expensive goods.

      in this instance you get apple products into kids hands in the first place and they will most likely stay with them.

      mr. apple would be well advised to quit drinking their own self defeating kool – aid about premium products for premium consumers, or that the age of mobile computing is already here.

      they also need to set aside their obsession on becoming the first trillion dollar company by squeezing every possible and immediately available nickel out of every possible and immediately available pocket.

      their failure to regularly update their full line of computers is ample proof that they have more money than they know what to do with.

      so if they want to win the education market back, and all the long term benefits that flow from introducing students into the apple ecosystem at an early age, they need to take the hit and offer their products at a steep discount, or even slight loss to the education market to build brand familiarity and loyalty, knowing that those kids will in time start buying more sophisticated and capable apple products as they are able to afford them.

      1. I kid about the bribe part. I think one reason Apple might not want the cut-rate approach is so as not to cheapen the iPad in the eyes of consumers. “Why should I pay $350 for an iPad when schools pay $199?”

  4. “Do you hear of any CIOs/CTOs getting excited about the Schoolwork app coming in June? Imagine if you are a school district CTO with 15,000 students. Is this something you are rolling out in August?”

    This is the question Apple has not convincingly answered in the last 20 years.

  5. Part if the problem is the iPad itself. It isn’t an appropriate tool for children to be learning everything on, and the notion of AR figuring heavily is a joke, this will leas to an even bigger plummet in competency. All people and companies of this sort need to get out of the Valley once in awhile.

  6. Reading this article and reading the comments really shows how out of touch people are with how kids actually learn. There is not a single thing needed for school and learning that can’t be done on an iPad. Try editing a video on a chromebook? My kids are doing videos, presentations, research and other things and these are way easier on an iPad or even a MacBook then on a crappy chromebook. I bought my kids MacBook Airs 3 to 4 years ago and they work flawlessly while their friends struggle every day with issues on their chrome books and windows machines. Shouldn’t technology get out of the way and allow the kids to learn? I really think that Apple has the correct strategy but our school systems are to cheap to do anything about it.

  7. In many cases, technology is thrust on educators without properly training on their use with their educational style. Perhaps the first step is to help educators in integrating the technology in their lesson plan. Chromebooks are relatively familiar to the current generation of teachers growing up with using desktops/laptops. Trying to adjust quickly to devices that are primarily touch driven is IMO a pretty hard sell.

  8. You know, maybe this is not related to reality at the moment, but I think that you can find in it something that will happen very soon in all schools. I think we are not far from the day when you can see the iPad in all classes and use the “do my assignment” function on it and get more and more knowledge through the site And this is a good perspective which is developed by the company. So it all depends on the time when it all becomes reality.

  9. With Apple today’s policy we gonna get down to situation where you gonna have to get paid to do homework online. If Apple want to make changes in educational process, they have to change first the way they treat their customers and independent repairs services. I don’t think that any Apple app can made some significant changess in education, it’s rather approach that must be changed.

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