Apple’s aren’t just for lunch

Written by: Nathan Ecarma, editor-in-chief 

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, announced at an education event in Chicago the company’s newest initiative to get their iPad into schools.

His announcement is nothing new, only Apple’s latest attempt to meet the growing demand of technology usage in the classroom.

Several years ago, Apple tried to meet the rising fad of increased technology usage in classrooms with their iPad. In 2013, Apple partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District, drawing up a $30 million deal. Apple shipped out its iPads with Pearson Curriculum. But curriculum delays and technical glitches plagued the iPad and its curriculum. Within a year, the district cancelled its contract and received a $4.2 million settlement from Apple.

But Google and its Chromebook continues to dominate the demographic, having shipped out nearly 60 percent of the new technology used in US classrooms in 2017, according to Future Source. Apple and its Mac were only at 17 percent.

Natasha Singer of the New York Times reported, “Today, more than half the nation’s primary- and secondary-school students — more than 30 million children — use Google education apps like Gmail and Docs.”

In his Keynote, Apple’s Cook confronted two of the problems facing technology’s implementation into the classroom: privacy and price.

Parents, Singer reported, worry about the amount of data available from their children that can be collected by Google. This is not unheard of–Google is infamous for its continuous data mining.

To meet this controversy, executive producers explained at the Apple event how the iPad has built-in privacy settings.

Google may be known for data mining, but Apple is known for its expensive products, with the iPhone X at $999.

But their newest iPad is selling at the reduced price of $300 with educational pricing. But even at this price, some explained that a student would still need a keyboard and an Apple Pencil ($99), making it a $500 product. (Chromebooks come with a keyboard at $300 or less with educational pricing.)

To compete with this, Apple outsourced its pricey Apple Pencil to Logitech who now sell, exclusively to schools, a Crayon at $49.

Apple’s new iPad features dozens of new applications. Poems by Heart is app that helps students memorize poems by playing games and meeting different learning styles. Other apps allow students ‘to go to the zoo or the art museum’ without leaving the classroom.

The iPad itself only differs from its predecessors with its increased processing speed and style enablement.

Cook’s newest initiative with the iPad is his attempt to get Apple to go back to school, and to remind administrators, teachers, parents and students that apples aren’t just for lunch.

Nathan Ecarma studies Bible, culture, and language. He serves on the Worldview Initiative and as Editor-in-Chief for the school newspaper, the Bryan Triangle.