It’s easy to forget that when the Get a Mac campaign started, Apple wasn’t the HUGE powerhouse that it is today. They were of course big in 2006, but back then I could talk about Steve Jobs and still have a fair amount of people search their memory to try to pull out where they knew the name from.
Not so anymore, and there’s been all sorts of backlash, frontlash, and eyelash since then.
It’s neither here nor there.
The fact is, if you’re bringing technology into your classroom, YOU SHOULD BE USING APPLE.
Now, I realize that it’s often easier said than done. Most districts don’t have the funds to buy new machines for every classroom, and if they do, they’re likely to stick with what they’re already using. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a school that already uses Macs or iPads, count yourself among the blessed.
If you’re not – and I’m being serious here – at the minimum I demand that you go out and buy yourself an iPad.
What? You didn’t run out the door? Well, you should have.
5 Reasons you want to be in the Apple ecosystem.
Let’s face it – PCs STILL break down all the time. At my school I’m constantly running from classroom to classroom trying to figure out for the teachers why the DVDs aren’t playing, what happened to the audio, why the computer won’t start up, which button combination to push to make it switch to the projector, and the list goes on. The nice thing is that with all the running around, I’ve been able to cancel my gym membership.
On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time my Mac or my iPad took a dump on me. I turn it on, open the app I want to use, and get to work. Apple built their brand on quality – yes, you pay for it, but you GET what you pay for.
2) Apple Wants Your Students
For years and years Apple has been not-so-subtly working their way into the hands of children. iPod Touches and iPads aren’t built as just a way for kids to kill some time in the car playing Angry Birds. What happens when they jump on and realize they can download their textbook to the same machine for 1/2 the price of the physical book – AND it includes video, audio, and interactive activities?
“Can everybody say ‘one-touch-purchase’?”
The fact of the matter is Apple has busted its ass to be cool, and then snuck in some of that darned learnin’ in while the kids weren’t looking. Psh, jerks.
3) The Developer Community is AWESOME
First, yes, there are a lot of good apps being built for other platforms, but not nearly on the scale that people are building for Apple. Every other day the news comes out with some story about how a teacher watched her kids dealing with a problem, so she figured out a solution, built an app, and became a millionaire.
…okay, come back to me. Before you imagine yourself sipping Mai Tais on the coast of Tahiti, think about what it really means.
There are intrepid souls out there who want to make a difference, and they’re trying to do it through the apps available on Apple devices.
4) It’s Cheap.
While people complain that Apple devices are expensive, it actually costs very little to experiment with a new piece of technology once you have the computer. Most apps have a free trial version or an in-app upgrade available. Let’s say you find an app that might be able to help your students understand erosion through weather-patterns (YES! These apps exist!) Your commitment to it is no more than a few minutes of playing around with it.
5) It’s Easy
Much like the points laid out above, in addition to being cheap, apps don’t take much commitment, are only a tap away, and can easily be tied into your classroom.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I understand how to use it?
- Can this tie into a lesson plan, or can I build a lesson plan around it?
- If my students downloaded this, would they be lost?
- How can I supplement the information here?
If you can find simple, positive answers to these questions, USE IT! You’re never committed to continually using something, and you’re always bound to run across a few clunkers. But at least you’re out there trying, and all it cost you was a tap and a few minutes of exploration.
Why you should use a PC
OK, OK, it’s really not all that bad, and the fact of the matter is that as teachers we often don’t have control over the technology we’re given access to.
Don’t worry, though I think I’ve made my primary choice pretty clear here, EdTech.tv is NOT an elitist Mac site. In fact, I’ve got plans to teach mostly with things that are platform independent, but I’d love to hear what you want.
Sound off in the comments below – What do you want tech training on?