Today Apple’s Phil Schiller had some words for the education market with specific regard for Google’s Chromebook platform. He spoke to CNET about their new MacBook, mainly, but also responded to a question on how Chromebooks seem to be taking a foothold in the education market. “In the K-12 market, particularly for the lower grades — K through six to nine,” said Schiller, “iPad is doing really well.”
In the larger interview on subjects like the new $6k MacBook Pro, Schiller spoke a bit about the education market and how students tend to learn – and use technology to succeed. Schiller spoke about a study Apple did on the importance and role of technology in the classroom, with emphasis on how technology can “help with the education process.”
“The result of this education research we did was that the students who succeed are the ones who are most engaged,” said Schiller. “Which is really simple.” Schiller went on to note that kids “who are really into learning and want to learn will have better success.”
A few sentences later, uses the word “success” again, except this time he appears to be using it to reference the success of the student – but might instead be referencing the success of the Chromebook. “Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they’re cheap testing tools for required testing,” said Schiller. “If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.”
Schiller went on to comment on this particular passage with a Tweet on Twitter, suggesting “every child has the ability to succeed – helping them to do that has always been our mission.”
“In the full conversation with CNET, we discussed giving kids and teachers the content, curriculum and tools they need to learn, explore and grow,” said Schiller. “Not just to take a test.”
Do your kids/students you know use Chromebook/iPad at school?
Students on Chromebooks here in North Dakota tend to use systems like PebbleGo on Chromebook. While the PebbleGo system is shown on the website as working on iPad/other tablets, it is entirely web-based, existing as a website only. Also used in the big ND is the book library system called TumbleBooks, also on Chromebook. Why not iPad? Because public education has to lobby for money to afford tools for the classroom.
Is it Apple’s job to make a more “affordable” tool for the classroom? Or is it public education’s job to rustle up the cash required to buy what Schiller called “the ultimate tool for a child to learn on”?