Originally Posted by hamiltonrrwatch
Commenting as a teacher and school administrator, Apple dropped the ball years ago in the education market. Specifically, districts already hard up for funding, didn't receive any significant discounts for using Apple products. PC makers ran with that opportunity which is why most K-12's in the country are using PC's.
My hope is that Apple utilizes the potential of the iPad to its fullest in the educational sector. I'd love to see printing support without using third-party apps.
When we owned the computer stores (1978-1989) Apple was actively seeking Education installations. As Apple was not in a position to provide after sales installation and support, and because they did not offer a complete solution (no LANS, shared printers, Hard Disks, etc), they would drive these sales through selected retailers with a proven track record.
Based in Sunnyvale, CA, our company sold, installed and supported education systems all over Northern California and some Southern California.
In June of 1980, due to the relentless pressure* of Vice Principal Marion Kenworthy of Saratoga HS, Saratoga, CA, we sold and installed the first LAN: a classroom with 7 Apple ][s networked to a 5 MB Corvus Hard Disk and 1 printer.
* Gene Carter was Apple VP of Marketing-- his daughter was a student at Saratoga HS (as was mine).
AIR, Apple supplied the computers on an Education grant. We supplied everything else and supported everything!
This was very successful and very well publicized at the time.
We made money on the deal, even without the sales of the Apple gear.
But we got the rep as the 'go to source'
for Apple Education solutions.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Education sales resulted.
Marion went to work for Apple in their Education effort.
We continued to sell to this market as it evolved to include Macs.
When we sold our company in 1989, the buyers renamed it Education Access and discontinued retail sales to concentrate on Education (mainly K-12). They had a contract with Apple. that included Education Sales and support for the Western States.
I lost touch, but I don't think that Education Access was too successful -- they went out of business circa 1997-8.
Anyway, Apple likes to deliver complete solutions that are successful. When I knew them, they weren't structured to provide installation and after sales support.
I suspect that it is as true today, as it was then:
"It takes a lot more than good prices
to make a successful Education Installation".
As to the iPad: It is still running the special iOS 3.2 that was forked so they could get it out the door. I suspect when the iPad gets iOS 4, this fall, it will have printer support and a lot more.
As to School Computer Labs: I would like to see schools teach more than just "using" computers and apps-- all necessary, but there is more. I would like to see them teach installation planning, maintenance (hardware and software), repair... and especially, programming.
Unfortunately, at the moment, it is difficult to program Macs and iPads -- but I think that is changing:
-- XCode 4 offers the potential to bring iOS and MAc OS X programming to a wider audience
-- XCode 4 also has the potential to be used to develop Web apps
-- Apple could release a HyperCard-like app for the iPad-- where anyone could create useful iPad apps.