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Apple launches low-end 'education only' $999 iMac with Core i3 CPU

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Apple on Monday launched a new, entry-level 21.5-inch iMac meant specifically for educational institutions, sporting a dual-core 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 processor and a price of just $999.

The model, labeled "education only," is $150 less than the $1,149 model available to students, which packs a quad-core 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor. That same model is available for $1,199 to the general public without a student discount.

The new $999 iMac is only listed on Apple's Higher Educational online store as of Monday morning, according to MacRumors. The technical specifications of the new machine were made available in a support document on Apple's site. They include:
3.1GHz Intel Core i3 Dual-Core
21.5-inch LCD
AMD Radeon HD 6750 with 256MB
2GB RAM
250GB Hard Drive
SuperDrive
OS X Lion
In addition to a slower Core i3 processor, the entry-level iMac has less RAM, at just 2GB, a smaller 250GB hard drive, and a 256MB graphics card. The $1,149 student-priced Core i5 iMac has 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a 512MB graphics card.

The report did not indicate whether the education-only iMac includes the high-speed Thunderbolt port and FaceTime HD camera Apple added to the iMac lineup with its latest refresh in May.



The new $999 iMac is not the first time Apple has sold a model intended specifically for education institutions. For example, in 2009, the company continued to sell its 17-inch iMac for $899, even after the all-in-one desktop had been phased out of public sales in favor of new 20-inch and 24-inch models.

And last month, Apple discontinued its legacy white MacBook, officially replacing it with the entry-level $999 MacBook Air. But the white MacBook, model No. MC516, remains available for education institutions only, for now.
post #2 of 47
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post #3 of 47
You can't buy it anyways so stop bitching about the damn matte display already! GOSH! This is for educational institutions only.

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post #4 of 47
Couldn't wait for a few posts to derail the thread?
post #5 of 47
Yikes, there's a sheriff in town!

On a non religious war note, I wonder whether the remarkably rapid penetration of iPad into the education space is motivating Apple to pay renewed attention. Seems we've gone for a long while without any significant education-only models and then two come along at once.
post #6 of 47
Well, a student can get the current lowend for $150 more and get a faster processor, double the ram, double the HD and double the graphics ram.

Not to bad a deal and really the better model.

2 GB of ram is just weak. Its the one crippling thing with the low end 11" Air.

Of course, you can at least upgrade the iMac ram.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

2 GB of ram is just weak. Its the one crippling thing with the low end 11" Air.

Of course, you can at least upgrade the iMac ram.

You can upgrade the MBA11" too to 4GB RAM (and 256 HD).
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You can upgrade the MBA11" too to 4GB RAM (and 256 HD).

He's referring to upgrading the individual machine after purchase. The base 11" Air is stuck with 2GB ram, you can upgrade the SSD, but it's expensive.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You can upgrade the MBA11" too to 4GB RAM (and 256 HD).

You can order 4GB RAM at order time, but after that, you need to replace the entire main board to go from 2 to 4.

edit: beat to the punch by Esoom.
post #10 of 47
As one of the articles I was reading about this pointed out, this makes no sense as a personal, in the dorm room Mac. That $150 savings is not much for what you miss out on. However, this is great as a lab Mac. You can secure the keyboard and mouse, and you wouldn't want to try and pair keyboards in a room with 40 Macs side-by-side anyways. Most labs don't need Thunderbolt right now. AV labs might, but you would get either a tower, or a higher-end iMac for that anyways.
post #11 of 47
Sounds like an ideal machine for library terminals and related uses and that's probably the targeted market. Hit's the sub-$1000 price point, too.
post #12 of 47
I'm reluctant to even bring this up because I sound like a troll even as I'm thinking this, but...

I'm fairly certain that the $999 price point with those features (or even slightly better) could easily be beat by volume purchasing (which is what schools would be doing) from Dell, Asus, HP, etc. Yes, those machines are crap and would be a nightmare to administer but school decision makers will place a higher priority on the bottom line than usability.

I mean, $100/$200/$300 savings per machine by going with "the other guys" will add up if you're ordering 100/200/300 machines.

Seems like the better thing would be to offer a complete "educational solution" to schools—Mac mini server ($799), a Thunderbolt RAID ($499) and "dumb" 17" iMacs (4GB RAM, 0 GB storage, shared video memory—$699 each). Optimized of course, so that students could have fast internet access and application services, but couldn't play Starcraft 2 (which would be my temptation!). A school could purchase a full lab (mini+RAID+30 iMacs) for a little over $22,000, which will look better to a school administrator than $29,970 (30 "education only" iMacs). And, as nothing could be stored locally on the iMacs, school IT managers would have full control over the content.

Drop margins down to the barest minimum, and Apple won't make a whole lot of money, but they could regain the top spot in the education market again, and everyone in education is a consumer as well, which is Apple's main target.
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post #13 of 47
Not a bad machine for elementary students, for who this machine is built. It is not a university machine, but for some lab uses it will more than do the job.
post #14 of 47
At least this one supplied with mouse and keyboard. Unlike Mac Mini as some would have suggested. $150 less than normal student price is a no brainer -- mean more students will go after the quad-core ones especially with the far higher spec. This is good for school, comp lab/terminal and library. I'm sure regular educational customer can get further discounts which mean could even cheaper for example when bought with maintenance contract from Apple distributors/service providers.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Well, a student can get the current lowend for $150 more and get a faster processor, double the ram, double the HD and double the graphics ram.

Not to bad a deal and really the better model.

2 GB of ram is just weak. Its the one crippling thing with the low end 11" Air.

Of course, you can at least upgrade the iMac ram.

Depends on the use (see below). For personal use, I'd definitely go with the i5 model. But if you're talking about a Mac that's going to sit in a library or computer lab and not do much other than Safari and Office, this model will be fine - and the savings might easily be justified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MilSF1 View Post

As one of the articles I was reading about this pointed out, this makes no sense as a personal, in the dorm room Mac. That $150 savings is not much for what you miss out on. However, this is great as a lab Mac. You can secure the keyboard and mouse, and you wouldn't want to try and pair keyboards in a room with 40 Macs side-by-side anyways. Most labs don't need Thunderbolt right now. AV labs might, but you would get either a tower, or a higher-end iMac for that anyways.

Exactly. If you are buying 20 iMacs for a lab, you'd get a couple more with the lower priced model and if the i3 with 2 GB is sufficient, why not? (Although, particularly if they're running Lion, I'd spend the $50 to upgrade to 4 GB, anyway).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm reluctant to even bring this up because I sound like a troll even as I'm thinking this, but...

I'm fairly certain that the $999 price point with those features (or even slightly better) could easily be beat by volume purchasing (which is what schools would be doing) from Dell, Asus, HP, etc. Yes, those machines are crap and would be a nightmare to administer but school decision makers will place a higher priority on the bottom line than usability..

Not at all. School decision makers are supposed to be placing a higher priority on the educational needs of their students. If they're buying Macs, they've already determined that Macs are a better choice for their students than Dell/Asus/HP/etc crapware.

Given that choice, this new model provides a way for them to buy a lower cost machine if they wish (although a Mini with external monitor might be an even more cost effective choice if they don't mind having to chain them down).
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm reluctant to even bring this up because I sound like a troll even as I'm thinking this, but...

I'm fairly certain that the $999 price point with those features (or even slightly better) could easily be beat by volume purchasing (which is what schools would be doing) from Dell, Asus, HP, etc. Yes, those machines are crap and would be a nightmare to administer but school decision makers will place a higher priority on the bottom line than usability.

I mean, $100/$200/$300 savings per machine by going with "the other guys" will add up if you're ordering 100/200/300 machines.

Seems like the better thing would be to offer a complete "educational solution" to schoolsMac mini server ($799), a Thunderbolt RAID ($499) and "dumb" 17" iMacs (4GB RAM, 0 GB storage, shared video memory$699 each). Optimized of course, so that students could have fast internet access and application services, but couldn't play Starcraft 2 (which would be my temptation!). A school could purchase a full lab (mini+RAID+30 iMacs) for a little over $22,000, which will look better to a school administrator than $29,970 (30 "education only" iMacs). And, as nothing could be stored locally on the iMacs, school IT managers would have full control over the content.

Drop margins down to the barest minimum, and Apple won't make a whole lot of money, but they could regain the top spot in the education market again, and everyone in education is a consumer as well, which is Apple's main target.

Actually, there's a bigger differential than that. There are Dell laptops for $400 and those are catalog sales to a single user. There are probably deeper discounts for bulk buying for institutions. If you're using a computer primarily for web browsing and maybe some Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents, that's "good enough" and far less expensive than going Mac in terms of capital costs. Face it: you're a school administrator and you've been given $1 million. You can buy 1000 Macs or 2000 PCs. You're not going to care about the elegance of the OS or all of the things you can do on the touch pad. You just want to get computers in front of students, so that parents will think that their kids are being properly educated with "computer technology".

Longer term maintenance costs might be a different story, although my son-in-law puts in about 30 hours a week maintaining Macs (and the network) at a production house, so Macs aren't exactly as maintenance free as the hype would have one believe. And the reality is that when students go into a corporate environment, unless it's the design or photo department, chances are they'll be working on a (cruddy) PC anyway, although that is slowly changing at some companies.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Longer term maintenance costs might be a different story, although my son-in-law puts in about 30 hours a week maintaining Macs (and the network) at a production house, so Macs aren't exactly as maintenance free as the hype would have one believe.

The "hype" only says that Macs are much more maintenance free than PCs. That's still true. As you said, your son-in-law puts in less than a full work week maintaining Macs and the network at a production house. i.e. a part time guy.

Quote:
And the reality is that when students go into a corporate environment, unless it's the design or photo department, chances are they'll be working on a (cruddy) PC anyway, although that is slowly changing at some companies.

But so what? These people who trot out the tired old argument "education should have PCs because that's what's used in business" are being stupid for these reasons:
1. Is your goal for your kids in life to be office clerks? How about Doctors, Lawyers, run their own business, musicians, actors, etc.? Does it really matter what brand of OS they used in school? Only some kids will end up in cubicle farms.
2. Do you really think it takes a child 12 years to learn to use Windows and MS Office? If they're over the age of 35, Windows (in a usable form, anyway) didn't even exist in schools. How do you think the people in offices today managed to learn PCs. It only takes a couple of weeks to learn Windows once you have basic computing skills. But yet these people are willing to put in computers that are less engaging for the kids, and cost more to maintain, just so a fraction of them don't have to take a few windows classes when they grow up?
3. The maintenance. I'd rather my tax dollars go toward educational materials, teacher salaries, etc. then excess computer maintenance.

But enough derailing. Back to the topic:
iMac - good lab machine, but for personal use, spend the extra and get a regular iMac (or MacBook Air)
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Couldn't wait for a few posts to derail the thread?


Agreed
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post #19 of 47
Core i5 Mini $579
8 Gigs Ram from Crucial $65
Microsoft Keyboard $9.99 (bulk cdwg)
Logitec wheel Mouse $9.99 (bulk cdwg)
20" Dell Monitor $179

Total cost $842.98 (ed price)

CDROM if you want one (we only use 1 on the instructor stations) $79.00

Its cheaper
Its more Powerful
It has 4x the ram
We can throw away broken nasty keyboards and mice whenever we want because they are cheap
We do no have the throw away a perfectly good monitor whenever we upgrade the CPU's why green peace does not nail apple for that one I have no idea.
We could use larger monitors.

I just installed 30 of these in one school. Everyone loves them.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

And the reality is that when students go into a corporate environment, unless it's the design or photo department, chances are they'll be working on a (cruddy) PC anyway, although that is slowly changing at some companies.

That's the same stupid argument that's been used for decades.

First, you're suggesting that people are too stupid to learn multiple systems - which is clearly nonsense.

Second, even if you buy that argument, students should be using what they'll use in business after they graduate - NOT what is used in business today. Historically, Macs are a better predictor of the future than Windows. For example, in 1994, students learning Windows 3.1 or DOS were wasting their time. Students using Macs could translate their experience more easily.
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post #21 of 47
I hope this means that the 21.5 inch is being ditched in favor of the old 24" for mainstream iMacs. I have a five-year old 24" that I would have loved to upgrade, but the 27" is way too big for my needs, and going with a new 21.5 would be a downgrade. The gap from 21.5 to 27 is just too wide. Call me Goldilocks. 24" is "just right."
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post #22 of 47
Isn't the educational system failing if they put computers into labs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MilSF1 View Post

As one of the articles I was reading about this pointed out, this makes no sense as a personal, in the dorm room Mac. That $150 savings is not much for what you miss out on. However, this is great as a lab Mac. You can secure the keyboard and mouse, and you wouldn't want to try and pair keyboards in a room with 40 Macs side-by-side anyways. Most labs don't need Thunderbolt right now. AV labs might, but you would get either a tower, or a higher-end iMac for that anyways.

Beyond that this machine is to much of a rip off if you ask me. For what amounts to a $150 off they chocked the machine buy pulling to much RAM. Of course knowing the educational market they will probably discount the machine heavily.

On the other hand it is to bad Apple doesn't offer up the machine to online discounters. For a few dollars more off the price it could be a very nice machine for specific usages.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Isn't the educational system failing if they put computers into labs?

1) You are suggesting a computer lab without computers is succeeding?

2) You sound really old and not someone who uses computers if you don't see a 'PC' vis-Ã*-vis a computer program as a tool just like any other tool that is used in any of the various labs across various educational institutions.

3) A few examples just for labs and not for the many other areas in which 'PCs' are purchased by educational institutions:
  • Example 1: A system with attached headphone and mic for children with speech impediments that can teach a kid when they can't get one-on-one assistance.
  • Example 2: A system for the deaf.
  • Example 3: A system for the blind.
  • Example 4: A system for doing math based equations that are auto-checked with or without an option to assist a student if they fail to make the right choice.
  • Example 5: Same as Example 4 but for grammar
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post #24 of 47
This is awesome, well done! I hope more school systems do intelligent things like this. I also hope that educators pass on this stripped down model. Why save 10% now and make kids suffer with a computer that will be slow and nearly obsolete a few years down the road, making them suffer for years to come?. Classrooms don't update computers until they're run into the ground three times over, so it makes more sense to invest in something with some longevity.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh2901 View Post

Core i5 Mini $579
8 Gigs Ram from Crucial $65
Microsoft Keyboard $9.99 (bulk cdwg)
Logitec wheel Mouse $9.99 (bulk cdwg)
20" Dell Monitor $179

Total cost $842.98 (ed price)

CDROM if you want one (we only use 1 on the instructor stations) $79.00

Its cheaper
Its more Powerful
It has 4x the ram
We can throw away broken nasty keyboards and mice whenever we want because they are cheap
We do no have the throw away a perfectly good monitor whenever we upgrade the CPU's why green peace does not nail apple for that one I have no idea.
We could use larger monitors.

I just installed 30 of these in one school. Everyone loves them.
post #25 of 47
I suspect that the real reason the price sits at $1000 is that it gives Apple a bit of cushion to discount the machine in a significant manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm reluctant to even bring this up because I sound like a troll even as I'm thinking this, but...

It doesn't sound trollish to me. School funding is a big issue in and of itself. Using the publics money properly is a struggle every where.
Quote:
I'm fairly certain that the $999 price point with those features (or even slightly better) could easily be beat by volume purchasing (which is what schools would be doing) from Dell, Asus, HP, etc. Yes, those machines are crap and would be a nightmare to administer but school decision makers will place a higher priority on the bottom line than usability.

It is not uncommon for schools to make decisions based on initial purchase costs. The question of the wisdom of such moves is debatable. Note however that at some levels schools have or had no choice but look at Windows systems. It has gotten better of late but some apps simply where not well represented on the Mac. Here I'm thinking CAD and other Engineering type software.
Quote:
I mean, $100/$200/$300 savings per machine by going with "the other guys" will add up if you're ordering 100/200/300 machines.

True but remember you have to spend money on software too. Since Apple has radically rethought software pricing in the end they might have a big advantage. Further system supplied software like text edit has been vastly improved over the years reducing the need to buy generic software, one good example here being TextEdit. If Apple would put a little effort into Dictionary that would not need a second choice either. On top of all of that open source software has caught up with MacOS and in many ways outclasses what is on the PC.

So in the end Apple can be far more aggressive than they every have been in the past when it comes to offering good package deals.
Quote:
Seems like the better thing would be to offer a complete "educational solution" to schoolsMac mini server ($799), a Thunderbolt RAID ($499) and "dumb" 17" iMacs (4GB RAM, 0 GB storage, shared video memory$699 each). Optimized of course, so that students could have fast internet access and application services, but couldn't play Starcraft 2 (which would be my temptation!). A school could purchase a full lab (mini+RAID+30 iMacs) for a little over $22,000, which will look better to a school administrator than $29,970 (30 "education only" iMacs). And, as nothing could be stored locally on the iMacs, school IT managers would have full control over the content.

I'm fairly sure they do offer solutions.
Quote:
Drop margins down to the barest minimum, and Apple won't make a whole lot of money, but they could regain the top spot in the education market again, and everyone in education is a consumer as well, which is Apple's main target.

That doesn't work in a market that buys in quanity and expects a discount no matter what. I personally don't see these machines being a bargain at list price but then I don't expect that they will ever be sold at list price.
post #26 of 47
It isn't exactly 'low-end' now is it? Sure, the i3 is the bottom of the INtel heap, but the 6750 is no slouch and you still get the amazing screen.

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post #27 of 47
The biggest problem with the PC's are used in business argument is that it assumes that the PC industry will be the same as it is today. I challenge anybody that has been out of school more than ten years to convince me that somebody entering first grade today will leave school and walk into a business running Windows XP. Admittedly this might be a reality in some business but the shape of both the OS and the hardware will change radically by the time that kid leaves school.

Hardware/software should be judged only on it's ability to meet a specific educational need. That over the life span of the hardware.

The bigger problem with computers in schools is the viability of their use. Unfortunately in many cases they end up being a waste. If the computers aren't leading to enhanced student performance or increased teaching capacity they will have been a waste of money. If Apple really wants to regain the education market it is really time to put a little effort into software R&D. In the end, today computers no more help with teaching than the typewriters of the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

The "hype" only says that Macs are much more maintenance free than PCs. That's still true. As you said, your son-in-law puts in less than a full work week maintaining Macs and the network at a production house. i.e. a part time guy.



But so what? These people who trot out the tired old argument "education should have PCs because that's what's used in business" are being stupid for these reasons:
1. Is your goal for your kids in life to be office clerks? How about Doctors, Lawyers, run their own business, musicians, actors, etc.? Does it really matter what brand of OS they used in school? Only some kids will end up in cubicle farms.
2. Do you really think it takes a child 12 years to learn to use Windows and MS Office? If they're over the age of 35, Windows (in a usable form, anyway) didn't even exist in schools. How do you think the people in offices today managed to learn PCs. It only takes a couple of weeks to learn Windows once you have basic computing skills. But yet these people are willing to put in computers that are less engaging for the kids, and cost more to maintain, just so a fraction of them don't have to take a few windows classes when they grow up?
3. The maintenance. I'd rather my tax dollars go toward educational materials, teacher salaries, etc. then excess computer maintenance.

But enough derailing. Back to the topic:
iMac - good lab machine, but for personal use, spend the extra and get a regular iMac (or MacBook Air)
post #28 of 47
By the time a student gets out of college sixteen years could have passed. There is no telling what the hardware and software will look like by then. Mac OS/X might be replaced by something different or iOS could end up being the education markets choice.

Who knows MicroSoft could be bankrupt in 16 years. They whole argument around what the students will use in industry is baseless. Nobody has a crystal ball to see that far into the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's the same stupid argument that's been used for decades.

First, you're suggesting that people are too stupid to learn multiple systems - which is clearly nonsense.

Second, even if you buy that argument, students should be using what they'll use in business after they graduate - NOT what is used in business today. Historically, Macs are a better predictor of the future than Windows. For example, in 1994, students learning Windows 3.1 or DOS were wasting their time. Students using Macs could translate their experience more easily.
post #29 of 47
Oh apple, total fail!

Guess how fast mouse and keyboard will be gone - wireless in a library or school? An obvious invitation! Plus also: the price is still too high. School = they buy a lot at once. Where is the discount? Also: 2gb ram and 250gb hard disk are very outdated. No one shall be surprised if schools buy a pc for half the price and twice the ram and hard disk...
post #30 of 47
That still ignores maintenance costs and software licensing. Anyone that looks just at the up-front costs might be doing their organization a disfavor, there are so many factors involved. Lost time to a down machine needs to be factored in. Training needs to be factored in as well, though I think that can be quickly recovered on the Mac side, and the training's value can hold for longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm reluctant to even bring this up because I sound like a troll even as I'm thinking this, but...

I'm fairly certain that the $999 price point with those features (or even slightly better) could easily be beat by volume purchasing (which is what schools would be doing) from Dell, Asus, HP, etc. Yes, those machines are crap and would be a nightmare to administer but school decision makers will place a higher priority on the bottom line than usability.

I mean, $100/$200/$300 savings per machine by going with "the other guys" will add up if you're ordering 100/200/300 machines.
post #31 of 47
Sorry to say, $999 is not going to attract swarms of ed institutions to get iMacs. Considering the economy and deep school budget cuts (maybe not at the private ones), with the limited budget, schools will go for the cheaper alternatives. Yes, you may say how about the maintenance saving in the long run. But who's care about the long term now. Look at the examples set by our government... My baby was born with a huge $47k national debt and it's just going to increase...
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) You are suggesting a computer lab without computers is succeeding?

The whole concept of putting computers ion labs is an idea from the seventies. It is truly sad that people still see a computer as something to be segregated from the normal teaching/learning experience.
Quote:
2) You sound really old and not someone who uses computers if you don't see a 'PC' vis-Ã*-vis a computer program as a tool just like any other tool that is used in any of the various labs across various educational institutions.

Maybe I'm a bit older but there comes a little experience with that age. Frankly the experience with "labs" back in my day is why I've made the statements I did. Labs are all about controlling access and limited exploration of equipment.
Quote:
3) A few examples just for labs and not for the many other areas in which 'PCs' are purchased by educational institutions:
  • Example 1: A system with attached headphone and mic for children with speech impediments that can teach a kid when they can't get one-on-one assistance.

  • Fine, I understand the need to help these kids but why the need for a lab computer? At best all these students need is a good head phone and mic combo. The idea that they need to use a specialized system these days is assinine.
    Quote:
  • Example 2: A system for the deaf.
    Whatever happened to the concept of mainstreaming students? I find it perplexing that you would want to stick all the death people into a lab. This is not to deny that a death student has needs beyond mainstream students but that is again an issue of software. Software can be attached to a students account.
    Quote:
  • Example 3: A system for the blind.
    Admittedly the blind have far greater challenges than most of us. I do not claim to have all the answers. However I can't imagine that being stuck in a Lab is all that enticing to the blind either.
    Quote:
  • Example 4: A system for doing math based equations that are auto-checked with or without an option to assist a student if they fail to make the right choice.
    Again why would you need a lab for this? Really this is a simple matter of software.
    Quote:
  • Example 5: Same as Example 4 but for grammar

Maybe my point here has been colored by extremely bad experience in the past, but when I hear about computers going into labs in schools I want to vomit. A computer needs to be an integral part of the learning process. That means on the students desk, in his backpack and at home in his bedroom.

Frankly it makes about as much sense as putting business computers in a lab and making your employs wait for their open time slots.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The whole concept of putting computers ion labs is an idea from the seventies. It is truly sad that people still see a computer as something to be segregated from the normal teaching/learning experience.

Maybe I'm a bit older but there comes a little experience with that age. Frankly the experience with "labs" back in my day is why I've made the statements I did. Labs are all about controlling access and limited exploration of equipment.

Fine, I understand the need to help these kids but why the need for a lab computer? At best all these students need is a good head phone and mic combo. The idea that they need to use a specialized system these days is assinine.

Whatever happened to the concept of mainstreaming students? I find it perplexing that you would want to stick all the death people into a lab. This is not to deny that a death student has needs beyond mainstream students but that is again an issue of software. Software can be attached to a students account.

Admittedly the blind have far greater challenges than most of us. I do not claim to have all the answers. However I can't imagine that being stuck in a Lab is all that enticing to the blind either.

Again why would you need a lab for this? Really this is a simple matter of software.



Maybe my point here has been colored by extremely bad experience in the past, but when I hear about computers going into labs in schools I want to vomit. A computer needs to be an integral part of the learning process. That means on the students desk, in his backpack and at home in his bedroom.

Frankly it makes about as much sense as putting business computers in a lab and making your employs wait for their open time slots.

I think you're defining 'computer lab' too narrowly.

My daughter's school, for example, has Macs throughout the library for kids to use. It also has study areas set up all over the campus with a smaller number of computers for student use. The science labs have computers at each work area. Students can also sign computers out from the library to take with them to do their work.

I would define those as 'computer lab' computers, even though they're not the 'rows of identical machines lined up in a room with white walls' that you seem to be thinking about.
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post #34 of 47
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Again why would you need a lab for this? Really this is a simple matter of software.

Maybe we have different definitions of what a lab is. I'm using the specific "a room or building equipped for scientific experiments, research, or teaching" definition. You need a room with 'PCs' with the software to allow students to study and learn. It doesn't have to be a Mac, but being a Mac doesn't mean it's not longer a viable teaching tool.
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post #35 of 47
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

By the time a student gets out of college sixteen years could have passed. There is no telling what the hardware and software will look like by then. Mac OS/X might be replaced by something different or iOS could end up being the education markets choice.

Who knows MicroSoft could be bankrupt in 16 years. They whole argument around what the students will use in industry is baseless. Nobody has a crystal ball to see that far into the future.

I think the red herring nature of the argument even goes well beyond your good point. Some claim "Windows, Windows, Windows" since they think they'll need Windows skills in business some decade down the road.

So what do we have them learning on the computer? The answer is probably 90% of it they will never use in business. Quite the disconnect in arguments, IMHO.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View Post

Sorry to say, $999 is not going to attract swarms of ed institutions to get iMacs. Considering the economy and deep school budget cuts (maybe not at the private ones), with the limited budget, schools will go for the cheaper alternatives.

Yep a very real problem. Sometimes you just don't get the cash you ask for.
Quote:
Yes, you may say how about the maintenance saving in the long run. But who's care about the long term now.

Sadly no one. You can't blame the schools though, parents demand all sorts of non educational services and any number of "basket weaving" classes just to be sure their stupid kids can leave school with a diploma. At most schools if they simply focused on the elements that would lead to a students success after graduation there would npbe plenty of cash for computers.
Quote:
Look at the examples set by our government... My baby was born with a huge $47k national debt and it's just going to increase...

Congress is saddled with the same problems that your local schools are. That is they try to serve the needs of too many special interest groups. Cut out the waste, the liberalism, and the loopholes and our debt problem would go away. No new taxes would have to be raised and the free loaders would be forced to go back to work.

Unfortunately the local and the national issues will not be resolved until a crisis is at hand. Sadly with education we are in a crisis already as most students are not graduating with skills comparable to most of the rest of the world. People have to wake up and realize that math, communication skills and sciences are what makes the world go around. Students really shouldn't be given a free ride through the educational system just because they are too stupid too add and subtract. Honestly a high school diploma these days is a document amounting to nothing as everybody gets one.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I think you're defining 'computer lab' too narrowly.

I don't think so. In fact my definition pretty much reflects what you see in most schools these days.
Quote:
My daughter's school, for example, has Macs throughout the library for kids to use. It also has study areas set up all over the campus with a smaller number of computers for student use.

Actually this is what I'm talking about and is a throw back decades ago as to how scoops made use of computers.
Quote:
The science labs have computers at each work area. Students can also sign computers out from the library to take with them to do their work.

Yep exactly what I was afraid of. What you have is an environment of controlled and limited access. In a science lab this is a very bad thing. Why? The number one reason is that you end up with a bunch of lead students pushing all the buttons so to speak. That often leads to 4/5ths of the students tagging along barely in touch with what is going on.
Quote:
I would define those as 'computer lab' computers, even though they're not the 'rows of identical machines lined up in a room with white walls' that you seem to be thinking about.

Exactly! That is what I have a problem with. How is any of this leveraging a computer to enhance a students academic achievement? Is replacing a card file in a library or providing a web browser really all that we can expect from computers in education?

In my mind in order to be valuable in education, computers must replace text books and do so in a way that measurable enhances a students progress. I really don't see much of this in schools these days.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Maybe we have different definitions of what a lab is. I'm using the specific "a room or building equipped for scientific experiments, research, or teaching" definition. You need a room with 'PCs' with the software to allow students to study and learn. It doesn't have to be a Mac, but being a Mac doesn't mean it's not longer a viable teaching tool.

This is what I object to in the strongest possible terms. As I've indicated it is a throw back to thinking decades ago. I'd even go so far as to say that many schools are burning tax payer money with their approach to computers in schools, simply because the hardware isn't leading to enhanced academic achievement.

I stated in another response that in many cases computers are doing nothing more for students than the typewriter did years ago. In many schools this is very much the case. I really don't see the value in learning to use a word processor or spreadsheet at least not as a 1-12 educational experience. Computers will be valuable in education when they can effectively replace books AND increase a students ability to learn a subject.

As an aside, one of the guys at work was asking all sorts of questions a couple of months ago about laptops for his kids in high school. While I tried to get him to consider Macs (Admittedly pricey) his biggest concern was finding a version of MS Office that was cheap. Apparently the whole mindset is that compatibility eases a students ability to submit homework. Nothing about educational software to enhspance the educational experience was even brought up. Rather it is pretty obvious that the school sees a PC as a typewriter replacement. Mind you a computer can be a tool just like a typewriter but let's face it that is hardly inspired usage of a computer in an educational environment.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodypainter View Post

Oh apple, total fail!

Guess how fast mouse and keyboard will be gone - wireless in a library or school?

Guess we'll never know since these iMacs DON'T INCLUDE Bluetooth keyboards and mice because the computers DON'T INCLUDE Bluetooth at all.

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The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I don't think so. In fact my definition pretty much reflects what you see in most schools these days.

Actually this is what I'm talking about and is a throw back decades ago as to how scoops made use of computers.

Yep exactly what I was afraid of. What you have is an environment of controlled and limited access. In a science lab this is a very bad thing. Why? The number one reason is that you end up with a bunch of lead students pushing all the buttons so to speak. That often leads to 4/5ths of the students tagging along barely in touch with what is going on.


Exactly! That is what I have a problem with. How is any of this leveraging a computer to enhance a students academic achievement? Is replacing a card file in a library or providing a web browser really all that we can expect from computers in education?

In my mind in order to be valuable in education, computers must replace text books and do so in a way that measurable enhances a students progress. I really don't see much of this in schools these days.

You're not paying attention.

What I said was:
Quote:
"My daughter's school, for example, has Macs throughout the library for kids to use. It also has study areas set up all over the campus with a smaller number of computers for student use. The science labs have computers at each work area. Students can also sign computers out from the library to take with them to do their work. "

Any student has access to a computer any time and any place they want. Computers are fully integrated into the educational process.

Just how in the world do you get from that to: "What you have is an environment of controlled and limited access." ????
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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