In a recent interview with BuzzFeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple won’t race Google to the bottom thanks to cheap Chromebook hardware but instead will continue to provide students and teachers with well designed products.
“We are interested in helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no”, said Cook. “We create products that are whole solutions for people — that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level”.
Apple’s share of the education market has shrank somewhat after American classrooms have shifted to a more assessment, test-driven curriculum. This change, as well as budget considerations, has led schools in the US to question Mac and iPad purchases when a cheap PC will in many cases do the job. For some US school districts, an iPad or other tablet isn’t suitable as some of the mandatory tests require keyboards.
But Cook believes Apple is going in the right direction. With many years of experience in the education sector, Apple’s current products are effective classroom tools. BuzzFeed says that it saw first hand the effectiveness of the iPad at a store in New York where students from Harlem took part in one of Apple’s “Hour of Code” sessions.
Cook said to the assembled students: “Coding is a really important language to learn — as important as English, someday”.
Apple says that coding should be a core subject at school, and obviously would revolve around iPads and Macs. The company is already using its partnerships to develop technology for the classroom. Apple and IBM in June this year already announced an expansion of MobileFirst for iOS – an initiative that uses apps and services to give teachers real time student data analytics.
“The next step is getting the public schools, over time, to make it a requirement. We’re hoping to get their curiosity up, and then get the system to take the next step”, said Cook.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.