Education Stories January 13, 2016

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Phil Schiller said in 2013 that “education is in Apple’s DNA,” and it’s no exaggeration. The company’s commitment to the education sector was there from the very beginning. Steve Jobs told the Smithsonian that he wanted to donate a computer to every school in the U.S. as long ago as 1979.

I thought if there was just one computer in every school, some of the kids would find it. It will change their life. We saw the rate at which this was happening and the rate at which the school bureaucracies were deciding to buy a computer for the school and it was real slow. We realized that a whole generation of kids was going to go through the school before they even got their first computer so we thought the kids can’t wait. We wanted to donate a computer to every school in America.

The company couldn’t afford it in those days, but Steve lobbied Congress to introduce a bill that would have created sufficient tax breaks to make it possible. That attempt failed, but Apple did succeed in brokering a tax deal in California that saw the company donate an Apple IIe to every school in California. Apple led the PC market in education for a time, and even created education-specific Mac models.

More recently, Apple appeared set to bring its educational success into the iPad era in 2013 when it announced a $30M deal (that would eventually have been worth a quarter of a billion dollars) to equip every student in the LA Unified School District with an iPad. If that program had succeeded, it would have created a template for rolling out similar ones across the whole of the USA. Instead, it failed catastrophically, and it now appears that Chromebooks are winning where iPads have failed …

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Education Stories December 9, 2015

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Following his RFK award acceptance speech last night, Tim Cook this evening made a surprise appearance at Apple’s new Upper East Side retail store in New York. Apple is set to kick off its Hour of Code program in all of its retail stores tomorrow, but the Upper East Side store held its first session today.

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Last week we learned that Tim Cook was set to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2015 Ripple of Hope award, and last night the Apple CEO delivered his acceptance speech during the scheduled award ceremony. The RFK Center hasn’t yet posted video of last night’s event, but Bloomberg has shared excerpts of what it reports was a 12 minute speech across of a variety of political and social issues.

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Education Stories October 24, 2015

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We’ve already seen the Disney and Pixar teams go hands-on with Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro and now Apple is showing the device off to people in other fields. Fraser Speirs, the head of Computing and IT at Cedars School of Excellence, says he attended  a preview event in London to try out the iPad Pro and spent about an hour with it. Speirs took to Twitter to voice some of his thoughts about the usefulness of iPad Pro in education and in general…

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Education Stories October 6, 2015

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Updated parental guidelines are needed to help make informed decisions about the use of technology by children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, as it revealed that more than 30% of U.S. children first use a mobile device while still in diapers. The AAP says that “digital life begins at a young age, and so must parental guidance.”

The Academy says that its existing policy statement was actually drafted before the first iPad was launched. A two-day symposium held earlier this year generated twelve key messages, based not just on limiting screen time but also on distinguishing helpful from harmful use of technology …  expand full story

Education Stories July 23, 2015

Apple is today launching its Back to School promotion for 2015. This year, it will give away a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac.  Customers must either purchase an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Pro with education pricing to qualify, including build-to-order configurations. The Mac mini does not participate in the deal.

Alternatively, customers can upgrade for an additional $100 to a pair of wireless Beats Solo2 headphones, rather than the usual $299 price. The announcement is not yet being advertised on Apple.com apart from a small mention on its rebates page. It is surprising that there appears to be no Back to School promotion for iPads this year, despite Apple pushing the tablet into education markets.

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