Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

Why are schools so sold on Apple?

It isn't hard to find an educational blogger that is awe struck by Apple products and suggests that using iPads or iMovies or any iThingy is 'awesome' educational practice. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Apple spends a lot of money on marketing and branding and public relations and their equipment is beautiful and shiny. It doesn't take much to make everything any student does look great once it's been put through the Apple template.( http://timothylee.ca/what%20do%20programs%20allow%20students%20to%20do%3F ) But is this teaching the student what we wish them to learn? How deeply researched is the premise that Apple computers increase learning? I ask every teacher I meet to show me research that shows that Apple products increase learning outcomes. Because I'd really love to know! My own research suggests that all is NOT well when students get iPads, nor is all good when they start showing their learning on iMovie or whatever else plug and play program they are provided. It seems to me - and to many others- that our students are being submerged in the technology of consumerism and not in the technology of public education. Professor Kostas Terzidis of Harvard, in his introduction to one of the best textbooks on learning to program in the Processing language, makes a lovely statement that should make all educators aware of the potential depth (or shallowness) of the programs they provide to students.

“It is possible to claim that a [student’s] creativity is limited by the very programs that are supposed to free their imagination. The motto “form follows software” is indeed a contemporary Whorfian hypothesis that still applies not only to language as a tool but also to computer tools. The reason for that is that there is a finite amount of ideas that a brain can imagine or produce by using a [finished] application. If [students] don’t find the tool/icon that they want, then they are simply stuck. And, conversely, whenever they use a new tool provided for them by programmers, they think that they are now able to do something new and “cool.” But are they really doing anything new? Or are they simply replicating a process already conceived by the programmer who provided the tool?”

I add simply,-- in the hopes that educators understand their responsiblity for teaching technological literacy is greater than simply supplying the latest techno-stuff to their students,-- that forces are at work to curtail the Users control of technology, it is a boiling frog scenario, that removes us further from controlling anything technological and drives us further towards a complete consumption of goods and services as offered by a very few very large companies. As Richard Stallman states

"...if a company invites you to use its server to do your own computing tasks, don't yield; don't use SaaSS. Don't buy or install “thin clients”[chromebooks, netbooks and the new Apple book and iPad], which are simply computers so weak they make you do the real work on a server, unless you're going to use them with YOUR server. Use a real computer and keep your data there. Do your own computing with your own copy of a free program, for your freedom's sake."

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html
Have you seen the new Apple product?
And the parody about it? https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc