Even Tim Cook's Old High School Has Stopped Giving Its Students MacBooks

Even Tim Cook's Old High School Has Stopped Giving Its Students MacBooks

Tim Cook is a graduate of Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Alabama. Until last month, it and other schools in the area provided MacBooks for teachers and students in grades three through 12; younger kids were given iPads. Recently, however, the district decided to stop giving its students the merchandise of its most famous alumna. It plans to replace them with Lenovo Chromebooks. Do you hear that? That's the sound of a million Apple fanboys weeping all over their comically large iPads.

The Washington Post, which first reported the news, apparently got the scoop from school board documents in which the school's chief technology officer proclaimed that "Baldwin County will not be using bleeding edge technology with this implementation. It will be using proven technologies." Sick burn!

The reason for the switch came down to simple economics: according to the school, Chromebooks cost roughly three-quarters less than MacBooks. (An N21 Chromebook, a model reportedly under consideration by the district, will set you back about $US200 ($268); a MacBook is closer to the thousand-dollar range.) To complete the burn cycle, the district will sell its used MacBooks to pay for its new Chromebooks.

The effort to equip all students with Apple products was part of a $US24 million "Digital Renaissance" program that Apple has seemingly turned into a third-rate regional renaissance festival rather than an actual renaissance.

While the Post emphasises that Apple and Cook had nothing to do with the change, Google is probably celebrating anyway. Its slow but dedicated takeover of the educational technology market -- a niche that Apple was supposedly set to occupy -- has been expanding, and now it appears to have reached Tim Cook's own backyard.

[The Washington Post]

Top image: Getty



    Nobody has told them Chromebooks are useless garbage. If you are going to replace macbooks, at least go to something useful like a surface.

      The Chromebooks may meet their needs. Sounds like one of the main reasons for the switch was a cost saving measure, a Surface 3 costs around $700 where as a Chromebook is around 1/3 that price.

        ^ this. Also, I'm guessing the processing needs of most high schools isn't too extreme - a bit of web browsing, some word processing, stuff like that. If you want to crank out The Division in 4K, your school shouldn't be paying for it.

          Can you do CAD, music (DAW), art? Of course you can, but they are all sucky versions of what you can do on windows or mac. So it's cheaper, but that's because it's worse. I guess it's OK if you value cost over functionality.

            You're saying the school should get all students macbooks, even though at most maybe a quarter of them will perform tasks that will tax a chromebook? Hell, buy a few extra computers for students of those classes - but giving every student a macbook is a huge waste of money.

              They probably don't even need Chromebooks, to be honest. Even then at some point they're going to run into the same wall as the iPad Pro where they want a desktop app and they can't manage that because it's a Chromebook.

              Besides, I thought cheap Win10 x86-64 tablets were supposed to save us from stuff like this?

                I went to school before laptops in school were a thing, so I have absolutely 0 clue, but I always thought it was for typing up homework, doing research online, really basic stuff like that? Then if you need to do more advanced stuff you get your own computer with a bit more grunt.

                  I agree. Why did people need computers in class. The teacher should be interacting with the children. Teaching them with example on board etc. The computer is a tool to be used outside of the school environment for doing your research, writing up your reports etc.

                  Of course, there are exceptions to this, i.e math programs etc.

                  @soletaken I kind of get it - I type much faster than I can write, and I can type while watching whatever the teacher is doing instead of having to watch what I'm writing. Computers definitely have a place in the classroom... but the type of hardware you need is pretty minimal.

    Apple need to invest more in the enterprise market, it's a headache trying to implement or even run Apple devices in a existing or new enterprise environment.

    Just look how badly made Apple Configurator 2 is.

    Useless garbage? That's rather a large claim. Do elaborate.

    Apple products cost too much to for widescale education implementation imo. There are alternatives that do the job at a much better pricepoint. Though chromebooks may not be the best alternative it seems this county would agree with me.

    "Baldwin County will not be using bleeding edge technology with this implementation. It will be using proven technologies.”
    What? Apple isn't in the business of bleeding edge. what an amazingly stupid thing to say.

      Let me translate:
      "Baldwin County will not be using NOSE bleeding EXPENSIVE technology with this implementation."

      It just says they won't be using bleeding edge technology, doesn't say anything about apple products in that quote. There's more to a school's IT infrastructure than the laptops they use, they could have been talking about UPS, servers, anything really.

      Oh and one could feasibly call the latest apple laptops bleeding edge as they only have one USB port - USB-C, which also doubles as the charging port. USB-C is far from standard, as is not being able to use a USB device whilst charging your laptop.

        It's very clear from the context.


        "Bleeding edge" means products so new they're usually pretty buggy and unsupported.
        "Cutting edge" is the old, conventional term for brand new tech, and unlike the so called "bleeding edge" stuff it generally works very well. That's what their hyperbolic CTO should've said.

        Last edited 09/03/16 3:35 pm

    They went from one extreme to another. How about a middle ground of a decent laptop instead for a tad more than a chromebook?

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