[Apple] Laptops a joke, teacher says

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    :( So I gather from that article that the teachers and students were all supposed to be running Apple servers from their laptops? I thought that schools were for teaching students.... :confused:
  3. Superhob macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2004
    For those who didn’t read the whole article, here’s a summation: School district bureaucrats colluded with a shady computer reseller and spent a total of $4,940 per Apple laptop. They bought 17 inch PowerBooks at a price of $3,573 each (Why teachers need 17 inch laptops is beyond me). They also paid this company $767 per laptop for a service contract (Probably Applecare) and, here’s the kicker, they paid this company $600 per laptop to “install” the laptop. This is outright theft and/or embezzlement, in my opinion.

    I submitted this article because I was incensed after reading it. The article gives a bad name to Apple regardless of whether it was Apple’s fault or not. In a sense, the article also made me sad because I realized how pathetic our educational system has become. The teachers have no clue how to use technology being offered to them and they are not given the proper instructions on how to use the technology to enhance the learning experience for their students.

    However, I place no blame on the teachers, including the one who declares in the article that the Apple laptops were nothing more than glorified DVD players. The blame should clearly fall on the school district officials who spent millions of our tax dollars on top-of-the-line computers while they didn’t provide the teachers with basic instructions on how to use the computers. The school officials apparently violated some federal laws by claiming that the computers would be used as “servers” in the classroom.

    I also think that Apple should not just sell computers to schools without offering some sort of initial support to the teachers using the computers. Apple should offer to install the computers, and, more importantly, to provide the teachers with a basic hands-on introduction to OS-X and how to access the internet and so on (They can have a presentation for all the teachers to attend).

    I also think Apple needs to include a copy of Microsoft office on each educational laptop they sell, even if they charge extra for it. Whether we like it or not, Office has become the De-Facto productivity tool for the majority of educational institutions. It seems most of the complaints by teachers are that Apple laptops don’t include basic productivity functions out of the box.

    Finally, I don’t know what Dell does when they sell computers to schools, but I think Apple should emulate some of the more effective techniques that Dell uses. Anyway one looks at, this type of negative publicity cannot be good for Apple.
  4. autrefois macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2003
    Somewhere in the USA
    So they illegally bought Apple products from some vendor that charged them higher than retail for computers with nothing on them...and the teacher's response is to criticize the laptops?!?!?

    Either a Microsoft/Dell/etc. employee wrote this article, or that's one very messed up teacher.

    EDIT: The article says "The school district has deep ties to Spectrum." So the article clearly should be about that, instead of waiting until the 8th paragraph to even mention the company and waiting until the very end to mention the links between the district and the company.

    The so-called journalist who wrote this apparently just thought it'd be fun to write an article about a teacher saying Powerbooks are glorified DVD players, instead of trying to present or find out what really was happening.
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Sounds more like this should be "IT group supporting school is a joke."

    To which I would reply.. "Teacher's abilities to teach students where Canada is.. is a joke."
  6. impierced macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2002
    You don't know what Dell does, but Apple should do it? You're kidding right?

    If these systems were bought though a reseller then Apple had nothing to do with the sale.

    Gee, I bought a lemon of a car from some guy on the corner, but the company that made the car looks bad because of it. Please.
  7. Superhob macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2004
    I know this much, Dell sells more computers to schools than Apple. Apple used to own this segment and now they have lost ground. I also know that Dell must have different marketing, pricing and support strategies than Apple. All I'm saying is that maybe Apple should look at the reasons why Dell's recipe is more successful and copy those reasons. In case you didn't catch it from my response, I'm pro-Apple, but I think negative publicity will harm their image as an educational computer resource.
  8. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Could they screw up the term server any further? *head explodes*
  9. JtheLemur macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2002
    Wow. As a systems admin for a school, I can confidently state that the entire tech staff of that district should be kicked out the door, while being ridiculed for being complete idiots, and having their geek status stripped away by never letting them near a computer again.

    I mean, they were putting OS X SERVER on every LAPTOP to make them into CLASSROOM SERVERS? Jesus, I just can't think of a single little reason for doing that. Hell, if they were Dell laptops, would they have put W2K3 Server on each one? What the hell kind of infrastructure do they have that they couldn't do AAAANYTHING with the computers? Ever hear of freeware or shareware? Browsing the internet (Webquest sites and stuff, Wikipedia, etc)? Making some music with GarageBand? Using any NUMBER of free educational web sites, Flash activities, etc?

    HOLY COW. They should hire ME, I'd get that place in shape godammit! That was one of the most infuriating reads in a LONG time.
  10. impierced macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2002
    This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple or their strategies in education - or anywhere or anything for that matter.

    This was the result of a reseller's actions.

    Reseller: defined as anyone who buys computer equipment or software and sells it.
  11. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    This sounds like an administrative f?ckup.

    Delivery any type of computer with out software then its nothing more than a door stop.
  12. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    This looks like pure graft, especially since key employees of the school district and the reseller have personal ties. This whole thing deserves to be looked at very closely by a grand jury and the parties responsible should be thrown in jail.

    Is it any wonder that Apple is trying to cut its traditional education resellers out of the picture and service all the district accounts itself?
  13. Superhob macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2004
    You choose to overlook the merits of my argument by concentrating on the reseller. But the reseller is not going to suffer from this negative publicity as much as Apple will. There is no question about that. All I said is that Apple should follow up on their educational sales to make sure that stories like these never get published. Apple should also hold this reseller accountable and maybe even seek legal reciprocity for the damage done to its stellar reputation.

    I understand that it is not Apple's fault in this particular circumstance, but the negative impact on Apple's reputation is unquestionable. The Daily Bulletin is a failry large newspaper serving a densely populated area just outside Los Angeles County.
  14. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    It may kinda make Apple look bad the way the article was written (thank you once again yellow journalism), but probably not as bad as you'd think. They barely mentioned Apple, and I got the gist that they were clearly blaming the reseller for ripping them off. Knowing the IT people at my Mom's school, I could totally see this type of thing happening.
  15. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Then they should also sue the paper for it's misleading representation of the story. The problem wasn't that these were Apple laptops at all. Even the "DVD player" quote is misleading - it isn't about the capabilities of the laptop, but the lack of any other software on the machine.

    Besides, if Apple worried about every "iPods cause hallucinations" stories, etc., then they'd all hide in a closet. This won't harm Apple's educational sales. Their pricing might, perhaps, but not this article.
  16. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    When I graduated highschool from Florida in 91, they had just put a Mac in the chemistry lab, with a big sign that said "look what the lottery bought!" (Florida's lottery, like all other states, got put in place to help education! Try not to laugh). Of course, it had no software, and no one had any real reason to use it in a chemistry lab, yet there it was.

    I'm a bit jealous at all these kids getting free computers in school. Do you think that when this generation grows up, there will be any of them who have decent handwriting, or will it all look like fourth grade penmanship.
  17. Kagetenshi macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    Well, at least someone had some vague idea of what they were talking about in this chain.
    Just like the youth of today are ill-equipped to handle a typewriter jam or scrape parchment, I have little doubt that the skills of penmanship will fall by the wayside.

  18. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the explanation Superhob. I have to say it is pretty sad state of affairs.
  19. tangerineyum macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2005
    Ontario, CA
    Pomona is a city right next to mine and i must note that i have 3 teachers and 2 administrators in the family when i say that the pomona unified school district is one of the worst in the I.E. It would be easy for me to say that there is a horrible economic situation that lends to a rather gruff student population. Fights, shootings, stabbings at school sports events and its not just spectators and thugs, but even girls cheerleading has got in on some of the action. Now, for the teachers and admin there. More than one has been caught sleeping with a student, a coach was giving anabolic steroids to a team, and an acadec coach was caught giving answers to his team during the super quiz. So yea... Pomona... this kind of shadyness doesn't surprise me.
  20. Some_Big_Spoon macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    New York, NY
    You're optimisim is inspiring, but I feel like you haven't been to a school in the US or talked with a teacher (or student) lately. The US doesn't give a squat about public education, and hence you make more as a waiter than as a teacher, and you get indivduals in these positions that have zero idea what they're doing in preparing kids for the future.. which is ok since most kids, and adults in the US, have the IQ of a carrot.

    That being said, yes, it makes Apple look bad, but Apple's completely and utterly dropped the ball on the education market, so what does it matter anyway? They make ipods and ipod compliments.

  21. the_mole1314 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2003
    Akron, OH
    Apple didn't drop the ball in the educational market, they dropped the ball in the OVERALL market. The reason why these school districts buy Dells over Macs is very rarely for the cost, and more for the "techical real life use", or the assumption that EVERY business runs Windows on a Dell machine.
  22. saurus macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2004
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Oh brother

    I doubt Apple knew anything about this deal, especially since it was organized through a reseller.

    Taken from a logical approach, the reseller sold the school "servers" because the school asked for them. These server machines were 17" Laptops for whatever reason (probably a bigger cash cow). A really bad idea given the hard-drive type isn't meant for this use anyway.

    Reinstalling OS-X Server on a laptop obviously leaves little consumer grade software, since theres absolultely no reason to install anything like iLife on a server!

    So it only stands to reason that the school was either taken to the cleaners by a shady resellers deal, or just plain gullable/stupid. So lets just blame Apple :rolleyes:
  23. macFanDave macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2003
    This story is the real joke.

    Is it Cindy Munafo or Manufo? Both names are used throughout the story. Nice reporting, dude.

    This is a story about incompetence and corruption and has nothing to do with Apple. It looks like Spectrum Communications took the Business Ethics Training Course from Halliburton and learned how to fleece the government by not delivering what they promised and by throwing terms like "classroom server" around to confuse stupid and/or corrupt school officials.
  24. pubwvj macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    Sadly their are a lot of shady dealers. Our local "Apple Dealer" isn't even on Apple's official list of dealers. But that doesn't stop them from having the Apple logo on their sign and claiming to be a dealer.
  25. Gus macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    I agree with just about eveery post on here. This is an article about corruption by the administration, and a prime example of why technology is not easily or successfully adopted in the classroom.

    As someone who has taught at every level of education (K-12, community college and university), I can tell you that it doesn't matter one lick how much is spent on the hardware or software if no one explains how to incorporate this technology into a classroom. Rather than dump millions into the hardware, how about someone coming up with the bright idea of using some of that money to hire tech-savvy educators who sole mission is to help teachers in their district develop tech-based lessons and incorporate hands-on experience for the students. I can tell you, classroom teachers have plenty on their plates, and don't have the time to learn how to figure all of this stuff out on their own with no guidance, but would be willing to use these tech gadgets, if it can be shown that they actually improve the quality of instruction.

    It's like buying me MAYA or another high0end graphics app. I'd have the hardware and software to maybe do some great things, but without knowing what to do, how to do it, or a place to start, it would jjust sit there indefinitely and rust.

    My 2¢


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