Tim Cook Calls Chromebooks 'Test Machines', Discusses Testing at Hour of Code Event

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple CEO Tim Cook today spent some time at a New York City Apple Store during its Hour of Code event, commenting on what Apple hopes for the future of education and discussing the success of Google's Chromebooks in the education market.


    In an interview with BuzzFeed, Cook was asked about Google's Chromebooks overtaking Apple's iPads as the most popular devices in American classrooms. Cook said that Apple wouldn't be following Google's strategy in the education market, calling the lower-priced Chrombooks that have taken over American classrooms "test machines."

    BuzzFeed notes that Cook is alluding to one reason Chromebooks have gained in popularity in the education market. As schools turn to computerized testing their need for cheap devices with integrated keyboards and trackpads has increased, rather than tablets that cost more, like Apple's iPads. Apple, says Cook, is not interested in advancing testing.

    Instead, Cook said that Apple is interested in "helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no." Apple wants to create products "that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level."

    In an interview with Mashable at the same event, Cook expounded his thoughts on testing, saying that the classroom of the future is based around problem-solving, creating and learning how to express yourself.
    The education market has long been important to Apple. More recently, Apple has promoted iPads in the classroom with education profiles showing how some educators are using the device to teach their students. In March, the Cupertino company overhauled its iPad education program to simplify sharing and apps.

    Article Link: Tim Cook Calls Chromebooks 'Test Machines', Discusses Testing at Hour of Code Event
  2. Slix macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2010
    Tim Cook gets it. Why "learn" to take tests on what they remember when we all have readily available access to devices that can look this information up almost instantly?

    I think the idea that creativity is more important that memorization is spot on. We all need less useless facts in our heads and more creativity in our heads.
  3. thmshale macrumors member


    Jun 18, 2013
    I have a chromebook myself and I like it a lot, but when it comes to the education market Tim is right. I work in a school district that recently gave every high school student a windows laptop. The only way I ever see them used is when their math or science teacher assigns homework online. It all just seems like a very expensive way to marginally improve education.
  4. hh83917 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2005
    Well...just returned a chrombook, but I'm not sure if you can compare a $150~300 chromebook and the cheapest mac mini costing $499, not counting screen, mouse and keyboard.... Plus, most chromebook apps are free... If I'm getting my kid's first laptop, I'll get a chrombook, because if it break, I won't get a heart attack.

    All tools serves some purpose...
  5. stewy macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Kingston, ON
    Creativity is the future. Because we won't need bridges in the future... Just a bunch of finger paintings and poems.
  6. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Or, you could just get an Otterbox. I personally know at least 3 sets of parents who use an Otterbox on an iPad and let the children use it. Seems to work very well, and the kids don't have to be stuck on some crappy Chromebook.

    There's no way I'd let my future kids suffer on a Chromebook. Would spend the extra $100-$200 in getting a cheap full Windows laptop. At least they will know how to use something actually useful.
  7. dearfriendx macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I agree with his sentiment to some degree. In the US, it seems our professors pressure us to not only know (memorize) information but also apply it to real life, enable us to think critically. From my research, it seems a lot of other countries (not all, by any means) have their students simply memorize and regurgitate terms, definitions and dates--not much critical thinking and application.
  8. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    I find Cook's views on learning mistaken.

    We have had the ability to look up dates for hundreds of years. Just because it is easier doesn't mean it isn't a good idea to learn dates. In fact, the best way to learn is by writing things out by rote, by copying, because it helps the brain to remember. It's no good spouting about creativity if there's nothing there to start with.

    As to chromebooks: it is a shame that Apple's keyboard for the iPad Pro doesn't have a trackpad. It's also a shame that Apple don't make a cheap iPad. They used to make iPods to cater for all budgets. They should make iPhones and iPads to cater for all budgets, rather than conceding the education market to Google, otherwise all those children will grow up on Android and be lost to Apple.
  9. jpgr15, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2015

    jpgr15 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2015
    I agree with the sentiment of your statement but it reminds me of a statistic I saw a couple years ago.. Something along the lines of 15% of all Internet traffic being related to cats or kittens.

    I don't know if it's funny or sad that the first generation to have all of history at our fingertips mostly uses it for cat pictures, memes, or to ask Google questions like 'are dogs just retarded wolves'. :eek:

    Isn't the iPad mini or even Air a cheap iPad? Or the 5s a cheap iPhone?

    Agree on the children on Android portion. I had Macs in my school district from kindergarten through 12th grade. Macs were the first computer I ever used. Still love them today.
  10. rmatthewware macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2009
    Because building bridges have nothing to do with creativity... You wouldn't want people learning better ways to make bridges, better ways to lay them out, better ways to maximize traffic flow. Bridges that automatically de-ice in the winter or that can change the number of lanes that go in each direction depending on the time of day. Cook might have oversimplified his point in his statement, but I think he's on the right track.
  11. OneMike, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015

    OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Chromebook fills a void as iOS devices and such. No need to be a hater Tim.
  12. nathanonlaptop macrumors newbie


    Apr 30, 2011
    Jacksonville, AL USA
    As an Education Student in College, I honestly hope standardized testing is on the way out. It is a waste of time and loads of money. I recently conducted a survey on usage of technology in the classroom, and as expected, students want more technology with objective learning, less paper and less bookwork. I personally don't learn from books, but from experiences. Apple has such a strong development base devoted to creating concepts and ideas never imagined, and I want to make sure they continue to adapt to needs. Chromebook's have great integration with google classroom, allowing for a great online architecture and standardization across devices of all types. iPads aren't built around a user account like Chromebooks, which means devices aren't as easy to share within the school. I plan on being a Technology Coordinator when I graduate, and I already see several other competitors in the market.
  13. jedwards87 Suspended

    May 21, 2015
    Please tell me you are not really that ignorant. You know damn good and well what he is talking about.
  14. stewy macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Kingston, ON
    Just using exaggeration in an attempt at humor.
  15. abdullamac77 macrumors newbie


    Dec 9, 2015
    Not sure what Tim is on about. What does tests have to do with the discussion? I have both Macs and Chromebooks in my household and I don't see the Chromebooks anyway less in creativity, problem solving and learning. It's a great machine for learning in fact (can't play Steam games for example). I wish Apple could consider doing something similar in the education space as Chromebooks are far more affordable and does the job..
  16. Dephtones macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2015
    I have a $200 15 inch chrome book and I love it. Perfect for browsing the web and watching Netflix. Damn good speakers for a laptop, regardless of price. HDMI out to boot.
  17. stewy macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Kingston, ON
    You must be mistaken... They're only for for taking tests :)
  18. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    I had an architecture professor once say... "We should have got you all at kindergarten, now we have to break all the stuff you've been taught, would have been so much better to get you when you were still in the sandbox and playing with blocks". Creativity and individuality is being suppressed in today's education environment-it's all test test test. Tim is right. We all basically have a super computer in our pocket.
  19. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    All they have to do is allow multiple accounts on iOS. No reason why only one person can be logged into an app. Enable user accounts and multiple students can share an iPad.
  20. AchillesLastStand macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    I really like Apple's thinking on creativity and their hardware/software, but I agree with some earlier posts that lower cost devices (both OS X and iOS) would help widen Apple's reach. For example a $100 iPad (some Amazon Fire ones are much less than that) or a $200 laptop.

    To hit these prices I guess they would need to cut a few features like retina displays, Touch ID, latest processors, mem, storage, etc., but I think there would be a big market, especially in education. Anyway, just a thought
  21. Gimboid macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2015
    Why bother when you can have 2 or 3 chromebooks for the price of one ipad? The chromebooks are just as capable as learning machines, have keyboards and can use mice if needed. Tim Cook will probably never make an economy ipad or macbook for schools because there's no profit in it. Schools need to economize, and you don't do that by buying the most expensive tablet you can find. It's common sense and pragmatic.
  22. Thermonuclear, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2015

    Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Cook knows that Apple, for all of its supposed technical prowess, is unable to make a US$200 notebook of any kind, let alone sell one at a profit.

    Chromebooks are great little machines. I bought one for myself plus two more as gifts. I could buy a couple more and still have spent less than the price of a MacBook Air. Yet each machine is just as good as a MacBook Air when it comes to browsing, video chat, movie playing, and just about every task seen by K-12 students and non-technical college students. The Chrome App Store is big and grows bigger every week. And a Chrome machine doesn't take an hour or more just for a system software update. Plus each one comes with 15 GB of free cloud, better than Apple offers.

    What will US$200 get you from Apple? Two of their new iTumor battery packs, one for use and one for backup. Or it could be used to buy three or four adapter dongles for a new MacBook, giving it some of the ports which appear standard on every MacBook Air -- a machine with more power than a MacBook at a lower price.

    My Chromebook's display is smaller at 13", but that's okay because it takes up less space. And as you say, it has HDMI output, a feature I use regularly to watch rocket launches from NASA TV full screen on my 24" 1080p monitor. My only added expense was the HDMI cable, and it may be possible to get a ChromeCast gizmo, drive it from the Chromebook, and go entirely wireless.
  23. JimmyHook, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2015

    JimmyHook macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2015
    Chromebooks are full of fail. Don't even get me started on the Pixel... over a grand for a web browser lol

    He knows that kids will learn better with interactive iPad apps instead of Google "Sheets" in a silly web browser
  24. nostaws macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2006
    I'd rather code with a keyboard and trackpad/mouse. And if we are trying to prepare students for future jobs, we are going to need many more programmers.
  25. sudo1996, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015

    sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    I hate both machines but would choose the Chromebook as an education device just because of the keyboard and mouse. iPads really are built as toys for messing around with games. The Chrome OS is also a pretty bad limitation, but it's fine for elementary school at least.

    Also, what does Tim Cook have against testing as a teaching strategy? He's challenging the most common teaching strategy to look all "progressive" and pretending like the iPad is supposed to be the replacement for it. Yeah, it has flaws, but there's no good alternative, especially not coming from Apple! For learning purposes, it's not bad as long as you design the tests well. My only concern is that it's unfair as a tool for assessment because some students are smart and know the material but just aren't good at taking tests.

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