Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 11:06 UTC
Apple

Apple is losing its grip on American classrooms, which technology companies have long used to hook students on their brands for life.

Over the last three years, Apple's iPads and Mac notebooks - which accounted for about half of the mobile devices shipped to schools in the United States in 2013 - have steadily lost ground to Chromebooks, inexpensive laptops that run on Google's Chrome operating system and are produced by Samsung, Acer and other computer makers.

Mobile devices that run on Apple's iOS and MacOS operating systems have now reached a new low, falling to third place behind both Google-powered laptops and Microsoft Windows devices, according to a report released on Thursday by Futuresource Consulting, a research company.

That's got to sting. Out of the many reasons why ChromeBooks are way more successful than iPads in classrooms - they are cheaper, easier to manage, and so on - this is the one you're going to need to remember:

Then there is the keyboard issue. While school administrators generally like the iPad’s touch screens for younger elementary school students, some said older students often needed laptops with built-in physical keyboards for writing and taking state assessment tests.

My oh my, I wonder what Apple could do to remedy this.

Order by: Score:
No wonder
by iampivot on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 12:05 UTC
iampivot
Member since:
2005-08-09

No wonder really, the macs have gone up in price, while other laptops have gone down. And all you get now are non-serviceable flake thin laptops.

Reply Score: 7

Thom is right again
by Adurbe on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 12:06 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Its almost like it was possible to see this coming...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Thom is right again
by Kochise on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 14:21 UTC in reply to "Thom is right again"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03
RE: Thom is right again
by dpJudas on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 17:16 UTC in reply to "Thom is right again"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

Its almost like it was possible to see this coming...

My issue with Thom's predictions is that he seems to consider it an impossibility that there could be THREE columns in his matrix.

You actually CAN add a keyboard to an iPad and still also sell laptops and desktops that are not "pro" and not running iOS.

I think schools like Chromebooks partly because they are shit. By shit I mean that they can't really do much, except homework and surfing. If I were running a school I'd also prefer a setup with devices that don't break easily because they are more like embedded devices than a real computer. That ensures they won't be used for much else than what they were intended for.

Even his quote from Tim Cook is sufficiently ambiguous in nature that it neither confirms or denies his theory. Please note that I'm not saying what Thom is suggesting couldn't come true, but he has a tendency to read a little too much into isolated quotes.

Reply Score: 1

try open source
by rgs3542 on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 13:34 UTC
rgs3542
Member since:
2016-03-22

Our local school district has started a one-to-one program using open source on ThinkPads for middle through high school. Students have root access, as well. The school district is saving money and the students take an active part in their own education; not merely being hooked on a specific vendor's product. Open source works.

Reply Score: 8

sigh
by chrish on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 13:49 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

My son's highschool has a lot of iMacs, all running Windows XP. I assume they'd run OS X if it was better at being centrally managed via Active Directory...

Reply Score: 4

RE: sigh
by fretinator on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 20:18 UTC in reply to "sigh"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

My son's highschool has a lot of iMacs, all running Windows XP


What the heck is this, sarcasm?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: sigh
by Pro-Competition on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE: sigh"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

Sadly, it sounds just crazy enough to be true.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: sigh
by chrish on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE: sigh"
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

Nope, sadly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: sigh
by darknexus on Mon 6th Mar 2017 18:19 UTC in reply to "sigh"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

My son's highschool has a lot of iMacs, all running Windows XP.

Get him in a different school. Any school willing to run XP at this time is putting every students' personal data at extreme risk.

Reply Score: 2

Keyboard.
by martini on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 13:53 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

I will insist on "Keyboard" even if that everybody told me that I live in the past.

iPads does not have keyboard and the number of people that like to attach a keyboard to it, it is not high. So without a keyboard the iPad is just a device to "consume information". Do you feel comfortable writing a book just using the touch keyboard on the display?

While on classrooms you need to "create" things, and sometimes a touchscreen is not the best input device to write papers or create different things.

"The keyboard isn't going away baby!!!!"

Reply Score: 5

RE: Keyboard.
by jello on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 20:17 UTC in reply to "Keyboard."
jello Member since:
2006-08-08

There is a nice keyboard for every iPad size:
https://www.brydgekeyboards.com
but it adds more $$$ to the already "not cheap" iPads.

Not sure if I like how these keyboards get mounted though...

Reply Score: 2

It is expected
by cranfordio on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 13:55 UTC
cranfordio
Member since:
2005-11-10

Having worked IT in public schools, and now for a private school, this doesn't surprise me. The district I worked for viewed a computer for only two purposes, browsing the web and typing papers. They never viewed using a computer for anything beyond that like programming, video/audio production, etc. So for them it is about how can they allow students to browse the web and type a paper for the least amount of money and Chromebooks are the best solution.

The private school I work at now, much more than just browsing the web and typing papers is being done. They do programming and video/audio production, but there is also robotics, website development (every student from third grade on creates their own website that they update thought their schooling that has a portfolio of all of their work), magazine publishing, and whatever else the students can come up with. Then there are students that create amazing projects. One group of students made a baseball, that, when thrown or hit, would transmit it's velocity and other information back to a computer for analysis. Another group of students created a fencing area (I don't remember what they are called) that will recreate the entire match on a computer and pick up on millisecond differences in contact. These two projects were done by middle school students just this year.

While we have tried to use Chromebooks they have fallen far short of what our students have come to expect from a computer. We allow students a choice of computers, Mac or PC running Windows, and the Mac is chosen about 85% of the time. Those two projects were both done on Macs, though I know without a doubt they could have been as easily done on a PC running Windows or Linux, but not Chromebooks or iPads.

I guess it really comes down to what the school/district is wanting the student to try and accomplish with their computer.

Reply Score: 5

One bad apple...
by orfanum on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 14:06 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

A purely anecdotal view but judging by the accelerated way people are trying to get shot of Apple hardware in my neck of the woods via eBay local, it's either because folks want to make a killing out of, and are only just about confident of a market for used but more flexible and serviceable Apple devices than offered in the current range or people are now finding alternatives are more conducive to work and play, or, as Starlord put it "A little bit of both."

I ditched my MacBook Pro about three years ago. I have been on Dell laptops with Linux ever since. If not in primary and secondary education, in the academic (researcher) sphere I would hazard Apple still has some foothold but I'd say it is resting on increasingly decomposing laurels.

Reply Score: 4

Two trends not talked about!
by BlueofRainbow on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 15:27 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

The education market is a major battle ground for Apple, Google, and Microsoft. After-all, once one has learned one operating system and its way of doing things, changing over to something different requires strongly compelling reasons.

Alternatives to these three?

I am not aware of a major Linux based education-focused initiative. There are, nevertheless, resources available ( https://edubuntu.org/other-educational-systems ) for the adventurous.

A number of years ago, there was the much talk about One-Laptop-Per-Child (OLPC) Smalltalk based initiative. The initiative still thrive although with a shift to tablets - ( http://one.laptop.org/ ).

Anyways, most of the data published relate to the US market only. It could be interesting to see what a world market looks like.

Most talked about trend is the decreasing number of units Apple is shipping to schools over the last few years. Two main reasons - chromebooks have a keyboard and are much less expensive than Apple's offerings.

One trend which does not seem to be noticed much is that the numbers of units shipping to schools by Apple and Microsoft have been more or less constant for quite some time. There are some blips down or up but essentially flat within a +/- 5% range. This could mean that the new devices purchased are replacements for older units requiring retirement.

Another trend, barely mentioned, is the tremendous growth of total number of devices sold to school. While these are now mostly Chrome OS based devices, the increasing number of devices in schools suggests a much greater use of technology in education.

Maybe the trend to watch is the overall growth of in the education technology market?

Reply Score: 3

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

The source article at ( http://www.futuresource-consulting.com/Press-K-12-Education-Market-... ) provides greater insight:

In terms of number of units, the US K-12 market is almost equal in size to the Rest of the World K-12 market. Globally, around 25 millions devices annually are currently sold to K-12 schools

For the US K-12 market:

-The gain by Chrome OS devices is mostly at the expense of iOS devices and Android devices. There is some impact on MacOS and Windows devices but not as noticeable yet.

-The market share of Linux devices is not significant enough to be visible on the chart.

For the World K-12 market (excluding the US):

-The dominance of Windows devices has increased at the expense of Android devices.

-iOS and MacOS devices have been so far steady.

-Chrome OS devices are gaining market share although this could be at the expense of Linux devices (sum of Chrome OS and Linux devices is approximately constant). There are regional differences and, in 2016, Sweden is the first country outside of the US in which Chrome OS devices have reached market dominance.

-The trend for Linux devices suggest that their market share could dwindle to nearly zero for 2017.


Very, very interesting story to follow.

Reply Score: 2

Gee, I wonder why?
by jnemesh on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 17:29 UTC
jnemesh
Member since:
2008-04-08

Could it be because of some of the problems with their illegal schemes to get it into classrooms? The failed promises from software vendors making iPad specific software that never lived up to it's potential? The fact that iPads are hideously overpriced? The nightmares involved with managing the devices once they are in student's hands (who end up jailbreaking the devices and bypassing any restrictions the admins set up)?

Most educators are quickly finding that Chromebooks are less expensive, MORE FUNCTIONAL for their purposes, have NO MALWARE, and can be EASILY administered!

Reply Score: 3

ChromeBooks might be good for classrooms...
by jello on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 20:29 UTC
jello
Member since:
2006-08-08

... but I would never use one for my private stuff.

My reasoning is pretty simple:

No printer drivers are available locally!

Every document is sent to Google and "processed" through the CLOUD PRINTER DRIVER for the printer you set up.
After this "process" the output binary/PostScript/whatever is sent back to your ChromeBook and your ChromeBook sends it to your printer.

Like I said, this might be OK for classrooms...

Not sure why Google set the printing mechanism up that way.
Let's hope they will change it.

On a second thought: Google will not produce a ChromeBook Pixel anymore, so there is no incentive to use ChromeOS anyway ;)

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Actually, direct USB printing has been possible for a little while although not every Chrome OS user can use it.

HP developed a printing app for their own printers ( https://chromeunboxed.com/usb-printing-from-a-chromebook-is-possible... ).

Hopefully, other printer manufacturers are developing similar apps for their own printers.

It would be great though that there would be a "generic" USB printer apps! And how about a generic TWAIN app?

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BlueofRainbow,

HP developed a printing app for their own printers ( https://chromeunboxed.com/usb-printing-from-a-chromebook-is-possible..... ).

Hopefully, other printer manufacturers are developing similar apps for their own printers.

It would be great though that there would be a "generic" USB printer apps! And how about a generic TWAIN app?



I have HP's app on android (I assume it works the exact same way on chrome), I don't think it serves a good model for other manufactures though because as you hinted, it's not something generic that all apps can use. Rather it's an app that supports reading various hard coded formats itself. So if you write your own app or use an unsupported format then you can't print unless you are able to output a PDF file first.

Edit: I read your link in more detail and it looks like HP does have a bona fide local printer driver on chrome and it's not like on android. So if all the manufacturers would do it too, then it would bypass google's unwanted cloud dependencies.

Despite jello's earlier plea, google has had years to fix their bad engineering with unwanted cloud dependencies. I wouldn't blame the engineers though, it's very likely they didn't want to do it this way but the order came from above.

Edited 2017-03-04 17:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Dependency on the cloud has been promoted by the major vendors of operating systems for a number of years. Of course, there are anticipated revenues from users storing their data in the cloud.

There are certain bits of data for which it makes senses to use the cloud:
- system configuration
- list of apps installed
- list of content (music, video) purchased.

Essentially, these are all the things I would need to "clone" my user preferences into a new/replacement device.

One travelling a lot would also desire selected personal memories - say documents, photographs, videos.

However, printing and scanning are not well served by the cloud!

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BlueofRainbow,

There's a lot of potential for innovation with OS online integration features, however I strongly object when it's coerced (like the printing) or when the OS hardcodes provider-centric protocols.

I like the idea of a personal cloud (which one can host themselves or use a third party service). While there are some projects promoting this concept, they simply don't have the commercial reach of google / apple / microsoft, which significantly limits their support and marginalizes the benefit for ordinary and even power users across devices.

I know it's wishful thinking, but if only the industry could embrace open protocols, it would enable consumers to chose services in a more of a meritocratic way instead of the mobile oligopoly we're stuck with. It sucks to be consumer who wants something different right now.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not sure why Google set the printing mechanism up that way.

Couldn't possibly have anything to do with Google wanting to know everything you do, could it?

Reply Score: 2

Chromebooks
by fretinator on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 20:42 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

If I was in charge of a school IT department, I would go with Google group plan for schools. For a set amount per student, each gets a laptop, no need to maintain them locally, centralized management. Every 2 years you get a refresh of the devices at no cost. I don't see how you can beat this.

The only downside, of course, is of your school is heavily invested in MS Office. That's probably the main stumbling block - teachers. Students will have zero problem adapting. They're used to phones, not sitting at the "desktop" running clunky apps with macros. You have to educate the teachers first.

Reply Score: 2

lose luster?
by yerverluvinunclebert on Fri 3rd Mar 2017 23:19 UTC
yerverluvinunclebert
Member since:
2014-05-03

lose lustre...

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Phloptical
by Phloptical on Sat 4th Mar 2017 00:21 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

"I wonder what Apple could do to remedy this."

Either bring Steve Jobs back from the dead, or build a time machine to return to the 90s when the only time anyone ever saw an Apple computer was in the classroom.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Phloptical
by judgen on Sat 4th Mar 2017 19:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phloptical"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

And OH lord did they suck.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Phloptical
by stormcrow on Sat 4th Mar 2017 21:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phloptical"
stormcrow Member since:
2015-03-10

Whatever they could do, it's unlikely they're going to actually do it.

Apple's trend is towards iPads & iPhones for the average Joe and laptops for the "professional" crowd (their definition of it anyway). They are lumping education in with the average Joe and assuming these will be iPad people reading their textbooks on one.

They're wrong. They are very very wrong. Textbooks will move towards dedicated reader devices and schools will be pushing those (which are much cheaper than iPads) and centrally administrated relatively inexpensive thin terminal laptop-like devices like Chrome books for K-12. Apple is making a very big mistake here and they either don't see it coming, or sticking their fingers in their ears and humming real loud... cuz We're Apple! Take it or leave it!

Reply Score: 3

mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

Thom,

do you really think Apple would create an entirely new class of iOS laptop purely to sate the needs of a slice of the education market?

The general market is always going to want more freedom to do what they want, install what they want, and work in the manner they want with their Computer. I.e. with a fully free workflow they're familiar with.

iOS just isn't architected for a desktop-like(OS) experience. It would required a lengthy and expensive reimagining. While I get and appreciate the simplicity in your Matrix - simply don't see it happening

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Honestly, no re-architecture would really be needed to make iOS suitable save for assumptions made in the shell and the addition of a few apps such as a file manager built in. Underneath it all, it's fully as capable as MacOS or any other *NIX, because that's what it is. It would be the Springboard and related services that would need a few minor changes (e.g. to allow access to the multi-user support already in the os), a file manager, and the ability to install .ipa files from any source. That's not much work, if you think about it.
Now, is Apple likely to do it? Probably not.

Reply Score: 2

mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

I suppose I have to admit - part of me in wedded to the traditional mouse, windowing, files and folders GUI.

But I have to admit that at the end of the day - having control events be slightly different and touch driven isn't the end of the world. To have the density of fine-grained input choices that are workable on a mouse/keyboard shortcut focussed interface work with touch needs more thought but pen/pencil is I suppose a workable compromise.

It's really the control of local storage access, and the design choices around sandboxing apps and cludgy sharing of data between processes that me think iOS is never intended to go back towards the Open Computing model even if could.

Do we need Google, Microsoft, Apple...to take alomst full control of our devices in order to have security?
As this point I really don't know.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

mistersoft,

It's really the control of local storage access, and the design choices around sandboxing apps and cludgy sharing of data between processes that me think iOS is never intended to go back towards the Open Computing model even if could.


I think sandboxing is good, however there's one detail that they often get wrong: the applications should be in the sandbox, not the users.


Do we need Google, Microsoft, Apple...to take alomst full control of our devices in order to have security?
As this point I really don't know.


We would have better security tools and more control right now if our security was all that mattered. Controlling our devices is more about their business model than our security. This is the reason companies are driven to take away our control over our devices.

Reply Score: 2