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‘On Apple, Love Letters, and Educators’

Scott Yoshinaga:

Want to manage all that hardware you just bought? Get JAMF Casper to do your Mobile Device Management. Want a place to store all that content you’re creating on your Mac or iPad? Buy some Dropbox storage or use Google Drive because Managed Apple ID has no way to purchase more iCloud storage from Apple. Looking for a Learning Management System? Subscribe to an app like Showbie or SeeSaw. Do you see a pattern? This isn’t to disparage any of the third-parties mentioned as my school currently depends on each of them to fill in the gaps that Apple won’t. However, all of those services cost money and can quickly add up to a significant amount spent year-over-year. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have choices in this space, but it’s hard to take Apple seriously when they don’t have any first-party solutions in these areas for the education market.

By comparison, Google with Chromebooks combined with GSuite for Education gives you an email account, unlimited file and media storage in Google Drive, a place for hosting student created web content in Google Sites, ability to use Google Accounts as a single sign-on for various services, constantly upgraded collaboration in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides and so much more for free. It’s a shame that schools that use Apple’s hardware need to depend on Google’s GSuite for many of the services Apple doesn’t provide. There are administrators that would love to go all in on Apple, especially because of their focus on privacy, but without integrated services, they need to lean on third parties which can render Apple’s strength in privacy moot.

My point is that even if my school wanted to go all-in with Apple, we simply can’t. It feels as if Apple has no desire to take care of the entire eco-system when it comes to education technology.

This is a long excerpt, but Yoshinga has many other interesting observations about the state of Apple and education. But this bit above gets to the heart of it. Back in 2012 (when Apple last held an education-focused event), Apple announced new hardware and software. That’s what Apple had always done to thrive in the education market. But what Apple clearly missed then was that what educators needed were thorough device and student account management systems. Apple didn’t and still doesn’t have that. Google does.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018