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MacBooks for Education? It’s Not So Life-Changing
It’s already 2016, and “trend” is nothing new to us. People are always striving to join the bandwagon just to look high-tech and be avant-garde. MacBooks are one of the top grossing trends. It is not only being used for work and other personal uses but is also being used to educate young learners. Apple company is doing an outstanding job of persuading the educators that you need MacBooks to have a better education. While MacBooks are great, you need to face the truth; there is no clear difference between MacBooks and other computers, education-wise.
This year, my school changed the learning system by requiring MacBooks for school. My parents bought me a 15-inch MacBook pro with Retina display, which is probably the the best MacBook yet. It is also at least twice as expensive as other computers.
I’ve spent about 8 months with MacBook now, and so far, here is how I used my MacBook:
a) To do my homework/tasks
b) To go on social media
c) To watch videos
Obviously, I need MacBook to do all this task. I need MacBook to do my homework. I need MacBook to go on social media. I need MacBook to watch videos. I can do this on other computers as much as I can do it on MacBooks. This is why I bought a 15-inch MacBook pro with Retina display, which is worth 2,000 USD.
Before my school required MacBooks, it used to be a multiplatform school (they used Apple, Windows, and Ubuntu Linux). In the year 2015, they changed the system and unified the platform so that everyone in school use MacBooks. School said, “Unifying the platform will allow teachers to better leverage the use of instructional technology in the classroom”.
There are millions of other ways to unify the platform even if it’s not by getting MacBooks. In fact, our school used Google Drive ever since I can remember. Google Drive is an amazing cloud software service where you can make word documents, slideshows, and spreadsheets. It also allows you to share your work with other people and work on the same exact document at the same exact time. Better yet, it is totally free. Hence, it is clear that we already have a software, which is much cheaper than few hundred MacBooks, that helps us “unify the classroom”. And yet, I bought a 15-inch MacBook pro with Retina display, which is worth 2,000 USD.
I’ve also questioned my school’s necessity of choosing MacBook as school’s unified platform. After some research, I found that my school have already written a proposal for that. One of the most significant argument was, “The computers come pre-loaded with creativity apps and a built-in camera, which offers intuitive tools that schools need to make lessons more creative and relevant with video, audio and photos”. In other words, the school thinks that MacBooks have a lot of things that other computers don’t have.
Microsoft doesn’t lose the battle when it comes to creativity apps and a built-in camera. In fact, it might be better than MacBooks since it doesn’t have to be “fitted in the box”. MacBooks are well known for not allowing users to download untold amount of software from other domains. Contrary to this, Microsoft lets us download numerous software from almost any other domain with no problem. Furthermore, Microsoft also has a built-in camera, as long as you buy a model that has one (and no, it is not more expensive than MacBooks). The correlation shows that the statement about MacBooks benefiting the education with its creativity apps and built in camera is not valid.
Not buying a MacBook may not be the case for some people. MacBooks have exiled software for programming, graphic designing, and any other subjects where you can take advantage of the software in the product. However, if you are just “learning”, and don’t have a specific purpose of buying them, do you really need them? Why are you buying those MacBooks? To join the bandwagon?
As a girl who gets education using MacBook without noteworthy specifications, here is how I’ve benefited from using a 15-inch MacBook pro with Retina display, which is at least twice as expensive as other computers:
a) It’s easier to create high-quality videos for my school projects.
b) It has better screen quality than many other notebooks.
c) It looks prettier than other computer models.
As painful as it is, we need to face the truth; using a MacBook has not benefited my education in any significant way.
While there were some statements regarding the necessity of using MacBooks, it is obvious after some research that there were many different ways to take advantage of the technology without having to use MacBooks. In fact, we could just take advantage of what we already have, such as Google Drive. So I ask you, do students really benefit so significantly from using MacBooks for education?