Thursday, March 10, 2011

So why Apple?

As I reflected on Simon Sinek's talk about the why in my last post, I want to carry that on to discuss the why in relation to Apple for our schools. Sinek uses Apple and Steve Jobs as an example of communicating the why so effectively. Apple has extremely high brand loyalty.

That is all well and good but why did TCIS and GSIS choose Apple for teachers and students? It comes down to 2 core reasons: 1) we want the best learning tools possible for students; 2) Apple is transforming classrooms (and much more) with its innovations.

Apple is a company that works ahead of the curve and its impacts are felt far more than many realize. They have transformed the music industry by moving digital content to a digital medium. iTunes is the largest distributor of music in the world. The iPad has sold over 15 million units in approximately 9 months.  The overall growth of mobile devices is astounding and the iPad is the standard that others follow. The delivery of content to the iPad is changing the digital landscape, particularly the publishing industry. Products like these will alter the use of not only textbooks, but all books. It will not just substitute paper for digital reading, it will create an interactive environment for learning that changes fundamentally how we read. It is not substituting digital for is transforming the nature of how we read and interact with text.

We want transformed classrooms that ooze learning. We want students to be the center of the learning and want to come to school everyday. We want them to understand the why and “love their job.” (You can substitute learning for job in that last statement if you want.) We want them to be prepared for the expectations placed on them in a rapidly changing marketplace regardless of what profession they choose to pursue. Apple provides the tools and support to create a transformed classroom that is student-centered to meet these goals.

We want the best tools for students. We want transformed 21st century classrooms that advantage our students in powerful ways. Of course, we are going to partner with the best company to accomplish our goal. Why not Apple?

(If you want to view some related posts, check out a series of posts I wrote in May & June 2009.)


  1. I think what worries be about technology is the balanced reasoning that went into a decision, rather I hear all of the selling points. When I hear selling points garnished in high praise I get nervous and think of the stereotypical used car salesperson who also paints a rather rosy picture.
    I also get nervous when I hear trendy, and often substance-less, words such as best, innovative, ahead of the curve, transformed, fundamental changes.
    Although to disagree with myself, yesterday I posted that I felt intellectual agreement, but not as much emotional. Yet, most of the above does a lot to promote the emotional appeal.
    I will end by posting a link to a cool cartoon an the subject:

  2. Point taken regarding the emotional nature of words and at times one-sidedness. In regard to trends, I think nearly half of the books in the business section the other day had innovation somewhere in their title. It is a trendy word. At the same time, trends are often present for a reason and emotions can't just be thrown out as they are a source of knowledge (IB TOK students look at this among others).

    I'll further comment that I think it is normal to promote the pros that support a decision after that decision is made. It is human nature to further commit and build support/confidence that it was the right decision. Simon Sinek talks about this as well. If I am recalling his talk correctly, he refers to the part of the brain that puts experience and emotions into language as separate from the experience itself. (Please note I haven't referenced the biology of this so you may need to check the accuracy of both my recollection and his comments.) The result is that language doesn't actually describe the experience accurately. I have found this to be true in our transition to Apple. Granted the change process and the opportunites present in that have helped move faculty forward. At the same time, I much prefer to "show" you the Apple and how it impacts learning than tell you. I used to laugh and joke with those that belonged to the cult of Mac. They said things and it never made sense to me until I experienced it. Thanks for the comment and welcome other thoughts on this topic as it is definitely relevant and important in decision-making!

  3. very little substance in this article and just a lot of regurgitated marketing emotion/numbers that can be found anywhere.
    maybe some meat on the bones?
    Why is Apple best, some solid examples would be good. Many apps/software are avail be on Windows and Mac platforms, so this negates the advantage of the hardware to user preference. Also most educational facilities use web based learning this works equally well on Win or Mac. Having Macs is nice and makes a statement but does the additional cost presumably added to parents really offer such an advantage?

  4. Although some of the info may sound like marketing info and is indeed used for that by Apple, it is true from my experience. The change I have seen in teachers and classrooms is real and authentic. I also say it is rarely attributable to only one element. However, I didn't see the things I am seeing now in a Windows environment. All that said, just because something may sound like marketing doesn't mean it isn't true. My intent of this post wasn't really to get into a full blown justification as I think I have presented ideas previously along those lines. However, I can see how my brevity might have left you wanting...

    Examples from this past week...I had a 50 minute workshop in which teachers were able to create podcasts. I believe this could be replicated with students (actually, I have done it with students and modeled the teacher experience on the student one). The fact they could have no background on the software and transfer the skills they did have to create a tangible product in what amounts to less than a class period is very cool. Again, from my personal experience, I have done things with media and embed media in presentations that I just never would have tried previously. In a recent small group, teachers testified to this same experience. The ease of use and integration of programs impacts practice.

    For more in depth discussion of why our schools chose Apple and more examples, I refer you to some of my previous blog posts from May & June 2009. (There is a link at the bottom of the blog post that will take you directly there.) I know I am on a journey and some of my views may have changed since then but the essence still applies. Thanks for the feedback!