Monday, January 23, 2012

Who makes these decisions

BC is giving Newton City Schools $100k a year for technology in the class room.  While I applaud a local university supporting the schools, I have to wonder if education is overpriced.  It should also be noted that my children’s school is wisely using their portion to purchase 15 mac books.  What!?!  It is really easy spending money people give you I guess.  For that they could have bought 30 non mac laptops.  Or, gasp, even more desktop or shuttle computers. 
The problem with the Mac is that while it is overpriced by a lot.  Then you have the problem that a vast majority of home operation systems are windows based and while showing the kids diverse operating systems is cool, maybe not doing so for kids learning to use computers would be great.  The teachers all use the google docs program because it is in the cloud and kids can work together and the teacher can check their progress.  Why not get a butt load of chrome books, then.  What happens when one of these machines breaks and it cost $500 bucks to fix it the Apple store.  Or cost as much as two chrome books to fix. If you have desktops, hardware could be bought and replaced by a knowledgeable teacher or parent volunteer. 
I guess Macs are just hipper and show how affluent the Newton City Schools are.  Chromebooks would have been the best choice this, they should have just bought 20 iPads.  I mean who makes these decisions and why aren’t they good at math.  Each class has at least 20 something kids, so there are not enough to service an entire class at one time.  Dumb, especially when there is a much cheaper alternative that would allowed enough computers to be purchased for an entire class. 
The cheapest MacBook is $1,000, but I bet they went with Mac Book Pro starting at $1,200.  You can get Acer Chromebooks for as low as $300.  Even if Mac is giving a 50% discount the chrome books are almost half as expensive.  But I am sure the school system could have gotten a discount on the chromebooks as well. 
Private schools wouldn’t have been so wasteful. 

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