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Sorry, Apple: For the education market, Chromebook is the clear winner (computerworld.com)
5 points by CrankyBear on Nov 18, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments

I always liked Steve Job's analogy of the computer being a "bicycle for the brain," allowing an unleashing of creativity and efficiency never before seen. While macOS and Windows 10 machines are more expensive, they at least allow the user to install and use more software that capitalizes on the creativity of young minds. Yes, pretty much any system with a keyboard will allow for word processing, but what about drawing, photo and video editing, advanced page layout (yearbooks, school papers), music composition, and more. The Chromebook is great for schools because they can be locked down to the minimum number of apps and configurations to be supported instead of letting creativity fly. I wonder how many kids would might have become early hackers/programmers will be stunted by the limited ability of a ChromeOS device that was more convenient for the school district to manage.

For classrooms, the Chromebook is far more than a cheap notebook. It’s a gateway to all of Google’s services.

Google was very consistent in its approach to the education market, making it easy for teachers and students to get on board.

My oldest child's public elementary school started having kids use Google Docs about 8 or 9 years ago. I purchased a Chromebook not long after so my Mac wouldn't be used for homework, and the younger sibling got a free Chromebook handed out by the school at the beginning of high school.

Docs, Drive, and a bunch of other G Suite for Education tools are now the foundation of both my kids' classroom experience. Neither has ever asked to use MS Office for anything, and no one in our family uses the equivalent Apple office apps.

Macs and PCs aren't banished from the school system, however. I see them in libraries and certain classrooms where special software or heavy-duty compute power is required. My oldest also used money from a summer job to purchase a new MacBook Air a few weeks ago to prepare college essays and to use at college.

I'm really not comfortable with using public funds to help expand Google's market and surveillance. Not when there are other, truly free office suites available, and Chromebook's hardly have a monopoly on cheap laptops.

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