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Are any state schools fully Mac based (not just pockets for depts that need them)?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ictgoodpractice, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. I am in the independent sector and for some reason many are using or turning to Macs for the whole school. I do not believe it is best for the kids as most industry is PC based unless Music or Film etc which we have Macs for.
    Do any of you run whole school Mac suites not PC's please.
  2. I spoke to one of the exam boards at BETT, they said of the 300 schools they asked, 298 were running Windows.
    I think giving students a choice of which OS they use is a good thing.
  3. We are in the Indie sector too, so I am not sure im the ideal person to respond, but we have an all Mac school.

    Personally, I think its great. The hardware is resilient (every child has a school issued MacBook), the operating system doesn't fall down as often as I've seen other systems, and the kids love them.

    The industry standard argument has been given by a few parents (not very many) and some staff, but the answer is pretty much as above. We shouldn't necessarily be teaching specific skills with specific software - thats not our job. What we are trying to teach is capability in using software to achieve a desired result.

    I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
  4. Having a Mac suite would certainly have some benefits, but nobody has yet mentioned the silly money of Apple hardware. Truly, can any state school really afford widespread procurement of Macs?
  5. 1 room of iMacs, and I'm talking about our smallest computer room , would cost more than our entire annual budget 2011->12.
  6. By doing things in stages we now have a 21-machine ICT suite with brand new 19" Macs, a dozen or so early Intel iMacs in Media/Drama, a dozen or so 18 month old iMacs up in Art and about another 20 newish ones over in Music. Sure, it's expensive hardware, but it lasts well and by not spending a fortune on a managed service, a hosted VLE, umpty-million unused IWBs and so on we've managed to do pretty well.

    I think we managed to get the latest batch down to about £600 per unit by shopping around.
  7. It's cruel but we've been buying refurbed HP PCs that we're leased to companies that have collapsed. They're under 2 years old, Core 2 duo with 3GB of RAM and have XP installed on a refurb licence. Cost £150 each and we got brand new keyboards and mice thrown in. I wonder if you hand in a Windows XP licence and claim the cost back, we could get them down to £70 then.
  8. My primary school has about a dozen old white MacBooks as well as the usual suite of XP workstations. As a Mac user myself I don't think a school should go entirely Mac unless they have a lot of cash to splash. The iLife suite is probably their killer app, as well as overall running a more stable OS. It's a little unfair to compare perhaps, as most schools love to buy up XP licenses so are running hardware with an OS that's over a decade old now!

    I think a range of OSs is a sensible mix, but it would have to be predominantly Windows for the sake of compatibility with educational apps and to a lesser extent, hardware. I'd love it if some schools started running computer clubs where kids get to dabble in linux on old machines, installing it them-self etc. Imagine if a school had a fleet of refurbed laptops running Ubuntu, they could use Google Docs and other online apps for most things and carry on their work on their XP machines at school or at home.
  9. We've got a mixed school, but I chose a PC Suite for our latest upgrade. Here's why:
    1. Truth is, it's 2 for the price of 1 even with educational discounts!
    2. Since Windows 7 there's not much to complain about the PC operating system.
    3. A B Tutor the cheapest monitoring software I can find only runs on Windows.
    4. It seems to be harder to lock down Macs than PCs. (We're running Server 2008, may not be true with a dedicated Mac Server)
    5. Businesses mostly run PCs and so none of the parents expect me to justify my choice.
    6. There's quite a lot of freebies not available for Macs, e.g. Kodu, Singstar, Camstudio & Paint.net
    7. Not completely convinced this is an argument to go FOR PCs, but Macs don't have a SIMS client the last time I checked....
  10. Thanks very helpful my personal opinion is the same.

  11. 1. True enough.

    2. Same old registry, still get BSOD, still not as slick / integrated / intuitive

    While classroom management software is handy, and there is always ARD, it's not an absolute killer and most issues come down to behaviour management and routines. I very VERY rarely use ARD for any kind of sanction. More likely for throwing files at computers quickly.

    4. Running Workgroup Manager will do pretty much everything we need.

    5. Weak, weak argument. As a parent I'd question your choice not to support an holistic approach that gives students access to a range of platforms. Many of the more creative industries use Macs as standard if you want to follow that argument - but I think it's a bad argument whichever side of the fence you're on.

    6. There are plenty of Mac only packages though - iMovie, Garageband, iPhoto - and plenty of cross-platform solutions - GIMP, Scratch, Alice, Jing.

    7. If you're still using an MIS that doesn't use a web interface then you ought to upgrade that, not make T&L decisions based on a tool that is supposed to SUPPORT the school's primary purpose - to educate. Facility has had a web based interface for as long as I've been teaching (6 years + practices).

    So only the first argument holds any water with me. And while it's a doozy of an argument, I still think that getting students to experience a range of platforms is a good thing.
  12. Cost is a massive factor, we have Macs for music and media so I am not anti Mac just don't understand why a school would pay so much for them in general ICT rooms and then put windows on them and pay double licensing.


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