Tim Cook’s high school is leaving Apple for Google

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Change is in the air for everyone at Baldwin County Public Schools in Alabama. The school district that spent $24 million across three years on its Digital Renaissance plan to give every student a device from Apple is going to be swapping out MacBooks and iPads with a very different technology. Those 20,000 devices that were designed in Cupertino by are no longer in commission as the schools in Baldwin County have switched to Google’s Chrome OS.

Who’s bothered by this? None other than Timothy D. Cook, who attended Robertsdale High School and graduated in 1978 before becoming Apple’s CEO in 2011. That’s right. Apple’s leader is witnessing his own high school leave his company’s products for a rival’s.

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Previously, every student and teacher in the school district was given an Apple-made device to use in classrooms. Students from 3rd-12th grade would be on MacBooks while the younger students would be provided with the simpler iPad. The Baldwin County Board of Education decided in May to leave Apple’s products behind for a cheaper, easier-to-manage ecosystem.

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There are plans in place to spend $6.6 million for 23,500 units of Lenovo’s N21 Chromebook. Each one costs around $280.

Homer Coffman, Baldwin County Public Schools’ chief technology officer, told the Washington Post that Chrombooks and Chrome OS are “simpler to maintain and simpler to use” than iOS and macOS devices.

The now-dusty MacBooks will be sold by the school district to cover the cost of the new Chromebooks.

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It’s not the first time something cringe-worthy has happened to Apple in the education space. In December 2015, the company seemingly became fed up with its own shortcoming in classrooms while Google thrives. Cook said Chromebooks are nothing but “test machines” and added that Apple makes “whole solutions for people” which “allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level.”

Clearly there is bitterness in his mouth because Google has intentionally designed Chrome OS to be education-friendly in terms of both hardware and software. Any school district would be wise to choose Chrome OS over iOS and macOS because of price alone. A single Chromebook can be purchased for as little as $199 while a MacBook Air starts at $899. Even the iPad Mini 4 is expensive at $399. When buying a massive amount of devices for thousands of students and teachers, price rules all. So Chromebooks are ruling in education.

Source: Washington Post


About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.


  • UstillUseAniPhone?

    Apple cares about education. Unfortunately it also cares about cash even more.

  • AM3000

    LOL….they’re gonna be stuck with those garbage google books.

  • The voice of reason

    While an Android/windows fan, I can concede that MacBook are more capable than a chromebook is, but the gap is narrowing. With cloud access to Google’s excellent (if relatively limited) docs and even Microsoft’s office suite, it’s hard to see how much more a student could need for their school work. Having worked in a school myself, I’ve seen the integration of Google drive and Gmail into student’s lives, making it easier to talk to teachers and keep track of and turn in assignments. Google has made it much more friendly than apple in this respect, along with much lower price points. Now, if a student needed, say, Photoshop for a photography class, I would definitely recommend a MacBook, or PC overall chromebook any day. But when all that is needed is the very basics, is it really so insane, for even the school Tim Cooke went to?