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Apple’s Bid To Reclaim The Classroom From Chromebooks May Be Too Late


With price cuts and new features, Apple is making iPads more school-friendly–but only after Chromebooks became go-to educational machines.

Apple has traditionally had strong bonds with the education market. It’s also offered healthy discounts on computers to all kinds of schools. As with many of the company’s policies, these moves have had a look of goodwill about them, but also neatly aligned with a shrewd marketing objective: hook young people into the Apple mindset when they’re young so that they’ll buy Apple stuff (at full price!) in the future.

Recently, however, the company has been so focused on selling phones and searching for the “next big thing” that it has taken its eye off traditional focus areas. Education might be one of them.

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Olivia is currently enrolled part-time in one of the most unique high school models in the country. Where many schools struggle with ever-expanding student-teacher ratios, Futures Academy, a California network of private schools serving middle- and high schoolers, follows a distinctly personalized model: Every class in every subject has one teacher and only one student. The model takes an eyebrow-raising twist on one-to-one instruction, which in many education circles has come to refer to one computer for every student.

This sounds like a discussion I have had many times with other educators when talking about school models and how to improve schools. "What if every student had their own teacher?" It is an intriguing idea that, on the surface, sounds like the ideal learning environment. However, most times I have discussed this, the conversation usually ends up saying that sma…