What Apple Should Do In The Education Market
Educators using Macs
More Info at:
Some Ideas How to Prevent Schools Going to PCs
1 - Assume that the school districts head MIS person is PC/Windows oriented, and not experienced with or too interested in Macs.
2 - Assume that this head MIS person will not be asking for much feedback from teachers and students - so decisions he makes will be in his own interests.
3 - Assume that this head MIS person will not be requesting much help from Apple - even though he needs it. Most likely, if left on his own, he will go his own way: PC/Windows.
4 - Maintain very close and frequent contacts with MIS people to lessen the likelihood of their going astray, and to better ascertain the pulse of the situation.
5 - Give MIS people a list of web sites that are beneficial for their situation (e.g. versiontracker, MacWindows, MacFixit, etc.); provide them with a monthly newsletter; sign them up for the very worthwhile (and free) Mac-Managers email list (<
6 - Make Mac Certification training for MIS persons, simple and very affordable.
7 - Provide a thorough, easy to follow Mac troubleshooting pamphlet for new school technology persons to follow.
8 - Make a BIG effort to assure that Macs can be justified as having lower maintenance costs. (E.g. hand the MIS people multiple copies of a free CD with includes all beneficial updates over and above a standard install for the four most common, good system versions: 7.1 Update 3, 7.6.1, 8.6, and 9.0.4. Have a web site with all this info.)
9 - Provide a special software package deal for MIS people, including DiskWarrior, Norton Utilities, VNC, Timbuktu, Dave, IPNetmonitor, etc.
10-Make a SIGNIFICANT effort to ensure that school districts use Apple Servers. (E.g. give servers away for free, if need be.)
1 - Make upgrading to all OS versions other than the most current (9.1) essentially free for education sites. Providing very inexpensive updates to 9.0.4 is especially important as it allows automatic software updates, Netboot, etc.
2 - Include a special education software package that would have worthwhile applications like MS Office, GraphicConverter, HyperCard 2.4.1+, REALBasic, iBuild, WebPrint Plus, etc. (Furthermore, update HyperCard 2.4.1 so that it is OS9 & OSX compatible.)
3 - More strongly encourage third parties to develop better quality school administrative, attendance, testing, etc. software.
4 - Make a deal with Connectix to allow education sites to buy VirtualPC 4 at $50 or less.
5 - Fix the otherwise excellent AppleWorks program by scrapping the problematic 6.x version and re-upgrading version 5.04 (including adding more translators).
6 - Solve the security software problem. (At Ease does not work with OS from 8.6, and Macintosh Manager does not apparently work well on earlier version Macs.) Educators need one well-performing program across a wide spectrum of Macs.
7 - Arrange for free onsite demos of Apple developments that might be worthwhile (e.g. iMovie, iTunes, etc.).
1 - Offer a better education channel warranty than 1 year. (Dells is three years...)
2 - Make a deal with a quality RAM supplier to allow education sites to buy additional RAM at a substantial discount. (The deal would be that educators would be guaranteed the lowest RAM price, no matter what the quantity).
3 - In a similar vein, make a deal with vendors who sell common supplies, like inkjet cartridges, that will also guarantee educators the lowest prices for critical provisions.
4 - Make a deal with a good third party floppy drive manufacturer to allow education sites to buy USB floppy drives or USB Zip drives for iMacs at $50 or less.
5 - Encourage hardware loaners to schools. (The theory would be they will like what they see and want to buy it!)
6 - Give school districts more advance notice of product developments (non-disclosures are OK).
7 - Revise the iMac's VGA-out port so that it sends out video signals at a normal scan rate that can actually work with large screen external (e.g. TV) monitors.
8 - Allow local dealers to sell Macs to local schools. This could provide better service and pricing in some situations.
1 - Offer very inexpensive training on the Mac OS and primary applications for teachers.
2 - Offer a deal where schools can subscribe to MacHome Journal (for beginners) and MacAddict (students/ gamesters) and/or MacWorld (technically inclined) at a substantially reduced rate.
3 - Foster a more formal relationship between school districts and local Mac user groups. (Offer incentives to make this relationship mutually beneficial.)
4 - Have better advertising that more clearly enumerates the Mac advantages.
Notes: Apple needs to remember that:
1) preventing a problem in the first place requires much less effort (and is much more economical) than having to solve the same problem afterwards, and
2) giving up its normal higher profit margins in the education channel is a wise economic decision - as it reaps financial benefits in several other ways (e.g. through parents of students using Macs at school, buying a Mac for home use).
For More Info, see: "http://homepage.mac.com/mac_vs_pc/Intro.html".