Apple 1:1 Laptop
Visit the ISI Apple Store
What is the Apple 1:1 Laptop Initiative? Why is ISI introducing it?
- The term 1:1 is the ratio of computers to students. 1:1 means one computer for each student.
- Children are growing up in a very different ‘learning’ environment from the one in which their parents grew up. Computing, the internet and digital technology are developing exponentially. Schools around the world are making very significant investments in technology in order to keep up with these developments.
- At ISI we identified our technology provision as an area requiring improvement, and we looked at several alternatives. With the rapid increase in wireless technology, schools are giving up the traditional fixed computer lab in favor of mobile options. The idea is that technology is not an “add-on” that you might visit once or twice a week, but it is now an integral part of the way that we work.
- Technology is becoming more than a mere ‘tool’ that helps us achieve our aims, it is a cognitive tool rather that enhances learning. Technology is also becoming the ‘medium’ in which a lot of daily work takes place. Our children (admittedly only those who have access to this technology) are comfortable in a digital world, in which sound and images are increasingly important media for transmitting and processing information alongside the written word.
- Technology puts learning in the hands of the students to a far greater degree, and allows for a variety of learning styles while fostering creativity. It is a great way of providing differentiation. Many adults are far less comfortable with technology, and regard digital media as a distraction from ‘real learning’. (Let the debate commence! ISI commits to ensuring that digital media will be used to enhance good learning, not to replace good learning with something inferior.)
- Many schools today are moving to wireless laptop programs, in which every student is required to have a laptop and to use it for all normal and appropriate study purposes. ISI is not alone, and certainly not the first, to go this route. Some of our peer schools in the region have such programs, and while they are costly and challenging to introduce, there is broad agreement that these schemes improve student learning.
- We need to caution people that we do not expect to see an overnight transformation of teaching and learning from the existing model to the new ‘digital’ one. We will not be surprised if some of our students turn out to be the real trailblazers, but we will be working with our faculty to help and encourage them to become comfortable using the new technology in increasing proportions.
- Apple has achieved an outstanding reputation in educational computing and has invested heavily in developing new approaches to student learning that integrate research and collaboration with multimedia presentation forms. These new ways of working and presenting material are a great fit for ISI’s International Baccalaureate programs.
- The hardware is robust and durable, and the software has been designed for the hardware, leading to largely trouble-free integration of software and hardware. The laptops are even designed with students and young people in mind – they do not just look good, they have rounded corners to prevent snagging when putting them in and out of school bags; they have reinforced casing so that the stress is reduced when you pick up the laptop by a corner in order to show the screen to someone else (stress to the casing can affect the motherboard in other computers over time).
- There used to be a compatibility problem with Apple computers, and many people today still harbor that suspicion. In fact the latest generations of Apples use Intel processors and have become very compatible. An Apple Macbook laptop will even run the Windows operating system and all normal Windows programs. (In fact if you choose to install software called Parallels you can even simultaneously run the Apple operating system and Windows at the same time without restarting the computer).
- Apple computers appear to carry a higher price tag, but to be fair, when you compare specifications, and when you consider that an Apple laptop is normally expected to give 4 good years of service and still retain a residual value at the end, this puts things into perspective.
- And finally – we did not just want to import several hundred laptop computers into the school – we wanted to be part of an educational support network. Apple has worked very diligently to explore and explain how student learning can be enhanced. Apple employ advisors who are former or current school teachers who train other teachers in the possibilities of Apple technology, and who pass along examples of best practice. They also advise us on software that helps control the class.
What are the requirements for the Apple 1:1 Laptop Program?
- We are requiring all students in grades 6-12 use the MacBook Pro.
- A MacBook is optional for Grades 4 and 5
- ISI does not require purchasing anything else other than the laptop.
- ISI will provide all software that is needed for the students to use.
- We recommended purchasing the three year Apple Care warranty, a case or sleeve, and headphones.
Do 4th and 5th grade really need laptops?
- Naturally we thought hard about this. The main concern seemed to focus on giving such young children such an expensive piece of equipment to look after, and concerns about the lack of space in the Blackwell building. We have listened carefully to further feedback and are now proposing an alternative which we believe will still allow our 4th and 5th Graders access to great technology, but relieve parents of the additional financial burden and the security concerns. More information will be available at our meetings.
What is the price of the laptop?
- The MacBook Pro on the ISI Apple Store is $1,099 and with the recommended 3-year Applecare plan it totals $1,282. Shipping is free.
- We have worked hard to establish the best price for ISI students. Apple as a distributor is very resistant to the heavy discounting that you sometimes see with other manufacturers, unless they are getting rid of a discontinued model. Nevertheless, ISI will get the best price available through the Apple educational discount, and we are continuing to negotiate to see if we can obtain any further reductions for ISI families.
- Parents can look elsewhere (e.g. on eBay) and may get a laptop at a cheaper price, or of course they can buy direct from an Apple shop and possibly forego any ISI discount, or they can buy a more expensive laptop with higher specifications. Please remember if you buy outside of the official Apple distribution network that the laptop must meet our minimum specifications.
- For the safety of the laptop, it is recommended that a backpack or computer bag is purchased.