Blog

Google or Apple: I Don’t Want to Choose

Apple is set to make an “education announcement” on January 19th and I’m frustrated.

I’m frustrated that this announcement surely won’t be how Google and Apple are putting aside their differences in the best interest of education.

Nope. It is said to be about textbooks, which misses the mark for those like me that envision a learning environment where Google Apps for Education and iPads are foundational pieces for each learner.

And it is this missing the mark that puts schools with similar visions in a most precarious spot: choosing between iPads and Google Apps. And it is this missing the mark that makes me throw my hands up in disgust with both groups for forcing schools into a no-win situation.

Because I don’t want to choose. Education shouldn’t have to choose.

Broken Heart Cookie 1

Stated Beliefs on Education

I understand it is big business.

But, both Google and Apple speak of their strong feelings about the educational community and their partnerships with schools/educators on moving education forward. And often, they both practice what they preach.

So… Google. Apple. Please reflect on your stated beliefs on education and your commitment to learning and teaching:

“At Google, we support teachers in their efforts to empower students and expand the frontiers of human knowledge.” Google
“For 30 years Apple has been dedicated to advancing teaching and learning through technology”. Apple

Now ask yourself if this disconnect between the two of you shows that “support” and “dedication” for what is best for learners, learning, and education.

Solution

I don’t want this post to point out the obvious problem that others have already eloquently done before me. Instead, I’d like to add to it but proposing a solution. After all, I understand there is a bottom-line factor here. However, y’all are smart people that know solutions exist that can either protect or benefit your bottom line such as these two:

  1. Provide a Google Apps for Education app for the iPad that has full capabilities. This app would not work for personal Google or Google Business.
  2. Or, charge for a workable app. Prices could vary by type: Google personal app, Google Business, and Google Apps for Education

(Image: Broken Heart Cookie 1, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from kaderli’s photostream)

  1. Mark McGuire01-21-2012

    Hi Ryan

    As long as we keep privatizing education, we will be facing this dilemma more and more. Corporations look after their shareholders, first and foremost. Students, and the rest of us, are useful as customers as long as we are prepared to pay for their “premium” products. If we all do our best to use non-proprietary systems and software, and to be as “Open” as we can be, that will help. We also need to do what we can to ensure that education doesn’t continue to be privatized, bit by bit and site by site. If our schools and universities are moved into the mall (just as libraries are being replaced by iBook Stores), we’ve lost more than we can imagine. If the simulation is good enough, and the marketing and mission statements convincing enough, we won’t even notice.

    Cheers.

    Mark McGuire
    Twitter: @mark_mcguire
    Blog: markmcguire.net

Leave a Reply