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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The Back Page: Apple in Education

Here at Apple, we are very proud that we have saved education. We’re giving the tools to teachers and students alike that ensure that, going forward, they will use Apple tools.

We’ve replaced staid, outdated textbooks with deynamic new electronic textbooks. Paper and pencils with iPads and Pencils. Children no longer need to do homework by making chicken scratches in notebooks—now teachers can simply assign them tasks in education-focused apps, whether it be writing an essay, solving a math problem, or mining for Bitcoins. We’re dedicated to helping provide the best way possible for children to learn. For example, we know that some students struggle with keyboard and pointing devices early on, which is why we only offer them separately. At an additional cost. Your fingers were good enough for your ancestors, they’re good enough for you.

We think our newest and best iPad that doesn’t have “Pro” in the name, with its touchscreen display and support for the Apple Pencil but for some reason no Smart Connector for easily attaching a keyboard, is the perfect learning tool for students in classrooms. And we aren’t just saying that because we haven’t quite figured out how to produce a small, cheap Mac laptop.

Technology is increasingly an important part of an education curriculum, and we want to help schools embrace that. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new initiative: we’re working with leading schools around the nation to replace their actual playgrounds with Swift Playgrounds. Students will be able not only to play but also to learn, from an early age, the valuable programming skills that will be critical to eliminating any desire to play.

Education is so important to the future of our country and world, in insuring that kids today will be able to develop the skills they need to make sure that our country and world actually still exist tomorrow. There’s no better way to do that than by giving them access to technology that can level the playing field unless we could actually find a way to spend some of our enormous cash reserves on bolstering America’s educational infrastructure through policy advocacy. But we think our approach leads to a lifelong interest in technology and learning that benefits everybody, but especially us.

Schools are, in many ways, factories of knowledge. At Apple, we have a lot of experience with factories and developing efficient supply chains. In the same way that we turn a bunch of disparate pieces of technology into a single sleek iPhone, schools combine all sorts of subject areas to create one whole person, who can then be put to work in a factory, making pieces that make up iPhones. This is the circle of life, and at Apple, we have a policy of making sure that we have zero waste in our product lifecycle.

But it’s critical as we take into account all the efforts we’re making in education that none of us—educators, students, Apple employees—lose sight of the real goal here: to utterly pound Google and its Chromebooks into dust.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at dan@sixcolors.com. His latest novel, The Nova Incident, comes out in July and is available to pre-order now, so do it!]

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