High School Students Forced To Buy a MacBook

It is one thing to require students to have a laptop and a completely different thing to force them into buying a Mac laptop.  Massachusetts  based Beverly High school thinks every student needs a laptop to keep up with the technology oriented teaching methodologies of the school, and interestingly they think Mac is the only platform that will do. The policy would be enforced starting Fall 2011 but the school is already making announcements so the parents can prepare.

However, as one can imagine, many parents are not happy with this decision. Specially those who have already bought their kids laptops that run on Windows. Who would want to buy their kid another laptop just because the school requires a different operating system? Last time I checked, choice of operating system was still a matter of personal preference and not something that can be dictated. Currently, an average MacBook sells for $900 and an average PC laptop sells for around $500.  The school does say that students who don’t want to buy will be able to lease the laptops from school at a charge of $20/month but that doesn’t make a lot of parents happy either. Many insist that the school bears the cost of the new laptops but the district claims they are unable to spend around $1 Million on buying laptops for around 1,200 students.

This even in itself is not huge but it may become a serious issue if other schools start following this trend. Before we know, colleges and universities will also start demanding that every student buys a MacBook and that will be something really preposterous.

What do you think, is the school justified in requiring students to buy a MacBook?

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Tehseen Baweja

Tehseen likes to write about Internet tools that make life easier. Check out his blog at Ijaar.com for more good stuff or follow him on Twitter @tehseenbaweja

  • I don't understand why some (not all) educators are so prejudiced as to insist on Mac use, when most real world jobs are going to be done on Win machines.

    The last time I saw someone using a Mac in my line of work was in the mid 1980's. Since then, Windows has been the clear winner in business.

    • On second thought, it was later than the 80's – maybe early 90's.

    • Though rare, Macs still have some uses. Like I've seen MassCom/Videography produce really cutting-edge film editing on Macs which would not have been possible on Windows platforms. Guess in the tech field – it's either WIndows or a Linux to choose from.

      Still it should primarily be a matter of choice, or of convenience. Whichever OS is necessary or better suited for the task at hand. And thinking of making everyone buy a Mac is quite illogical and seems rather elitist to boot. :P

    • Kahless

      99.94% of all malware is written for Windows computers. Less than 1/10 of 1% of malware is written for MacOS X. The school is just trying to keep their network from being virus stricken. A Mac laptop (MacBooks have been discontinued) last on average 5 years, more than enough to get through high school. In addition Apple products are the highest rated for reliability, customer satisfaction and resale value.

  • zothen

    a laptop to keep up with technology is good in theory, but in practice fails big time. technology is replaced every 6 months with some thing bigger and better. plus would it not be a better idea to teach the students the most common type, ie windows!!!

  • Interesting! What happens if some cannot afford a laptop in the first place? I question why the school district is getting away with forcing the parents to purchase a laptop in the first place let alone a mac. There must be a backroom deal going on between the school district and Apple.

  • JB Mills

    I’m being forced to use Microsoft Office by my Collegiate institution. I have already been called twice because I “Signed a Contract” stating that I would… but I have been using Open Office instead. I like it better (I actually own office as well). They couldn’t tell until I mentioned it in a paper. It is 100% compatible with its competitors product… its also free.