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?