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  • University Offers Incoming Freshmen Choice of MacBook or iPad


    Laptops-for-students programs are becoming increasingly common, with administrators finding that they relieve pressure on computer labs and improve teacher-student communications. Many colleges provide laptops at a reduced rate to students, through partnerships with manufacturers, and some even give them away for free (or, rather, build the cost into the yearly tuition that students or their parents must pay). George Fox University will take this trend to the next level in the 2010-11 school year by allowing students to choose: MacBook or iPad?

    The Christian college located in Newburg, Oregon has already been giving new students their own computers, which become theirs to keep when they graduate, for the past 20 years. The college's chief IT executive said that the decision to go with the iPad - a device that has not yet been released - has some risk, but feels it is worth it to stay on the cutting edge of technology. "We realize there are a number of uncertainties," Greg Smith said. Will students struggle with a virtual keyboard? Can the iPad do everything students need it to do when it comes to their college education? These are the kinds of questions we really won’t know the answer to until we get started.” He said that the goal of the move is to on the forefront of what could be a seminal shift in how mobile computing is used in the classroom. "By doing this, we’re opening the door to innovation," Smith continued. "What we learn can influence the future of technology as it pertains to higher education.”

    Textbook publishers have been aggressively courted by Apple prior to the iPad's announcement, and several of the major companies are ready to go with electronic versions of their titles. ScrollMotion has been developing iPad versions of textbooks for McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin, and Kaplan, offering interactive quizzes, the ability to record lectures, highlight and search text, and take notes, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. And Macmillan's DynamicBooks is an innovative new "interactive textbook" platform for the iPad that will effectively give professors the ability to reshape a textbooks by giving them Wiki-style editing, allowing them to shuffle the order of material as well as editing it themselves.

    Some students - especially those in science and engineering programs - may choose to go with the MacBook for its flexibility and power. That's why, according to Fox's Greg Smith, they gave the students a choice. “With this, we’re basically asking students ‘What computing system will work best for you?’” he said. “By giving them this option, they can choose between the iPad, a mobile device known for its networking and E-textbook capabilities, or the laptop, which offers more computing horsepower.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: University Offers Incoming Freshmen Choice of MacBook or iPad started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i'll have to say that unless it was a top of the line MBP like my own, i would opt for the iPAd. new technology new uses. [it's not an ipod what a childish argument]
    1. sandstorm77's Avatar
      sandstorm77 -
      what about the choice of a Windows Computer vs a Mac? Why should a student be forced into a Mac when he or she ends up paying for it anyway.

      These are not going to be given away to students. They are going to build the cost into the tuition. MBP means bigger tuition.I would take the iPad just for the lower cost. Its more portable and if i really want a keyboard ill buy a bluetooth one.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      i'll have to say that unless it was a top of the line MBP like my own, i would opt for the iPAd. new technology new uses. [it's not an ipod what a childish argument]
      I don't care how new it is - a 1Ghz processor is a 1Ghz processor. 64Gb of max HD space is just that. 512 mb of memory is...just that. It ain't rocket science. It's just an updated, giant iPod. Tell me something this can do that the iPod Touch can't?

      MBP anyday...
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Opinions will change once we have one in hand.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      Opinions will change once we have one in hand.
      well according to some hairy, ugly guy from some commercial. it's "magic"
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      I don't care how new it is - a 1Ghz processor is a 1Ghz processor. 64Gb of max HD space is just that. 512 mb of memory is...just that. It ain't rocket science. It's just an updated, giant iPod. Tell me something this can do that the iPod Touch can't?

      MBP anyday...
      JUST ONE REASON? OK
      well for one its able to get a 3G connection. whereas the ipod touch doesnt.[WIFI only]

      secondly they are offering a MacBook. NOT a MacBookPro [there's a difference if you didnt know]. hence the reason why i said if it were a MBP [they were offering] i would go for that. otherwise its the iPAd for sure.

    1. Tate002's Avatar
      Tate002 -
      Since iPad has word excel, excel, etc i would buy a BT keyboard and be set. That's all you really need.
    1. kaician's Avatar
      kaician -
      I would choose the iPad without hesitation. I bet if you threw linux on there people would cheer it on without a second thought.

      The whole thing about this is it's going to open up a new era of TRUE tablet computing. Same as people got sick of using styli for pocketpcs, the same goes for tablets. There are just annoying.

      About the ipod touch thing. The ipod touch can do damn near anything. And when you put more memory and a larger screen to it, it can do even more. People, it's the SOFTWARE that matters. People are creating all kinds of crazy software for the iphone os now, just think if you can use both hands to do whatever you want.

      For laptop vs ipad, I have a desktop and ABSOLUTELY do not want a laptop. Don't need one. And that's just because I have an iphone. It'd be a pain to type or read textbooks on it, but the textbook companies and apple are taking care of that for the ipad. Score.
      If you have no computer, macbook. If you have any type of computer and were considering a new laptop, an ipad that will put all your textbooks in your hand in an easy to use finger friendly format.

      People are just scared of new tech and how it will fit into their lives. People said the same thing about cds vs cartridges in video games, and are saying it about sms vs push email (Japan has all push. Just look what people are saying now that yahoo and even gmail have gotten into the push email game...)

      Just gotta let time show. I for one do not want a desktop OS in my hand, though I would like SIMILAR functionality out of the software (isn't iPhone OS a stripped down OSX? And didn't they add some APIs back in for the ipad...?)

      Finally, here's a picture straight from apple's site. Looks pretty geared for comfortable typing on it's own or paired with a dockable/bluetooth keyboard. Win/win...
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Well, I've already got a MBP and iPhone (and waiting for the 4G :-) ...I'll take the iPad anyday! Reason?
      It's the 'latest most advanced piece of ****' out there!!
      Besides I'd like to see how it runs and for certain tasks, it might be a lot better and easier than logging my 17" around....also, if it got nicked, it's not got all my data on it as I'll have backed up elsewhere
    1. kaician's Avatar
      kaician -
      Almost forgot. Remote Desktop. Badass...
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      JUST ONE REASON? OK
      well for one its able to get a 3G connection. whereas the ipod touch doesnt.[WIFI only]
      LOL you got anything else that we all don't know already?? I was going to type "except get 3G" in my post but didn't you'd be retarded enough to mention it.

      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      secondly they are offering a MacBook. NOT a MacBookPro [there's a difference if you didnt know]. hence the reason why i said if it were a MBP [they were offering] i would go for that. otherwise its the iPAd for sure.
      I know there's a difference. But even the slowest macbook is a hell of a lot quicker than the iPad (let alone it has OSX, ipad has iPhone OS). The MINIMUM specs are these

      Specifications
      2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
      2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
      250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
      Keyboard (English) & User’s Guide (English)
      SuperDrive 8x DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW

      Compare that to 64Gb (at max price), 1Ghz, and definitely under 1gb ram. And hope the students don't have to see anything with flash. Many educational sites use flash animations. Can the iPad do that? No. If you are using an educational app such as webmd or epocrates and you wan't to look something up on google, guess what? You're gonna have to close everything because this thing can't multitask. You can read ebooks with the iPad. That's one of the only educational uses I see. Can the MB do that? Yes.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      I hope you guys also understand the affordability aspect of the 2. Most students cannot afford a MBP and an iPad is an affordable alternative at $499
      Yes but who wants the $499 iPad with 16GB of memory and no 3G?? You may as well get an iPod Touch or an iPhone.

      Most students get a MB with student discount rather than a MBP, so it works out cheap with a free iPod Touch which you can sell off if you want. The MB is more expensive and better than the iPad so only a stupid person would choose the iPad.
      Plus if you sell the MB off you can get a iPad and still have money left over, providing you tend to graduate.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      I know people are still making fun of the iPad but i'm starting to think there may be more to just the iPad being an overgrown iPod Touch. Try thinking out of the box and beyond your phone or touch. Try to think differently of what possibilities you could have using the iPad. Let's try not to ride the bandwagon of making fun of it because it could have potential in the future. You never know!
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post
      Yes but who wants the $499 iPad with 16GB of memory and no 3G?? You may as well get an iPod Touch or an iPhone.

      Most students get a MB with student discount rather than a MBP, so it works out cheap with a free iPod Touch which you can sell off if you want. The MB is more expensive and better than the iPad so only a stupid person would choose the iPad.
      Plus if you sell the MB off you can get a iPad and still have money left over, providing you tend to graduate.
      True. I can get the MB at $899 with my school's discount. And during the end of the Spring semester and the whole summer semester you can get the free iPod touch. Which you can sell at at least $200. So $500 for a big iPod touch with 16Gb, or $800 for a Macbook?
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      Macbook, no question. I would love to see who would choose the mega-touch over a Macbook.
      Maybe they are using this as a test to see who should really be in college. Choose the iTouchPad and you get special classes! LOL !
    1. calebratm's Avatar
      calebratm -
      So I actually go to George Fox, and it's Newberg not Newburg. Regardless, GFU is not giving aways these machines, they add it to the tuition at what seems like slightly inflated prices. Granted when you're a freshman you seldom think about four years from now when you actually have to pay off the stupid thing that you paid to much for in the first place. Second, this is bulls##t I was never offered an Ipad or MBP, mainly because I go to another campus in Portland Oregon. They do offer windows machines as well so its not like their sticking you with a mac regardless of whether you can use one or not. I have a nice laptop that I like better than my older macbook so hell yeah I'd take an Ipad, it's all preference, and yes I am bitter that my graduating *** isn't able to take advantage of this.
    1. SquareWheel's Avatar
      SquareWheel -
      Why the heck would a university go for Apple products? Yes, this is a mac forum, but that's just silly. Macs are much more expensive, students would have a much harder time using them (they'd be used to Windows), and they have much less software that could be used for school-related work.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      LOL you got anything else that we all don't know already?? I was going to type "except get 3G" in my post but didn't you'd be retarded enough to mention it.

      .
      if you were gonna mention it, you would have mentioned it. and if your too slow to acknowledge the most simplistic of differences between the two. you shouldn't compare them the same. thats why i brought it up you simpleton


      by the way, here's what they said:
      University Offers Incoming Freshmen Choice of MacBook or iPad

      here's what you said:
      MBP anyday...
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      if you were gonna mention it, you would have mentioned it. and if your too slow to acknowledge the most simplistic of differences between the two. you shouldn't compare them the same. thats why i brought it up you simpleton


      by the way, here's what they said:
      University Offers Incoming Freshmen Choice of MacBook or iPad

      here's what you said:
      MBP anyday...
      Don't act like you didn't read my last post comparing the MACBOOK with the IPAD. Your theory of "latest" technology is completely flawed. Computers in 2002 had more power than the ipad. It might be "new" for the size, but it's definitely nothing groundbreaking. But in case you're ignoring what I wrote (knowing you have no knowledge on this topic except your hype for the FAIL the iPad was), I will re-enlighten you.

      know there's a difference. But even the slowest macbook is a hell of a lot quicker than the iPad (let alone it has OSX, ipad has iPhone OS). The MINIMUM specs are these

      Specifications
      2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
      2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
      250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
      Keyboard (English) & Userís Guide (English)
      SuperDrive 8x DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW

      Compare that to 64Gb (at max price), 1Ghz, and definitely under 1gb ram. And hope the students don't have to see anything with flash. Many educational sites use flash animations. Can the iPad do that? No. If you are using an educational app such as webmd or epocrates and you wan't to look something up on google, guess what? You're gonna have to close everything because this thing can't multitask. You can read ebooks with the iPad. That's one of the only educational uses I see. Can the MB do that? Yes.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I would go with a macbook.