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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. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Mackbook wow who would even compare it to the ipad?
    1. M4tt Dam0n's Avatar
      M4tt Dam0n -
      What idiot would take a giant iPod touch over a real computer? Even if you already have a Macbook, just get one and sell it. Then you have enough to buy an iPad and have some cash left.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by M4tt Dam0n View Post
      What idiot would take a giant iPod touch over a real computer? Even if you already have a Macbook, just get one and sell it. Then you have enough to buy an iPad and have some cash left.
      agreed agreed...

      also how would the ipad not be able to do eerything needed for school all i've needed in college is books, a word, a sor tof excell, and a sort of power point... iWork has a sort of all of these, so any student could do all they needed. just you would have to be stupid to chose an ipad over a macbook
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      This seems silly to me for an institution to have already made these decisions without a product on the market. I recognize they may have been supplied a product for testing purposes, but still. And frankly, using something like this to write lengthy emails , let alone papers, would be annoying.
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      iPad is nice but..... It's not a legit laptop replacement yet.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      good luck writing your term papers on an undersized, over sensitive, glowing keyboard.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      I called this. You all say "who would want an iPad"? Well just wait until all of the new apps for iPad come out and universities start converting textbooks to an iPad format. Things they are a changin....
    1. GadgetX's Avatar
      GadgetX -
      I have to agree that this is pretty stupid. I'm eagerly awaiting the iPad to come out and I'm not a big mac fan but I would still take a macbook over an iPad if it was going to be my only computer...
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      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
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      I called this. You all say "who would want an iPad"? Well just wait until all of the new apps for iPad come out and universities start converting textbooks to an iPad format. Things they are a changin....
      you know you can get ebook readers for macs as well not just for the iPad.

      I'd say macbook, when it comes down to writing up your work your going to want a real keyboard and good posture, sitting and typing on an iPad will be a strain on your body for long bouts of of key tapping
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      MacBook, obviously.
    1. chris102192's Avatar
      chris102192 -
      Please feel free to shoot yourself if you choose the iPad. They need to put that in huge letters at the front door of wherever they will be giving these things out at.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      I called this. You all say "who would want an iPad"? Well just wait until all of the new apps for iPad come out and universities start converting textbooks to an iPad format. Things they are a changin....

      yeah people said that would happen at the turn of the century. guess who's having to price up their textbooks for their freshman year of college?
    1. hancoma's Avatar
      hancoma -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      I called this. You all say "who would want an iPad"? Well just wait until all of the new apps for iPad come out and universities start converting textbooks to an iPad format. Things they are a changin....
      I'm with Melech on this one...Things are changing...and although it is not on the market...perhaps they have an inside scoop on what will be available appwise on the ipad, with regards to what it will be able to do?

      I believe this is going to be a game changer...and if I'm wrong...well, I will admit it!
    1. GadgetX's Avatar
      GadgetX -
      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
      The school is giving the students one of the two, as in they don't have to pay for either one.
    1. thrash907's Avatar
      thrash907 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      I called this. You all say "who would want an iPad"? Well just wait until all of the new apps for iPad come out and universities start converting textbooks to an iPad format. Things they are a changin....
      I'm going to have to agree with you, as of late it seems like I've been getting more and more e-textbooks and it sucks having to read them on a computer. If devs were able to collaborate with textbook publishers and make seamless apps for them, the iPad would be much better.

      Then again, writing a 30 page research paper on an iPad would be horrible... so I suppose its a win-lose situation.
    1. HITCH's Avatar
      HITCH -
      well i believe that is because is the first Gen.. i spect nicer's improvements on 2nd & 3er Gen iPads..
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      that is so cool! i want to go there. and i would take the macbook. easier to type on.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      Well just wait until all of the new apps for iPad come out and universities start converting textbooks to an iPad format. Things they are a changin....
      Except that it isn't really up to the universities...
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post
      Who the hell would choose the current gen iPad?? Only Apple fanboys will stick up it. It's hardware isn't as good as a HTC HD2 and that with WM7 will be awesome and it has a big screen.

      AND who the f**k would choose an iPad over the MacBook!!!!
      Someone who doesn't know it's a big iPod touch...