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Apples Verses Oranges: Mac Verses Chrome Books

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PCSD

Personal laptops and pads are part of the standard one to one program in the Park City School District. The Technology Director is starting the process of looking at the types of machines that are most cost effective and best suited for student learning. Carolyn Murray has this:

Each student beginning in second grade gets a lap top to work on while in school. In the Park City School District, the  One to One program has been in place for about a decade. Park City School District Technology Director, Andrew Frink says they use pads for the kindergarten and first grades and laptops for the rest of the grades.

“In grades two through four, we have laptop carts for every student but they don’t take them home. Then in grades five through 12, we assign the student a machine and they start taking them home in 6th grade. And they keep them for 4 years and it’s actually those machines we are able to pass down to the lower grades. The apple laptops are really sturdy machines.  We seem to get seven years out of them.  Then we have iPads scattered about for specific things.”

They looked at a variety of devices and manufacturers when the district first started to build the program.

  “Oh it’s almost 10 years ago when we started going one to one.  We looked at a variety of devices. At the time, we had been an Apple District before and thought this seems good so we put a committee together with some teachers and some parents and iPads had just come out. So we looked at all that and said iPads really can’t do what we need them to do at this time. We’re getting ready to look t those devices again.  I’ve had more teachers come to me and say an iPad might be a better situation here.  So we are looking at a range or two over the next couple of years to see what is going on.”

Some districts around the country are using Chrome Books so students have both a laptop and a pad. Frink says they looked at that option and he says the Apple product works better for their needs.

“Chrome Books are interesting. They are much less expensive and they have a shorter life span. Where as the Mac machines are more expensive and we can repair them in house and we’re getting four years per student and then three more years at the elementary school and then frankly, other schools take our left over machines once they’ve done seven years and are using them for more years.”  

Andrew Frink is Technology Director for the Park City School District.  

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