Toronto District School Board Says No More Macs

According to an article in ITWorldCanada, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has decided to no longer to purchase Apple Computers for general usage by students in classrooms.

The policy has been criticized to limit students exposure to only the PC except in specific instances such as specialized departments where Apple computers are considered the standard.

Some facility members are already expressing their oppositions to the decision and have started a petition online to try to convince the board to reconsider.

In these times of lower tax revenue and cost cutting by departments across the city it comes as no surprise that investments in computers such as Macs are being looked at with a fine tooth comb. The primary reason for this proposed cut is due to cost since Macs are sold at a premium price when compared to their similarly outfitted PC brethren.

Lee Stem the general manager of IT services at the TDSB said in the same article that this was also a part of a strategy that takes into account greater software equivalency across different computer platforms and their operating systems (OS) today and the increasing usage of web applications.

This is making the hardware itself less relevant that it has been in the past and is another reason why for the board the change away from Apple Computers makes sense.

The question is does the computer really matter when more information is found online and through web applications that don’t rely on a specific platform or OS. Do the differences between PC’s and Macs necessitate that the removal of Macs will have a substantial impact on the education experience for most students. These will be questions that may come up if the decision is challenged.