Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This Teacher's Take on the Apple Launch Yesterday

Lots of little things at the Apple Launch Keynote yesterday. (October 23, 2012.)  Some of which might make it into the schools.

The iPad mini.  I like the idea of every kid in the school having a device.  We are having this constant conversation around here about the need for more devices to really do education right.  Yes, we do allow kids to bring devices, but that really isn't the same as every kid having the same device.  We do have labs on wheels, but that isn't the same as a lab in every room.  This smaller version may help on the price point.  The larger than an iPod Touch and smaller than an iPad or Macbook size has me thinking that it may be useful for teachers too.  E-mail and hall duty go together for me and this size might be a better choice for that bit of multi-tasking.  If they make it in the door, I hope that iPad minis are drop proof and spill proof too, not just smaller.  Middle school is tough on equipment.

I like the idea of the really high rez Macbook.  I just wish it was cheaper.  A 13" Macbook without the Retina screen is looking more like my next computer purchase.  A refurb with Thunderbolt, USB, and Firewire may win over nice looking pictures.  I have some peripheral devices that work on Firewire too.  Yeah, there is an adapter for that, but that is another thing to trouble shoot when there are problems.

It is nice to see the Mac Minis are still alive.  I use these in my practice rooms at school.  Match them up with any monitor and you are good to go.  I am responsible for what happens in those practice rooms and the ability to lock them down with easy to use parental controls makes me think these are still a bargain.  Not to mention they come with Garageband and iLife.  I also have a Mini in the kitchen at home.  It doesn't take up a ton of room and it is a great sandbox for my FileMaker Server experiments.  Don't tell my wife about the server thing... she thinks it's there for the kids' homework.

I don't use an iMac, but boy did that go on a diet.  The hybrid drive for performance and the new screen for looks make this machine look very drool-worthy.  I may have to grab a roll of paper towels and head on over to the Mac store to look.  The hybrid drive is what the hardware aficionados have been doing with their Macbooks lately... replace the CD drive with a flash-based drive for tasks and use the big platters in the traditional hard drive for storage.  I've seen some pretty interesting performance comparison videos over at OWC.  Could be an interesting bit of engineering.

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