I am going to preface this post with this is my opinion based on my experiences. When it comes to technology you will find many different opinions, it’s about find the right tools for the jobs you need to do and this is what works for me and many others I work with day in and day out.
I started out as many in the world of Windows going back to version 3.1 and used it steadily all the way up through Windows 7. My first foray into the world of Apple was when I started teaching in Maine. The state of Maine has a contract with Apple through a program called MLTI in which they supply Apple computers to all junior high students and all staff that work with those students. At first I didn’t see a huge difference between the two ecosystems and enjoyed being on either one. My first smartphone was the iPhone 4s which I really enjoyed but I was also curious about the Android world and switched to a Samsung S4. After about a year I found the phone really began having issues so I quickly switched back to the iPhone and have been on it ever since.
My view really started to change as I stepped into the role of supporting students and staff on their devices at school. As a techie I can move around Windows and Mac with no issues but found I was spending much more time on maintenance and updates on Windows machines. I also find that I spend much more time helping staff and students that have Windows devices much more then I do with someone that has an Apple device.
In our district our junior high students use 11″ MacBook Airs and staff is on 13″ MacBook Airs that I manage with a system called JAMF. Overall it works really well and I rarely have to see students and staff over any issues. The biggest issue I see is people giving access to their computer through those lovely spam calls that I will discuss in an upcoming post.
However, outside of our junior high students we do have Chromebooks and I love having those for students. I have a Samsung Chromebook Pro and have been very happy with it. To me it fits into that Apple mindset as in it just works. Out of all available devices when asked about what a person should buy I suggest Apple and Chromebooks in every situation. I am a power user as I do a lot of video and audio creation and editing so I need a fully powered OS but outside of those tasks I will use my iPad or iPhone 90% of the time.
The only Windows device we have in our home is an Alienware Windows 10 Desktop as my wife is a huge gamer and that is the only time Windows is needed for us. It isn’t used a ton but it is on fairly regularly and every time it is used there is always something that needs to be updated. I keep a minimum amount of software on the desktop and it is always more work than any of our Apple devices as it never seems to be a quick turn on and go. Something to remember, this is my opinion based off my experiences in our home and in our school district and in interacting with community members in a support role.
I will not deny you pay more with Apple but for me personally and in our school district that ease of use of it just works and requires less support. When I am evaluating technology for our district one of the items near the top of my list is the amount of support the device may require. Since I am the only on-site techie and I teach a full-time schedule I need to find devices that require a minimum amount of support. This is why Apple is just about at the top of my list for most people and is at the top of my own list.