The Mac’s credibility as an education tool has been boosted by a pioneering IT program instituted by the Isle of Man Education Department and commended by OFSTED as working at “the leading edge of ICT in Europe,” according to
The Isle of Man is the first education authority in Europe to issue all 800 of its full-time teachers with a portable computer of their choice, and most — around 500 — have opted for PowerBooks, the article said. Its primary schools are 100 percent Mac-based, using mainly iMacs and G3/G4-based servers, numbering 1,000 in all. The island’s secondary schools use a mixture of Macs and Compaq PCs.
What’s most impressive is that only one engineer is required to service more than 2,000 Macs in 40 different institutions, John Thornley, the Isle of Man Department of Education’s ICT adviser, told
“It’s really a testament to how easy Macs are to maintain,” he said, adding that Macs additionally offer superior productivity (compared to PCs), as they are easier to use and learn. Also Macs tend to last longer than PCs.
“We have some Macs which are six years old and still working perfectly well,” Thornley said.
The Isle of Man Education Department was able to deliver the entire National Curriculum using Mac software, much of it based around AppleWorks templates. The Isle of Man’s pioneering approach has attracted “quite a lot of interest” in the UK educational press and among UK educational bodies, Thornley said.