, Wes George has examined Apple’s plans for the grade school market in a two-part series entitled
aapl shares: Apple’s vision for K-12 education, pt. 2. In this installment, George looks at initiatives like the iBook and Apple’s acquisition of PowerSchool.
George asserted that the inclusion of FireWire, wireless networking capability, and the price point put iBook in a class by itself. “Just as there is no Wintel PC analog to compete directly with the iMac, the new iBook is peerlessly suited for the education market,” said George.
PowerSchool is important too, because it addresses a different need — that of the school’s administration and faculty to share information. PowerSchool provides a centralized way to help school administrators, faculty, and parents to share information online like attendance, grades, transcripts, and other records.
George pointed out that PowerSchool certainly isn’t the only Student Information System (SIS) out there, but it’s indicative of Apple’s forward-thinking ability. “… Apple is the only PC manufacturer that has integrated an SIS into its larger vision for digital education, in order to benefit students and teachers more directly. So far, 3,000 schools have committed to adopting PowerSchool,” wrote George.
Many PC manufacturers seek to integrate new technologies into their systems, but Apple seems better than most at figuring out how to actually make those efforts work coherently, said George.
Noting that the K-12 market is the largest untapped population of potential PC users in the U.S., George said, “From a strictly business point of view, Apple has been building an unassailable strategic position in the technological backwater of K-12 education, at a time when the consumer and professional markets are near saturation, and the upgrade cycle is slowing to a crawl.”
And that means a lot more than just a revenue stream, said George. “But this time, the stakes are much higher–for children, for Apple and for the future of society.”