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Old 11-27-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Which Device for Teachers

HI there,
I am looking to ask a question on a very specific subject. I currently work at a high school as the systems administrator. We are trying to decide which devices that our teaching staff are going to use in the next academic year.
What I am trying to get is some unbiased facts or even possibly some people that have had experience with this same problem.
There are two main players in my problem, one of which is trying to push one device and the other a different device and it is going to start a large shit fight of opinion and controversy. Ill lay out what we currently have and then the two proposals

Current Setup:
- All teachers have a desktop PC on their desk, which are quite old and need to be replaced running Windows of some form
- In each classroom is another desktop PC of better quality all are running Windows 7
- The PCs in the classrooms are connected to a monitor and a projector via a video output switcher where you can have both displayed or one at a time
- Teachers are given iPads to use, which can connect to school emails and file servers
- iPads can be displayed on all PCs via a reflection application
- All Servers are Windows based with the exception of 2 Mac Servers

Proposal 1 Microsoft Surface Pro
Ideas:
- Each teacher will be given a Microsoft Surface Pro
- Will replace desktop PC on teachers desk with docking station, connected to external monitor, mouse keyboard etc
- Will also replace classroom PC. With the idea that a wireless receiver will be used for the projector. A docking station will also be available in the classroom.
- Teachers will be able to bring Surface Pro Home each night and connect to school remotely

Proposal 2 Apple Mack Book Pro
Ideas:
- Each teacher will be given a Mac Book Pro
- Will replace desktop PC on teachers desk by itself, no external connections
- Will also replace classroom PC. With the idea that an Apple TV is connected to the projector for wireless desktop reflection
- Teachers will be able to take MBP home each night and connect to school remotely
- Will also introduce the option of either Boot Camp or Desktop Virtualization of a windows environment if needed on the MBP

If anyone has any ideas or experiences on this subject matter it would be great. Personally I am neutral and think that both sides have a valid argument and will happily support either. I am not trying to start an Apple vs Windows debate or bashing of either just looking for some facts because they seem to be very hard to find.

Thank you
Tyson
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

I would go with neither of those, I'd go a for laptops running Windows 7..
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

Any reason?
Also, if it was you which device would you go with?
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

I personally would go for the first proposal.
  • 1: It's cheaper.
  • 2: It's windows. Most people uses windows, so more are familiar with it. Also you say you have windows servers and you plan on putting windows in boot camp on the macs anyway for those who need it. To me it sounds like a work around when people mention boot camp.
  • 3: The surface is lighter and more portable.
  • 4: did i mention cheaper, i did. But it really is an important matter. Those computers (macs or not) are gonna get old someday, and need to be replaced yet again. So again you need to put money in it. And if you are using macs, you are better of staing with it sense teachers are getting use to it and it's all setup to work with the macs. So again you need to pay a premium for the apple logo.
  • 5: i can't really see any benefits by choosing macs other then it's slightly better build and screen quality.... and faster hardware.
    ... ok, so there is a little benefits to macs, but here is a counter argument:
    Screen quality isn't so important for document use and you are gonna setup dock stations with external monitors anyway.
    Hardware for office work are greatly enough on the surface.

Note: If you are gonna buy them keyboard covers, you should give them Type Covers rather then touch covers.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

Well everything that BikerEcho said, You are better having Windows products instead of Mac and Windows as they are similar. I'd only go for a Mac if you had classes where you'd be doing photo, video/audio tasks. So go with the Surface Pro..
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

Biker Echo, you made some good points, mostly cost and useability.

Cost:
I am in Australia and:
MacBook Pro: $1350
Apple TV: $100 (Only needed for classrooms)

Surface Pro 2 128GB: $1130
Type Cover: $150
Docking Station: Price Unknown (Need one for each classroom and one for teachers desks)
External Monitor (One for teachers desk)

I'll assume for the augments sake that the price of similar types of warranty are comparable.

The Surface would add up quicker than the Mac, for my situation.

For usability, you are right, most people are familiar with windows and that is no different here. Our teachers are very good at windows but we do have some Mac labs, so experience on Macs is not zero.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

hmm. I see.
Why does it have to be ether a hybrid PC or a mac book?
i wonder why you don't consider standard windows laptops rather then hybrids (like the surface). That will be greatly cheaper then having macs.

In case you would like to know how we do it where i work:
We have given all teachers a core i3 15 inch lenovo laptop with a price tag of 850 dollars. It works just fine.
We have projectors in the classrooms that are connected to a stationary PC that is locked in. The teachers have a pen they use to draw stuff and control the mouse. they also have a keyboard handy if they need to type in faster then typing on a software keyboard.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

Between the 2, I would go with the surface pros. They run a full version of windows, so all software and printers would work without a work-around. If you are going to do bootcamp or desktop virtualization, it seems silly to give them a mac book just so they can run windows.

No chance of letting the teacher choose? It has to be an all-or-nothing deal? I get what the others are saying about a laptop, but the surface pro is a laptop...and a tablet both: Surface Pro 2 - The Microsoft Tablet That's Got It All

If there's any thoughts that some teachers might not be comfortable with Mac, it seems silly to force them to use it. Teachers' jobs are hard enough, there's no reason to make them use technology they aren't comfortable with - because they'll just end up not using it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

FYI. Macs require that the printers have postscript. If your school is using commercial copiers as printers, you may want to see if they have the postscript option. More than likely they do not. You will find that the cost to install the option is high. Another thing to check is do the printer or copier manufacture have the drivers for the Mac OS, being that it will be the most current OS. Mac drivers seem to be behind in this area. This might give you ammunition to go with the option you want.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Which Device for Teachers

Quote:
Originally Posted by copiman View Post
FYI. Macs require that the printers have postscript. If your school is using commercial copiers as printers, you may want to see if they have the postscript option. More than likely they do not. You will find that the cost to install the option is high. Another thing to check is do the printer or copier manufacture have the drivers for the Mac OS, being that it will be the most current OS. Mac drivers seem to be behind in this area. This might give you ammunition to go with the option you want.
very useful info.
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