Apple Education Part 1: History
As indicated in the attached document, Apple has been active in the education sector since its inception. It all began in 1978 when Apple computers were supplied to schools by the Minnesota Education Computing Consortium (MECC). When the Computer Equipment Contribution Act was signed by Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, Apple donated computers to 9000 schools. Additionally, the eMate was introduced by Apple in 1985 as a personal digital assistant for educational purposes.
HISTORY OF APPLE’S PUSH INTO THE EDUCATION SPACE
The relationship between Apple and the education sector started in 1978 when Apple II computers were supplied to state schools by the Minnesota Education Computing Consortium (MECC). By 1982, MECC was the largest seller of products by Apple resulting in increased popularity of Apple II’s popularity in the US and the education sector.
During the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards program, Steve Jobs said that the purchased of Apple II products by schools played a vital role in the growth of the company.
KIDS CAN’T WAIT PROGRAM
Apple launched the Kids Can’t Wait Program to ensure that every school had an Apple computer. In 1982, Steve Jobs approached a Representative, Pete Stark, who drafted the Computer Equipment Contribution Act and introduced it to Congress. According to the Act, companies that made donations to educational organizations would be eligible for charitable contribution income tax deductions. However, in the first attempt, the bill was not successful, and it was re-introduced after a year.
However, in 1982, a similar Act was signed by Jerry Brown, the California Governor. The Act allowed for a 25% tax credit against the income tax for computer equipment donated by companies to schools. Based on this, Apple made computer donations to 9000 schools.
Apple’s competitors at the time, Tandy Corporation also pushed for a competing bill by Jim Wright, a Representative from Texas which required all computer companies to set aside eight hours to facilitate teacher training. Additionally, it made it a requirement for all disk drives to be 184 kB each, yet Apple’s disk drives at the time only stored 140 kB. This bill failed to pass through the committee stage.
In 1984, Apple pushed for the purchase of Mac machines by the top 24 universities, including the Ivy League schools. The result of this initiative was the presence of Apple in these universities for decades. This continued even after Jobs left the company in 1985 when Apple introduced the eMate 300, which was a personal digital assistant for educational purposes. It was introduced in the market as a cheaper alternative to the PC.
Meanwhile, Jobs had established NeXT computers that was focused on building products for educational institutions. In 1997, NeXT was purchased by Apple and Jobs was back at the company. In 1999, Dell surpassed Apple as the leading seller of computers to educational institutions across the US, leading to intense competition between the two companies to get a leading share of this market.
In 2001, Apple bought PowerSchool, which is the best providers of web-based student information systems for school districts and K-12 schools. However, in 2006, the company sold it to Pearson. Although the mobile app can still be downloaded in the App store.