It’s been a bit over a week since my original blog post and it certainly has been a wild ride. The post generated 2 front page articles in The Age newspaper in Victoria, news coverage on ABC radio, Macworld magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald and Herald-Sun websites, and even an education news site from the UK. I also received literally hundreds of very supportive tweets, emails, and comments on my blog from teachers all over Victoria. This issue is clearly one that many feel passionate about.
More importantly, after my post was written, the Department put a hold on their order of white Macbooks for the teacher lease program and called Apple in to renegotiate. Unfortunately, it seems the negotiations quickly descended into somewhat of a farce. My understanding is that the Department insisted that Apple upgrade the RAM on all the Macbooks to 4GB before they were shipped for no extra cost. This was seen by Apple as highly unreasonable, especially considering the RAM on the white Macbooks comes in the form of two 1GB chips, meaning each computer would need two new chips to upgrade it to 4GB – a costly exercise.
Instead, as was reported in the Age today, Apple once again offered the Department the Macbook Pro for only $2.30 extra a fortnight. They also had a tech on-hand to confirm what I argued in my original post: the Mac Pros would could run the exact same image as the white Macbooks. Therefore the original excuse not to offer them to teachers (it would take too long to create a new image for them) was not valid.
The offer was again rejected. Why? Well, I thought it pertinent here to post a comment on The Age website from a worker ‘within the Education Department’ that refused to release his/her name as a bit of an indication of what we are dealing with:
“Working within the education department i really don’t see the issue here once you know ALL the facts.
Teachers can still choose the cheaper and better lenovo machine, teachers get this a ridiculously cheap price and 90% of teachers i’ve worked with use their laptops for family things and pass them off too kids. These laptops are also covered for ANY damage (including dropping them out a window…).
The majority of schools i have been in also provide teachers with access to staff desktop computers that they can also use, hence why alot of them do not even bring their “work” laptop to the workplace.
I wish that this program was extended to all education staff and not just the teachers as i’d jump at the chance for a cheap notebook with full support it’s entire duration!
Can some news sites please INVESTIGATE the full story before jumping on one assistant principals whiny rant?”
Personally, the most disappointing part is the assertion that alot of ‘them’ “do not even bring their work laptop to the workplace”. (closely followed by the bit where he/she calls my blog post a whiny rant). Insulting and condescending.
This sort of comment displays an attitude that perhaps sheds light on why we have this predicament in the first place.
Read the article and more comments here: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/computers/apples-dunked-for-just-115-20110906-1jvzs.html?comments=156#comments