More and more higher ed students are purchasing MACs. Could it be fore sales or promotion reasons from Apple or the simplicity and versatility of the Apple products for students?
In a 2006 Princeton study, it was found that students looked to MACs for stability, unique looks of computers, prior use of iPods, and for being user-friendly. Apple gives students a 15% discount which also attracts the student population. Additionally, there are so many new free Apps to help students get organized, study, and find resources while in college.
All of these reasons and Apple's continued innovation in educational technologies suggest that we will continue to see an increase of MAC usage on campuses.
ECAR did a survey in 2011 and found that 31 % of students under the age of 25 use MACs while only 13% over the age of 25 use MACs. CNN Money did a study in 2010 and found that 27% of laptop owners have MACs, 14% of desktop owners have MACs, and 47% of those planning to purchase a new computer are looking at MACs (exactly where Dell was about 5 years prior). Other studies show higher results: one study showed that 70% of freshman purchase MACs. That study seems a bit high and had fewer students than the CNN study. Personally, I'm a MAC user at home and a PC user at work. It is frustrating when something in my classes doesn't work on a MAC and only works on a PC. It seems that Universal Design wasn't considered in the course creation. Universal Design is all about giving students tools that fit their learning styles and needs; usually considering students with disabilities or second language learners. The idea is that the instructor makes the content available to all users. For example, a video without captions isolates hearing impaired students. In the same idea that the video should have captions so all students are included, then shouldn't the video be able to play on a MAC? What about considering the student's operating system? The MAC user population is certainly large enough to consider. What about the technical helpdesks? Should MACs be supported, just like a PC, on campus?