By Joseph Valencia ’17
After 11 years of Brophy’s one-to-one program, with the last five of those using Apple iPads as student devices, the administration has decided to switch to a new device, the Apple MacBook Air.
The decision follows a several month study that started in October.
“Five years is a really long time in the life of any technological device,” said Assistant Principal for Technology Mr. Mica Mulloy ’99. “We thought that this year was a really good opportunity to take some time, and to stop, and to look at our one-to-one program.”
Before iPads, Brophy students used Lenovo laptop/tablet hybrids, and before that Toshiba hybrids were the student device. The change from tablet to laptop isn’t something totally new to Brophy’s one-to-one program.
While students around campus have brought their own MacBook Airs for years, some students don’t agree with the decision to use the Apple computer.
“Computers are definitely a better option than the iPads in my opinion, but I don’t think the MacBook Air is the way to go,” said James Ruberto ’17. “I think you could go with a newer Mac or PC, maybe one that has pen input, which would be the best of both worlds between an iPad and computer.”
Prior to deciding that future Brophy students would be using the MacBook Air, the technology department considered alternative options.
“We considered the Apple MacBook Air, the Microsoft Surface Pro and the Lenovo Yoga, a tablet PC,” Mr. Mulloy said.
Teachers are already using the Lenovo Yoga and a pilot program involving 10 Microsoft Surface Pros was used to test the capabilities of these devices. Many teachers and students already use MacBook Airs, allowing for easier testing on that front.
The MacBook Airs and iPads both being made by Apple provides a smoother transition for the technological environment Brophy has established.
“It makes sense to transition from operating in an Apple ecosystem to operating in an Apple ecosystem,” Mr. Mulloy said. “From the beginning, we knew that wasn’t going to be a deal breaker, but I think it will make that transition easier and will allow us to hold on to some of the things we, both students and faculty, really appreciate about the ecosystem.”
Remaining in the Apple ecosystem will allow teachers and students to continue using Apple TVs to project, and iBooks for class resources.
Eason Skelnik ’17, someone who made the transition from iPad to MacBook Air himself, had nothing but praise for the upgrade.
“I didn’t want to go back to the iPad once I started using the MacBook Air because I had so many more utilities, which made school much more convenient for me in many aspects,” Skelnik said.
Just as the iPad had, the MacBook Air will have a four year warranty plan that will cover accidental damage and technological defects.