March 3rd, 2008
Popularity of Apple among students, MacBook’s dual-boot option, and the benefits of standardization lead university to offer only Apple MacBooks to students
NEWBERG, Ore. – Beginning next fall, George Fox University will supply every incoming traditional undergraduate student with a MacBook laptop. While the university has provided a computer to each undergraduate since 1991, the shift to all-Apple brings the university’s Computers Across the Curriculum program full circle. After offering a Macintosh Classic computer to all incoming undergraduates, the university transitioned to all PCs in the late 1990s. For the last several years, it has offered both options and seen an increasing preference for the Mac. Last year, about 70 percent of freshmen chose Macintosh computers over PCs. This matches a national trend in higher education written about in Inside Higher Ed.
The benefits of moving to Apple exclusively include standardization of support services as well as standardization of various software applications for multimedia and communication. An all-Apple program will continue to enhance the George Fox multimedia distribution environment based on QuickTime and MP4. Greg Smith, Chief Technology Officer at George Fox, is enthusiastic about the expanding capabilities: “The MacBook’s integration of video with Apple’s iLife applications such as Garage Band and iMovie is ideal for a transition to student generated video assignments. And the new system will offer push-button ease for faculty to review or upload content to or from our Learning Management System, iTunesU, YouTube, etc.”
A feature-rich in-house IM/Audio/Video communication service based on IChat will be another plus, Smith explains, “complete with multi-person conferencing and the ability to take control of a remote desktop.”
Students in PC-dominated fields will still be able to operate Microsoft Windows Operating System with the dual-boot option. The university’s IT Service Desk will install the XP or Vista on their MacBooks at no extra cost, allowing them to be used as Windows-based PCs. Students can gain experience with PC applications and also use the campus media available via Mac applications. Employees who prefer PCs will not be required to switch.
A welcome aspect of the new program is its “New in Two” option, allowing students to trade in their two-year-old CAC computers towards the purchase of newer models at the end of their second academic year.
George Fox University is the only evangelical Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a national university. More than 3,200 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 12 master’s and doctoral degrees.
Contact: Greg Smith
Chief Technology Officer