Why so? Track record. Jobs built a company that builds products that customers want to stand in line to buy.
Gates built a company that builds products that customer hate to use. Here’s a good example. What are schools around the country buying for students, and why does Bill Gates think it’s a bad idea?
Keyboard, Stylus, Or Finger?
My beloved San Diego Unified School District just bought 26,000 iPads from Apple. They’re headed to classrooms to be used by 5th graders all the way through to seniors in high school.
What does Bill Gates think of the latest trend to put more Apple products into the classroom (instead of Microsoft products)?
Gates says, “Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher.”
I’ll buy that. Gates is right. Students fare better in schools with good teachers, and a good teaching system, including the curriculum.
It’s not the device, it’s the teacher, the school, and a whole bunch of other factors, right? Says the esteemed Mr. Gates, whose philanthropy probably doesn’t include giving iPads to schools:
And it’s never going to work on a device where you don’t have a keyboard-type input. Students aren’t there just to read things. They’re actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it’s going to be more in the PC realm—it’s going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive.
Uh oh. Is that a slam against San Diego’s school system for buying tens of thousands of iPads for their students? Yep. Why? Because Gates believes in the keyboard. Or, the stylus. And Microsoft makes a lot of money selling a PC mouse. Maybe he just believes in money.
Whatever his views on education, Gates thinks technology devices have a horrible track record in schools. Which devices? Most school systems that have computers have far more Windows PCs than Macs, right?
It’s just too bad that the iPad fad will cause students in the classroom not to write or communicate (FaceTime or Skype, anybody?) or learn or do anything else except watch videos or play games (which, if you’ve seen high schoolers using a school’s Windows PC notebook, you understand).
The reality is this. Bill Gates’ track record on predicting the future of anything remains spotty potty at best. In effect, what he’s saying is that students will be better off if schools buy Microsoft tablets with keyboards (or, a stylus) instead of the wildly popular iPad from arch enemy Apple.
Time will tell, of course, but in the meantime Gates will have plenty of opportunity to give away tens of billions of dollars to assuage his conscience for perpetrating the crime of foisting Windows onto the world. Kids haven’t learned much while using Windows.