Tim Cook isn’t very impressed with Chromebooks, and in an interview with BuzzFeed News today, he seemed to brush off the fact that they’re fast becoming more prevalent than Macs and iPads in classrooms. Though he didn’t mention them by name, Apple’s CEO implied that Chromebooks and other inexpensive PCs are really only successful because they’re the cheapest option for letting students take standardized tests — at least the ones that aren’t on paper. In fact, Cook went so far as to label them “test machines” according to BuzzFeed News, and said that Apple aims to do bigger, more impactful things in education.
“Assessments don’t create learning,” Cook said. “We are interested in helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no. We create products that are whole solutions for people — that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level.” And yeah, give any kid the choice, and they’d probably pick iPad over Chromebook.
Still, that’s a pretty harsh take on Google’s tremendous success in classrooms; in only a few short years, growth of Chromebooks in education has surged far beyond what competitors can muster. As just one show of that momentum, Google has predicted that Chromebooks will outnumber all other classroom devices combined by the end of 2015. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if that pans out, but there’s no denying the upward trend. Even if iPads offer greater engagement and more fun, it has become clear that most schools are thinking in dollars, and there’s no beating Chromebooks on that front.