Apple CEO Tim Cook today spent some time at a New York City Apple Store during its Hour of Code event, commenting on what Apple hopes for the future of education and discussing the success of Google's Chromebooks in the education market.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Cook was asked about Google's Chromebooks overtaking Apple's iPads as the most popular devices in American classrooms. Cook said that Apple wouldn't be following Google's strategy in the education market, calling the lower-priced Chrombooks that have taken over American classrooms "test machines."
BuzzFeed notes that Cook is alluding to one reason Chromebooks have gained in popularity in the education market. As schools turn to computerized testing their need for cheap devices with integrated keyboards and trackpads has increased, rather than tablets that cost more, like Apple's iPads. Apple, says Cook, is not interested in advancing testing.
Instead, Cook said that Apple is interested in "helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no." Apple wants to create products "that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level."
In an interview with Mashable at the same event, Cook expounded his thoughts on testing, saying that the classroom of the future is based around problem-solving, creating and learning how to express yourself.
“I’m not a fan of teaching to the test,” said Cook, “I think creativity is so important. Training the mind how to think is so important. Teaching to the test, to me, is too much about memorization. In a word where you’ve got all the information you’ve got right here,” Cook gestured to my iPhone, “your ability to memorize what year a war was won and all this kind of stuff isn’t very relevant.”
The education market has long been important to Apple. More recently, Apple has promoted iPads in the classroom with education profiles showing how some educators are using the device to teach their students. In March, the Cupertino company overhauled its iPad education program to simplify sharing and apps.