Northgate Education has signed a new deal to supply Apple Macs to schools.
A specialist education division of Northgate, who provide managed services and solutions in the UK, the company has been appointed an Apple Solutions Expert for Education (ASE).
Northgate sees the Apple Mac’s popularity as an education tool growing in recent years, particularly in creative art subjects such as art, music and drama, and will now be supplying computers to schools as part of its managed service.
Apple offers a range of resources and educational discounts for schools and institutions in the UK including a dedicated Web site for teachers and students. iTunes U offers learning from within and outside the classroom, with a range of educational focused content from hundreds of schools, universities and museums.
Recently three of the world’s leading cultural institutions, the UK's Tate, along with Chateau de Versailles and Fondation Cartier, have signed up to Apple's iTunes U to make 100's of interviews, short films and lectures available to download for free digitally.
Northgate Education will provide ICT managed services to schools, predominantly through the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schools investment programme.
Mac’s are designed to support and enhance teaching and learning in schools, however as they traditionally do not run Windows operating system, until now they were not fully supported in a managed service says Northgate. However, the division along with Bristol Brunel Academy and the Apple Education Management Team has recently has conducted a pre-pilot research project and pilot testing to enable the use of Macs in schools.
That scheme has proved a success and working with Apple and Bristol Brunel, Northgate was able to successfully integrate Macs as part of a Macintosh Managed Service provision.
"The Mac computers supplied as part of the trial integrated really well into our managed service at Brunel. The students found using the Macs a very positive and rewarding experience, the simplicity of use and the way the software and hardware seamlessly integrated together means they can concentrate on their creativity rather than on learning how to use the system," said Richard Goucher, E-Learning Director, Bristol Brunel Academy.
During the pilot Northgate provided BBA with five MacBook laptops and one iMac desktop. The Mac’s were used extensively in music and art creation and in year 7 project based curriculum work. The pilot confirmed the benefits of providing Macs and identified the support needed to ensure reliability and high availability of the equipment says Northgate.
"Macs are used extensively in various professional markets today including science, Web site development and music," John Parkinson, BSF Director said. "By exposing students to Mac tools early they can develop skills, which will be beneficial to them when seeking employment."
The success of the pilot scheme in BBA has concluded that implementing Macs into Northgate’s managed service provision will further enhance the flexibility of Northgate’s ICT offering, Parkinson said.
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