The Times Educational Supplement has published an in-depth study into the use of Macs in schools which concludes the platform breeds confidence and creativity.

The report explored the impact of the UK's largest Macs in education initiative in the Isle of Man. The island has 3,900 Macs, 115 servers, 40 networks and 300 AirPort networks. It also has just two technicians to keep things working.

Manx education advisor Graham Kinrade deals with technical issues across the island: "To be honest our technical issues are limited. The hardware is very reliable and general failure rates are very low," he said.

"My personal view is that it's down to good build quality and the tight integration of hardware and software. Each computer is robust and well designed for its purpose. We have a very high percentage of machines that have been in the field for 2 or 3 years and never had to be repaired by an engineer!  This says it all. We never have compatibility issues with hardware and software," he added.

There's real benefits for students, too: "The standards and the quality that students achieve are answers to why we use Apple computers", said Jim Hunter, Head of ICT at St Ninians School in Douglas.  "When you look at what the students are expected to learn, the Mac interface is the best to meet those requirements."

The report explores some of the many ways Apple technologies are used to boost attainment among Manx children. It explains that iLife applications, such as iMovie and GarageBand, offer children new ways to learn, communicate and practice working as a team.