Educational technology leaders who have spoken with eSchool News say they didn't react negatively to Steve Jobs' health hiatus
. While the scenario of Jobs' not coming back may eventually affect educational institutions using Macs, superintendents believe the end-user will not suffer much.
Right before the Macworld 2009 Expo kicked off, Apple's CEO wrote an open letter
to the Apple Community, as well as an e-mail to Apple staffers explaining his reasons for not attending the show, but also revealing that he needed some time off. “In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June,” Jobs said.
An eSchool News coverage
details the impact of Mr. Jobs' statement and his medical leave. According to Jim Hirsch, associated superintendent for technology at the Plano Independent School District in Texas, “Steve Jobs, as an iconic leader, represents more to shareholders than to end users at this moment.” He adds that “Products that we in education are most interested in have been in the pipeline for some time already, so the medical leave of absence will have little impact on our purchases over the next 12 months.”
However, some speculate that Jobs may never return from this health hiatus. In such a case, Hirsch says he might be “concerned about [Apple's] future product direction.” As for Marc Liebman, superintendent of the Berryessa Union School District in San Jose, Calif., he doesn't believe schools will stop buying Macs.
“Everyone is in a panic that the world will end if Jobs leaves Apple,” Marc Liebman states. “I don't think that it will affect educators one way or the other. [...] Those that are Apple fans will still want to buy Macs, as I believe they are dedicated to what the Mac can do in the classroom. [...] So, while the story is big, it won't change what we do – and I don't think it will affect Apple's sales to schools,” he concludes.
Would you stop being an Apple fan with Jobs' stepping down from his position with the company?