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Apple have recently announced a new field trip scheme, encouraging youngsters to visit their local Apple Store. The aim is to either let children use the hardware and software in the store to create a new project (likely using different iLife packages), or to turn the area into a theater to showcase a movie or production to the children’s teachers, families and parents.
A field trip lasts one hour, and Apple have created a package around the event offering a free t-shirt to children and a complimentary year long One-to-One membership to the event organizer. It’s a great idea, but does raise a few questions about the motives behind the promotion and whether it can really add much value to education.
Ripe for the picking
Children soak up information like a sponge at a young age. Apple is definitely portraying the field trip scheme as something which will be a fun and creative event, but it’s clear that their main aim is to have young minds exposed to their products and software. They will like nothing better than a class of 25 kids to go home and explain in animated and passionate voices to their parents the virtues of being able to run iLife.
Apple already have a very high brand recognition with teenagers, as surveys illustrate. They need to be very careful when moving into the territory of younger minds that they don’t push their products too hard.
Is it a sign of our material times that children will be taken to an Apple store on a field trip rather than a beach, park or museum? It’s a great idea from Apple, but one that generates a lot of potential debate.