Since we first started incorporating computers into the fabric of The Field School, we have been an Apple kind of place. Dale Johnson, now our head of school, built our first network at the old Wyoming Avenue campus, and many of the older teachers here will recall using Apple IIs and then the original Macintosh desktop at Field.
With yesterday’s passing of Apple’s Steve Jobs, several of us have been remembering Field’s use of Apple computers back when the company was not seen as such a dominating presence in the market. Dale recalls: “Those were darker days for Apple. It was constantly dismissed as irrelevant and seemed on the verge of elimination. I often felt like Joe Peacock (the tech director who succeeded me) and I were constantly fending off parents—and some students and teachers—to abandon Apple and go the way of the PC.”
Jobs was actually fired from Apple in 1985, and did not return until 1997-98, after his founding of the NeXT computer company. At the time he returned, Apple launched a bold marketing campaign that Dale recalls quite well: “Think Different.” Dale says, “Call it marketing or what have you, but it worked as far as we were concerned, and it meshed so well with how we felt about Field, about founder Elizabeth Ely, and about the colleagues we worked with every day. I hope in some sense we all still feel this way about our school.”
Here is a version of that ad, narrated by Steve Jobs himself. It seems like a continued encouragement of Field students today, voicing how we feel about what goes on in our classrooms regularly.