22 May 2012

An open letter to Apple

Dear Tim Cook, CEO Apple,  

PhET’s Progress on iPad Compatibility

We’ve been busy working on making our simulations iPad compatible. We hope to have a number of them ready over the summer so they will be available for the 2013-2014 school year, including Build an Atom, Concentration, and Ohm’s Law.
Right now user donations are our key source of funding towards converting simulations to HTML5 and bringing them to iPad and Android tablets.
So please consider donating today. And, thank you to those of you who have already donated. Your support will help keep our work funded through the summer.
Donate Now to help support iPad compatibility!
This is a request to help out one part of the education world that wants to use your iPads in class, but can't.  Please grant the PhET™ project at the University of Colorado the resources needed to rewrite their great educational apps to run on your devices.

Your company's animus toward the Flash and Java platforms is well documented, so this is not a plea to support them.  However, not all content made with Flash/Java is silly diversion.  Some has some very serious value.  I point you to the PhET project at  Many science teachers have found these apps valuable in the classroom, such as this one.

Projectile Motion
Click to Run

These apps were made with the philosophy that while the science has to be correct, these apps have to be usable and valuable in the classroom of today.  They have to hold onto a student's attention.  They have to be made so that students want to use them.  And the PhET team has accomplished this mission.

A grant from Apple would allow the team at PhET to support educators and give them the time needed to translate and revise these Flash and Java to HTML5 while still allowing the main team to develop new apps.

It wouldn't cost you much, and the goodwill generated would more than make up for it.  And you would turn many physics teachers into iPad lovers.

M A Magnuson
Science Dept
The Jesuit School of Buffalo, NY

Oh, and if you have a little extra money left over, give some to the Tracker Video Project.  They are another team worthy of your help.


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