Alaskan school district provides 12-inch G4 PowerBooks to every student

“When school begins Sept. 15, the Denali Borough School District will become the first in Alaska to provide a laptop computer for every student in grades 9 through 12. A total of 129 laptop computers are being prepared to hand over to high schoolers at Tri-Valley, Anderson and Cantwell schools,” Kris Capps reports for The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

“This ‘one-on-one initiative’ is the result of a partnership between the Denali Borough School District and Apple Computer, and is based on programs in other states, particularly in Virginia and in Maine,” Capps reports. “Each student will be issued a computer the first two days of school. Three trainers from Apple Computers will be on hand to instruct students and parents in details of care, maintenance and handling. Written ‘Laptop Rules of the Road’ will be provided, along with contracts for use that parents and students must sign.”

“Parents must attend a meeting about the program before their child can check out a computer. Each computer is a wireless Macintosh G4 Powerbook with a 12-inch screen, and a carrying case for protection. ‘Wireless gives students connectivity throughout the building,’ according to Kevin Cole, the district’s new technology wizard. ‘They don’t have to be tethered to wires.’ The computers contain software for word processing, spread sheets and Powerpoint presentations,” Capps reports.

Full article here.


  1. I find it fascinating that they are not using the cheaper and, most people feel, sturdier iBooks!

    I was in Alaska for my third summer in a row last month. Went up to the Arctic Circle this year. Absolutely beautiful state. And the Mac Store in Anchorage (I hear they have a location also in Fairbanks that I haven’t yet visited) is a very nice independent store. I have also visited there every year, too! This year, they helped me transfer some photos to my iBook when I encountered an unexpected problem. I recommend stopping in to see them when you visit Alaska–which I also recommend.

  2. Prices have dropped–the AlBook is pretty affordable now. Wish I had one.

    Somehow this struck me as funny:

    ‘Wireless gives students connectivity throughout the building,’ according to Kevin Cole, the district’s new technology wizard. ‘They don’t have to be tethered to wires.’

    If I know stuff like that, can I be a wizard too?

  3. “…sturdier iBooks”

    I agree that the iBook feels sturdier than my Ti Book. My wife’s 12″ iBook has been dropped a few times (by me, not her) and had a screwdriver fall from several feet and literally stick direcly into the trackpad – which Apple replaced for free. My Ti Book gets heavy daily use (14+ hours per day) and is thrown around in messenger bag much of the day. It is definitely tough, but perhaps not as tough as her iBook – or at least that is the perception when you see my scratched up screen, chipped and scraped paint, and super-glued bottom casing.

    The Al PowerBooks are a different story, though. I don’t own one yet, but after extensive use of a 12″ Al PowerBook, my impression is that it is just as sturdy as the iBook, and it may be sturdier.

  4. Well, Bomb, maybe they will add screw driver coverage in a new AppleCare plan! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Happy to hear about the feeling that the new AlBooks are also sturdy. Even if they are the equal of the iBook, I am surprised to see a school district spend more thatn they might otherwise have to. Happy to see it, just surprised!

  5. I was a little surprised, too. When I first read this, my feeling was that Apple was trying to clean out PowerBook inventory to make way for the new PowerBooks they introduce next week! …but I didn’t want to jinx the rumor.

  6. I think its great that more and more schools are pushing the mac product line, but I just don’t see how giving every child an $1800 powerbook helps with education. It’s more likly that these computers will be full of junk (Games, MP3’S, Porn etc).

    On top of that kids are very carless and anything that they get for free will have no value to them, its most likly that more than half of these computers wont last a year without needing repair.

  7. They had the chance to choose the iBooks but felt that the AlBook better met their needs.

    School hasn’t even started yet up there. I think that we could at least give them a chance to see how things work out before questioning their choice of machine or deciding that the effort is doom to fail.

  8. Daner, I don’t think anyone suggested the effort is doomed! I expect good things from their decision!

    And it doesn’t sond as though Sublock has been following the other districts using laptops. Most of the original problems have been overcome, as I understand it, and they continue to show success and have expanded. Haven’t heard a recent report, but I’m sure the Denali District has!

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