Maine state officials work with Apple to expand laptop program into high schools

“State officials are working with Apple Computer Inc. to determine the minimum level of participation needed for Apple to rent laptops to school districts seeking to expand the program into high schools,” David Sharp reports for The Associated Press.

“Education Commissioner Susan Gendron said Friday that she hopes to gauge support from superintendents at a meeting later this month,” Sharp reports. “Already, a dozen school districts are willing to enter into their own lease-purchase agreements with Apple, but they could save money if there is enough critical mass for a state-sponsored rental plan, Gendron said.”

“Friday’s announcement is good news for educators and students who hope the state will somehow find a way to expand the first-in-the-nation program that put computers in the hands of seventh- and eighth-graders,” Sharp reports. “The Baldacci administration has been scrambling since the Legislature adjourned without taking action on laptops.”

Full article here.

11 Comments

  1. The reality is the teachers, students and their parents recognize the inherent value in the program – as well as the PTA, administration and district superintendants. No politicking is going to change their minds.

    Maine’s state motto translates to “I Direct” – let them direct their own education with iBooks for all!

  2. I think Apple should go very hard to get the laptop program going statewide in Maine. Maine has been one of the showcase program for Apple and they need to show to other states and school districts that they need to partner with Apple (not HP, not Dell) to succeed when they implement a similar program.

  3. Just moved to a new district and I asked one of the staff people if they had any Mac’s and they said “we got rid of all are Mac’s in order to offer the students computers that more like the computers they would use once they entered the ‘real world’.

    …”also the macs were really not good for anything anymore”…

    They had MD G4’s running OS 9…

    Many schools are using OS 9 and the IT people are leaving them on OS 9 as a way to force the change to MS. They can tell the school board hey it will cost 139.00 per machine per year for the service packs plus they are slow and their is a lack of software for the machines. This is how it is done.

  4. ’tis the efforts of inept staff to prevent advanced technology from entering the classrooms – they like having unreliable computers so that excuses can be made for everything.

    My old high school has had NT pentium 2 machines for a few years now, and they lock them up with scads of security software to protect the systems from student hackers, effectively crippling the systems altogether from being useable. The internet security problems in the OS, combined with the security problems for multiuser environments with the OS, combined with darned slow machines, compounded by various conflicting softwares basically renders wintel machines useless in schools. They recently updated to Windows 2000 – same problems exist (except much slower now).

  5. You can only do so much with computers if you don’t have a solid grounding in the three R’s [ reading, writing and arithmetic for our foreign guests ]. I hope we’re not raising internet-idiots; kids who don’t read text books or news, can’t use a library, hand-write an essay, or do the occasional longhand calculation ~ Welcome to the Copy-Paste generation. Thanks to the power of the computer and the internet, the brains of the Copy-Paste generation are actually getting smaller. ~

    Give a smart kid a computer and you won’t have to teach him how to use it (Windoze excepted, of course). Why am I saying this? Some cram schools have far superior teaching methods and materials than regular schools. Sending your kids there to do some serious learning because regular schools are full of useless projects and assignments [that end up mostly being done by parents] deny children and parents time for hobbies, rest and recreation.

    Ok, so I’m ranting off topic… too much vino maybe. Yeah, give the kids a subsidized iBook and but let them keep it — mostly at home; sometimes at school and used for a limited number of mandatory assignments. Don’t give ’em a virus susceptible shitbox or let ’em use MyCrapSoft sieveware — you will have wasted everyone’s time and money.

    First and foremost, give the li’l buggers an education.

  6. Just moved to a new district and I asked one of the staff people if they had any Mac’s and they said “we got rid of all are Mac’s in order to offer the students computers that more like the computers they would use once they entered the ‘real world’.

    …”also the macs were really not good for anything anymore”…

    They had MD G4’s running OS 9…

    Many schools are using OS 9 and the IT people are leaving them on OS 9 as a way to force the change to MS. They can tell the school board hey it will cost 139.00 per machine per year for the service packs plus they are slow and their is a lack of software for the machines. This is how it is done.

    that is scary but not a surprising attitude from IT staff who are not fans of Apple.
    I have friends who are regular PC users who are still sceptical of Apple despite what I tell them about Apple software, becasue they are so used to Windows.

  7. OS X is one of the best kept open secrets in the computing world. You tell a windozer who used an Apple 10 years ago how great they are today and they JUST DON’T GET IT. OS X is a paradigm shift that just does not compute for them. Apple’s switcher campaign was fine but what they really should be concentrating on is getting the word out on what Apple computers are about TODAY. And that is OS X. No Viruses, Powerful, Intuitive and Easy to use, Much More Cross Platform Friendly, and Solid as a Rock.

  8. Marketing failed to go all the way and name it “O.H.-Sex” — that would have gotten them the attention.

    </irony>

    The problem now is what can you name the next iteration that will face LongHorn in 2012? OS XI? OS 11? OS XX or OS XXX? Einstein?

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