Maine inks deal with Apple for 36,000 iBook G4 notebooks for students and teachers

The Maine Department of Education has signed a four-year, $41 million contract with Apple to continue to supply the technology, training, and support to Maine’s groundbreaking initiative that has equipped all the State’s 7th and 8th grade students and teachers with one-to-one access to wireless notebook computers and the Internet for the past 4 years.

According to Maine’s press release, the Initiative is still considered the single largest 1:1 educational technology program in the world. Maine’s Education Director of Special Projects, Bette Manchester notes, “The strength of the program is that the focus is on education. This is an educational project, not a technology project.”

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative has become a national and international model for 1:1 educational technology programs. Since its inception in 2002, many other U.S. states have implemented or are about to implement similar programs including Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and North Dakota. In January of 2005, Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media lab cited Maine’s program in his announcement at the World Economic Summit of the creation of One Laptop Per Child initiative that is working to put laptops in the hands of millions of students around the world.

The iBook G4 will be the new Maine Learning Technology Initiative notebook replacing the original iBook G3 units. Each iBook will be powered by a 1.33 ghz G4 chip and loaded with 1 GB of system memory (8x more memory than the previous MLTI laptop), the MLTI iBook will run Apple’s Mac OS 10.4 Tiger operating system. The iBook G4 will come with a 40GB hard drive and feature built-in wireless networking capabilities via Airport Extreme, 801.11g. Airport Extreme wireless networking will provide up to 5x faster connections than the previous iBooks. Maine’s new iBooks also feature a slot-loading CDRW/DVD-ROM drive.

Maine’s wireless networks that were installed in 2002 will be upgraded. Wireless access points will be upgraded to Airport Extreme Base Stations (802.11g, 54Mbps), and switches will be replaced as well. Coverage areas will be expanded and the new network will have up to 5x more available bandwidth than the previous network for internal data transfers.

Included Software Titles:

• Mac OS 10.4 Tiger: Apple’s latest operating system. Each year as available, the MLTI solution will be upgraded to utilize the latest version of the Mac OS.
• Appleworks: Productivity suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, drawing, painting, and presentation.
• CyberDuck: CyberDuck is an open source, fully featured FTP/SFTP client. Users may use it to upload web pages to web servers and perform other file transfer needs. Offered to MLTI by the David Kocher, the creator of CyberDuck.
• Firefox: Fast and popular open source web browser.
• Garageband: Digital recording studio. Record and edit your own music or podcasts.
• Google Earth: Google Earth puts a planet’s worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. Offered to MLTI by Google Inc.
• GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP): Open source image editing program. Similar to Adobe Photoshop.
• Grapher: A 2D and 3D graphing calculator. Bundled with Mac OS X.
• iMovie HD: Movie editing software.
• iPhoto: Digital Photo management, image enhancement, and slideshows.
• iTunes: Digital music management and encoding.
• iWeb: Web page creation and publishing.
• Journler: A daily journal software package.
• Keynote: Presentation software.
• LiveDictionary with AudioAssisted Text: LiveDictionary is a Safari extension that adds fast, convenient dictionary lookups to the web. AudioAssistedText is a LiveDictionary plugin that allows you to point to a word in Safari and hear the word spoken in a human voice. Both titles offered to MLTI by the authors, Eloquent Software and MetaTheory.
• NeoOffice: Open source productivity suite. Create, open, edit, and save Microsoft office formatted files (.doc, .xls, .ppt).
• NetLogo: NetLogo is a programmable modeling environment for simulating natural and social phenomena. It is particularly well suited for modeling complex systems developing over time. Offered to MLTI by Uri Wilensky, the creator of NetLogo, Director of the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling.
• NoteShare Multimedia Digital Notebook: Create, organize, share, publish.
• Other: The MLTI image will also include a host of other titles including Mail, iChat, iCal, Address Book, iSync, Quicktime, etc.
• Pages: Word Processor and Page Layout. This document was created using Pages.
• PASCO DataStudio: Data analysis, graphing calculator.
• PASCO MyWorld GIS: A Geographic Information System for Inquiry-Based Learning. Query, plot and analyze geographic data such as climate, geology, biodiversity, population and more.
• Safari RSS: Web browser with RSS feed management.
• SketchUp Pro: 3D design software. Offered to MLTI by Google Inc.
• World Book Encyclopedia: The entire World Book Encyclopedia and more.

A more detailed summary of the terms of the contract is available on the website at

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Related article:
Maine’s Apple iBook program draws international attention – March 11, 2003


  1. Would YOU give 7th and 8th Graders machines that could run Windows with a simple download of BootCamp and pirate (or not) copy of Windows 2000? or XP?
    There goes the investment…Kids are NOT going to install all the necessary anti-viral software to keep the Windows partition safe…
    This way..they get the primary protection of the Mac OS and are good to go for nearly anything they want to do…except perhaps selling real estate through the MLS or working toward their MCSE certificate.

  2. Thorin…

    “That might be the most idiotic f*cking statement that I have ever read. Ever.”

    I guess you are a little too distracted sucking second-hand Viagra out of Rush to get much reading done.

  3. Blew (probably the same dumbass who made the statement before but doesn’t have the guts to use a consistent name), I am not defending Rush, he is a gas-bag. To call someone a Rush sucking right-winger just because they are anti-union is ignorant, naive, idiodic oversimplification. Probably cited by a college boy who has never done a day’s hard work in his life. I read plenty, and I don’t get all of my opinions from some hippy professor. Thanks though.

  4. “That might be the most idiotic f*cking statement that I have ever read. Ever.”

    You mean even more idiotic than the statements “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier” and “freedom ought to have limits” ?

  5. Thorin…

    The quote provided showed a knee-jerk, Rush loving distate for the previous posters statement and implied a serious lack of reading experience as well.

    I stand by my post… and I hate f*ing hippies more than you do, as I get no opinions from them whatsoever.

  6. Blew,

    Ok, first you should know that I am reasonable person. But dammit, I stand by my statement too! I know numerous individuals that are Democrats and lean to the left, but hate unions. It was generalizing and oversimplifying, that was my point. The statement that I was responding to was knee-jerk in my opinion.

    With that said, all Mac enthusiasts are my friends and I wish you well.

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