Michigan middle school students get 350 Apple iBooks

“Mason Middle School [Erie, Michigan] students won’t be taking out many pens or using much paper next week,” Michelle Swartz reports for Monroe News.

“Instead, they will flip open their laptop computers,” Swartz reports. “As part of a pilot program, all Mason Middle School students will be given their own laptop Apple [iBook G4] computers. The program, 1 to 1 Laptop Initiative, will allow teachers to integrate the curriculum into technology.”

Swartz reports, “‘The teachers can’t stop talking about it. They are very excited,’ said Katie Rofkar, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. ‘They are teaming together to develop ways of using the technology in the classroom.'”

Schwartz reports, “The district is leasing approximately 350 laptops for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. The school board approved the lease, $129,967 annually for four years, in July.”

“Teachers will be using Apple iLife software, which includes photocasting, the Web, a DVD creator, music and other tools,” Schwartz reports. “Ryan Throop, a middle school geography teacher, says the possibilities are endless with the new technology. ‘It’s going to completely enhance and change everything we do as teachers,’ he said.”

“Volunteers are building shelves to store the laptops. Students will be assigned shelf space and before leaving school at the end of the day, they will put their computers on the shelves, where they can charge overnight,” Schwartz reports.

Full article here.

[Updated: 4:24pm EDT: Changed “Waterford” to “Erie.” Thanks, George A. Custer.]

Related articles:
Nebraska high school provides nearly 200 Apple iBooks to all students – August 28, 2006
Maine inks deal with Apple for 36,000 iBook G4 notebooks for students and teachers – June 29, 2006
Apple beats Dell: lands deal to supply 12,675 iBooks to Henrico County Middle Schools – February 09, 2006
Apple Mac is #1 in European education market, pushes Dell down into second place – February 03, 2006

18 Comments

  1. My middle school did the same thing, but bought 500 ibooks and we got to keep them overnight. The teachers who are saying that this is going to revolutionize everything this upcoming year are completely off. The laptops did change things, but in the first year the teachers still taught the same. They still graded hard-copies, we had hard-copy test, we still got handouts, still got hard-copy homework, and most things stayed the same. I’m not implying its not a good idea, but at least be realistic, things don’t change overnight. The major change it did have is that we had a lot more digital projects (ie powerpoints) and we also took notes on the laptop and typed some of our homework, but for the most part school was still school, but i had only had the ibooks for the first year of the program.

    Sorry for the long post, but i can’t believe this made the news and this website.

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