Kansas City schools plan calls for 6,000 Apple Macs

Apple Store“Kansas City, Kan., school administrators have unveiled a program that would outfit every high school student in the district with a laptop computer by next school year.
Calling the proposal one of the most important decisions in the district’s recent history, administrators said at Tuesday night’s board meeting that the plan would be a dramatic move for a district in which about 50 percent of the students do not have access to computers at home,” Dawn Bormann reports for The Kansas City Star.

“The proposal, which has yet to earn board approval, would cost about $2 million a year. It would pay for a lease on 6,000 Macintosh computers, technology upgrades to wireless access, support and more,” Bormann reports.

Bormann reports, “If approved, every high school teacher and student would be assigned a machine each year. Students could tote the laptops in and out of schools just as they do textbooks.”

“If board members approve the proposal, laptops would be distributed to teachers before school dismissed for the summer,” Bormann reports. “The extra time could give teachers a chance to start thinking about refocusing some teaching strategies.”

Bormann reports, “Students would not be assigned a computer until at least November. Grade levels that would receive the laptops generally would be ninth through 12th. Many of the existing high school computers would be distributed to elementary and middle schools.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kansas City school administrators obviously have their act together on this one. The only type of hardware that school systems should be considering today are Apple’s OS-unlimited Macs. If any school system is considering spending money on OS-limited PCs from HP, Dell, Gateway, or any other PC box assembler, taxpayers should complain loudly because their money would be slated to be wasted foolishly. Only Apple Macs can run the world’s most advanced operating system and, if need be, Linux variants and Microsoft’s porous Windows.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Shinobi” for the heads up.]

23 Comments

  1. I love the idea that a school system would buy Apple; but I wonder about the “learning” this is supposed to engender.

    I am not convinced laptops should be provided to students at public expense. Are there any objective (non-manufacturer or school board) studies that prove, or even suggest, individual computers increase a kid’s learning ability or retention?

  2. um, isn’t it Kansas?…I’m confused. (I know Kansas City is in MO, but the article says KS…so who’s right, Zamboni??)

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. There are smart people in the mid-west?

    I used to live in Topeka…and there wasn’t an intelligent soul to be found there. Just a bunch of republicans, hicks, and a combination of the two. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Jay,

    Some recent (this week) dissenting views on computers in the classroom.

    http://www.oreillynet.com/mac/blog/2007/04/leviathans_ipod.html?CMP=OTC-13IV03560550&ATT=Leviathan+s+iPod

    http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2007/tc20070410_846623.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily

    These were what I could getto quickly; I’m sure there are more.

    A bit old, but have you ever read Silicon Snake Oil, by Cliff Stoll, author of The Cuckoo’s Egg, about his finding a Soviet financed hacker ring?

  5. @Jay,

    Key learnings would be computer-savvyness, typing, understanding the computer ethos, hacking, subverting blocks, porn, computer capabilities, digital creativity, creating presentations, websites, using graphics, reading the news digitally, understanding searching and the wonders and limits of internet research, etc.

    Tomorrow’s best will need years of experience on these things to fully understand their (computer’s) capacities, limits, benefits and risks.

    Maybe they’ll help someone learn history better, and maybe they won’t, but what they’re learn is computerness. And that is necessary.

    From a socio-economic perspective it’s not hard to image that 50% of the kids in these Kansas high schools have no computers at home, but from a building-the-future-workforce-of-America-and-the-world perspective it’s very hard to believe.

    The kids need computers like they need art class and music. The benefits might largely go under the radar, but nevertheless they will be huge.

    (MW=bad WTF?)

  6. M@c

    There are smart people in the mid-west?

    I used to live in Detroit…and there wasn’t an intelligent soul to be found there. Just a bunch of unemployed Democrats, welfare recipients, and a combination of the two.

    Give it a rest, and quit embarrassing yourself

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