Iowa school district eschews books for Apple MacBooks

“Van Meter Community School Superintendent John Carver says the 630-student school district has ‘stepped through the looking glass’ with a one-to-one initiative that trades textbooks for laptops in grades 6-12, connecting students to an infinite collection of human knowledge and for collaborations with peers around the country, and potentially changing the role of teachers from lecturers to facilitators and resource guides,” Beth Dalbey reports for The Iowa Independent.

“Today’s students have grown up with technology and are comfortable using it to access information and network socially, so why not empower them to use it as a tool to enhance their learning, Van Meter educators asked themselves six years ago,” Dalbey reports. “‘Kids learn through technology,’ said John Seefeld, a seven-year school board member and former board president who helped lead Van Meter’s transformation to a technology and information empowered school. ‘Should we say ‘come to school and turn it off?'”

Dalbey reports, “The lease for the use of Apple’s Macintosh laptop computers and related products costs Van Meter $149,000 a year, which works out to be about $50 per computer. The initiative is saving the district money in other areas, said Elementary Principal Maribeth Arentsen. ‘Work books was our largest expenditure,’ Arentsen said. ‘Five years ago, we got rid of our workbooks and all funds now are for focused instructional materials.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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


  1. $50 a year for a MacBook plus all the support and network. Even if the laptops last for 10 years (which they won’t) Apple will still be selling at half the list price.
    Either we’re missing something or Apple is subsidizing state education. Maybe that’s what Apple is using its cash for. They could just afford to do this for all kids in school assuming an average cost for $1000 per kid (and 50M school kids)
    That councillor in Cupertino should have been asking for laptops for kids rather than free WiFi. Probably would have got somewhere then!

  2. just stirring things up. You’re right in the correct reading of the headline. I wonder how many see … eschews ‘books for MacBooks’ vs the correct ‘eschews books’ for MacBooks.

  3. Many textbook publishers are selling their electronic versions for about the same price as their print versions. That would appear to be a really bad move. No print costs but the same (or nearly the same) price for the books. I am hopeful those publishers will come to their senses. It’s no bargain to get a computer but to then pay the same prices for some of these textbooks.

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