Madison, Wisconsin schools buy 1,400 Apple iPads – using Microsoft’s money

“Madison teachers will soon be handing out Apples to students,” Matthew DeFour reports for The Wisconsin State Journal.

“The School District for the first time plans to buy more than 600 iPads for use in the majority of schools this spring,” DeFour reports. “Another 800 iPads are expected to be in classrooms by next fall, all paid for with money from a state settlement with Microsoft.”

DeFour reports, “Pending School Board approval Monday, the iPads will debut in 20 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and Memorial, Shabazz and West high schools by mid-March… The iPads are being paid for with part of $3.4 million from a state-negotiated settlement with Microsoft. Wisconsin received nearly $80 million in technology vouchers as part of the 2009 settlement related to a consumer lawsuit over software. In December the School Board approved a plan to divide $2.1 million of the settlement among the schools with each getting $85.09 per student.”

“The district plans to spend an additional $442,000 of settlement funds on iPads, which it can buy for $479 apiece,” DeFour reports. “The state doesn’t track how many districts are using tablet technology or other 21st century learning tools, but Naomi Harm, a Minnesota-based tech consultant, said her company has worked with more than 50 school districts in Wisconsin implementing iPad technology.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “I like our strategy. I like it a lot.” – Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, January 2007

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


  1. I recall MS tried to convince the courts to allow them to give hundreds of millions of dollars ‘worth’ of MS software as payment for this settlement.

    Glad the courts could see that wasn’t a punishment for Microsoft but a backdoor way for them to grow marketshare and rejected it.

    1. I don’t know, somehow coming from a settlement seems better. Makes it seem like the punishment was really just. I think at the time, most thought it was a silly punishment as the school would just have to spend it on more Microsoft crap.

      1. Agreed. A I am so tremendously happy for the students. As an educator myself, I realize the phenomenal potential of iPad and iBooks for education. Apple is literally ushering in a new age of learning!

    1. I don’t understand your comment. The blindfolded justice is supposed to represent that all are treated equally under the law, not that justice doesn’t see the facts of the situation. In other words, the case is decided on its own merits, not based on some respect of a party regardless of what they actually did in the case at hand.

      What happened here is that Justice WAS done, based on the wrongs committed by Microsoft, regardless of the fact that it is a powerful company. The “respecter of persons” blindfold was on, as it should be.

  2. Most excellent for Apple.

    What I want to know, is where or what is the state doing with the other $76 million?

    I hope someone is keeping a close eye on the school board and that pile of money.

    Never, ever, trust government with extra money.

  3. Just so everyone knows… They aren’t using Microsoft’s money. They are using the money from the fine taxpayers of Wisconsin that overpaid for Microsoft products in the past. Of course, some would argue that any money paid to Microsoft is “overpaid”.

  4. Lets see what happens the first year and how many need repair after kids get their hands on
    them. Kids in the school are going to beat the crap out of them and damage them on a regular basis. Hopefully, Apple will learn how to build a better iPad after they are in the hands of kids.

    1. It seems that you have a low opinion of children or just a low opinion of the iPad. Hopefully, you took the time to teach your own children to respect the property of others and respect their own property too.

      I have more faith in children and in Apple’s products than what appears to be your beliefs.

      1. You must live in a better area than me then, because the kids in my neighbourhood would steal them and sell them on for money to spend on cigarettes/booze/drugs within a week.

    2. How many times does this have to be covered for you luddites to see the light?

      Warranties (squaretrade) and insurance protect the districts investment. By your logic all the school books must be destroyed too..

      I have seen these used first hand in Inner-city schools, down to the preschool level. I’ve seen more teachers damage their laptops/ipads than kids. Allof these fears you display are easily mitigated: Warranty+Insurance+Policy+hot-spares.

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