French Canadian newspaper
reports that students in Quebec’s Eastern Townships will be the recipients of Apple iBooks, in a laptop seeding program modeled after efforts in Henrico County, Virginia and the state of Maine.
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Writing for La Presse, Marie-France Léger said that the pilot program will begin in March with an expansion in June. The specific schools to be involved will be announced next week. Associate Director Chantal Beaulieu said that this is the first program of its type anywhere in Canada.
Representatives of the Eastern Townships School Commission traveled to Virginia, Maine and as far away as Australia to see how laptop deployment programs there had gone. Beaulieu told Léger that in general, the abilities of the pupils equipped with laptops had increased, thus underscoring the commission’s conclusion that laptops computers would be an essential tool in bringing about a culture of excellence.
All told, the commission expects to invest CDN$12.5 million over six years in the program, which would provide laptop computers for kids in both primary and secondary grades. Eventually the program is expected to put laptop computers in the hands of 5,000 pupils by 2006.