Writing for the Daily Herald , Shruti Daté Singh reports that more about 5,100 students in Illinois’ Schaumburg Township schools will get Apple iBook laptops, to be phased in over the next three years.
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Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 plans to give every student in Grades four, five and six in seven of the district’s 22 elementary schools an iBook to use during the school year, according to the report — about 1,700 kids, all told. Other elementary schools will get iBooks for their students in 2004, and the remainder will get them in 2005. All told, about 5,100 pupils and dozens of school staff members will get the Apple laptops.
The school district’s efforts mirror those of Henrico County, Va. and the state of Maine, where similar efforts have been made to provide pupils of various ages with daily access to laptops. In both cases, Apple won out against other computer manufacturers for the sizeable contracts.
A final decision hasn’t been made on which seven of the 22 elementary schools in the district will get the iBooks first; that decision is coming in the next couple of months, and will be determined by each school’s network technology and skills and leadership, according to the report.
The decision to buy the computers follows a pilot program in which iBooks were used to write, create presentations and do research. The pilot program showed positive results, with kids more motivated to do schoolwork, read, write, and show their parents what they worked on that day. School officials shied away from offering any specific information about how literacy or technical skills improved among the pilot program’s students, however.