Virginia’s Henrico County Public Schools are getting 23,000 of the portables to give every middle and high school student and teacher access to their own laptop computer. And there are plans to eventually provide every teacher and student throughout the district with an iBook.
“This is the mammoth — the single largest sale of portable computers in education ever,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a press announcement. “Apple is thrilled to partner with Henrico County Public Schools in their revolutionary initiative because when every student and teacher has access to wirelessly-networked mobile computing, learning reaches far beyond the classroom.”
Students, teachers, parents, and the community will now have the “best technology tools in the world at their fingertips every day,” according to Dr. Mark Edwards, superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools.
“We chose Apple’s iBook because our experience has shown that it costs significantly more to support other platforms,” he said. “Apple’s iBook is the best product available to meet our instructional needs.”
According to leading market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple was the number one supplier of portable computers to the U.S. education market for calendar year 2000. During that time, Apple captured an 18.2 percent share of the U.S. education portable market and had the largest annual growth in this segment of any vendor. One of the top draws of the iBook has been Apple’s AirPort technology, which has proven very popular in classrooms. Many schools have established “portable labs” using the laptops and AirPort technology.
From 1999 to 2000, the portable growth in the U.S. education market was 37 percent, more than twice that of desktops (15 percent). And IDC forecasts that the rate of portable growth in the U.S. education market will continue to significantly outpace the rate of growth for desktop computers this year.