The Quaker Valley School District is going with Apple, not Dell, computers.
The district is one of three in Pennsylvania that received an US$2 million state grant to become a model for technology in education. And school officials promised computing that was “compact, powerful and completely portable,” according to a
After months of negotiations with various vendors, district officials “tentatively” announced (the board still must formally award the contract) that Apple would be their first choice as hardware supplier. District officials had narrowed the choice of hardware supplier to Apple and Dell.
The district’s nearly 1,600 students will each receive a new iBook while 70 teachers will get a Titanium PowerBook G4. And the school libraries will be equipped with Cubes. In addition, Apple staff will assist in implementing the system during the first weeks of the coming school year, the article says
“Every child, regardless of wealth, is going to have this connection to the information society. This is about computers that transcend the school — that go anywhere,” Superintendent Gerard Longo told the Post-Gazette.
Under the proposal, Apple will provide the teachers’ computers for free. Joe Marrone, district technology director, told the Post-Gazette that the district couldn’t have afforded such powerful computers otherwise. The total hardware and service package from Apple would normally carry a $5 million price tag. But Marrone said Apple offered the package to Quaker Valley at less than half that amount, the Post-Gazette says. He declined to give an exact price until the district formally approves the contract.
“School staff yesterday also got a peek at the district’s new student accounting system by PowerSchool,” the article says. “The integrated grade-book software allows teachers and parents to monitor everything from grades to homework to lunch money accounts 24 hours a day with just the click of a mouse. The software normally costs in the $200,000-to-$250,000 range but the district negotiated a price just under $75,000.”
The PowerSchool student information system has been selected by 2,000 schools nationwide. It’s now owned by Apple, who acquired it earlier this year.
PowerSchool is a completely Web-based student information system that enables districts and schools to record, access, report and manage their student data and performance records in real-time. Parents, students, teachers and administrators use the system to share information about grades, attendance records, and homework assignments.