reported on Dec. 21, the state of Michigan has announced an initiative to purchase computer equipment and Internet service for full time teachers in its public schools.
Governor John Engler recently created the Teacher Technology Initiative to give every teacher a laptop computer. Teachers can choose between five brands, including the Apple iBook. The Michigan Apple staff and ADE’s (Apple Distinguished Educators) have something to brag about.
The team, led by Jeff Jones and Jena Howard, plan on making Apple number one again in the state by introducing “Training Wheels,” according to ADE Paul Yelensky,
MACUL MTIP Project Manager Anthum Educational Technology Consultants. Training Wheels is a converted RV that houses about 10 iBooks, iMacs, a Titanium PowerBook and a Cube, each running an application — from iMovie, to science probes to Virtual PC.
To sell the Apple solution and excite teachers about technology, Training Wheels was rolled out at the just completed Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning Conference in Detroit. Teachers at the conference were able to tour the bus and sign up for the bus to visit their school over the next several months. It looks like every day is booked for the remainder of the school year, Yelensky said. When the bus visits a school, staff, students and community can take a tour of Apple technology for education. At the conference, Michigan ADEs were the tour guides on the bus, sharing their knowledge and excitement of Apple products to the constant stream of visitors, Yelensky said.
“The Training Wheels idea is marketing at its best, as well as a great example of teamwork between ADEs and local Apple staff!” he added. “The Michigan ADEs meet with Jeff and Jena on a regular basis through the planning process to brainstorm ideas and review plans.”