The state of Maine is considering a plan to allocate US$50 million to get laptops for every seventh and eighth grade student. And at least one of schools seems flooded with iBooks.
According to a
“Portland Press” article, every eighth-grader at Piscataquis Community Middle School in Guilford has a laptop computer. And though the article doesn’t say they’re Macs, the accompanying photo indicates they are.
Gov. Angus King devoted much of his annual State of the State address on Jan. 23 to renewing his call for Maine to equip all of Maine’s seventh- and eighth-graders with midgrade portable computers. King said the middle school in Guilford, where the new laptops were bought with the aid of a $100,000 grant from a local company, shows how successful such a program can be.
Though not everyone in Maine favors the laptop program and its cost, at Piscataquis Community Middle School, students, teachers and administrators say laptops are helping the students do more and better research on projects, write more often and learn computer skills they’ll need for the future, according to the Portland Press. The school obtained 117 laptops (apparently iBooks) last September. The article said the computers are wireless so apparently they’re using Apple’s AirPort technology.
The 117 laptops have “kind of changed the way kids do things and the way teachers do things,” Gregory Bellemare, principal of the 270-student school, told the newspaper. Bellemare said kids come to middle school already attuned to computers through playing games. “Like it or not, when you put a computer in front of them, to them it’s much more interesting than if they have a book in front of them.”
Over half of the new computers are in the hands of eighth-graders at the middle school. Seventh-, sixth- and fifth-graders share the remainder of the laptops. Guilford of Maine, a textile manufacturing company provided $100,000 and the school district came up with a matching amount in federal funds to buy the laptops. Hopefully, iBooks and Macs will be the Maine computers in the state school system.
For the complete story, check out the Portland Press article at the URL above. (Thanks to MacCentral reader, Sean Eldridge, for sending this info our way.)