The Associated Press reports
that Michigan officials are recommending the state go with Hewlett-Packard Co. for a statewide laptop computer program. HP beat out four other computer companies including Apple to win the bid. The laptop recommendation is part of the state’s
Freedom to Learn program.
The exact scope of the project is unclear, however, since the state doesn’t know how many schools will participate. The Associated Press postulates that if every sixth grader in the state got a laptop computer, the contract could cost almost $36 million, however.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Management and Budget told the Associated Press that HP won the bid because it agreed to charge no more than US$275 per student per year. HP will provide laptops, tech support, insurance and training for the program. The contract still must be approved by Michigan’s State Administrative board, a group that includes the highest-ranking officials in the state government, as well as the state school superintendent. They plan to meet on Dec. 16.
A smaller pilot program using Apple iBooks called
Learning Without Limits
was put into place last year.