Music students of the Manatee School District in Bradenton, Florida talked to music legend Sting on Friday using Apple’s iChat AV, an iSight camera and a PowerBook G4. Sting spoke to students from the Telewest Arena in Newcastle, England an hour before he was to perform a concert for his latest tour.
Manatee School District official Margi Nanney told MacCentral in an interview on Friday that the students were very excited about talking to Sting and they learned a lot about the musician. Students asked Sting everything from “what it’s like to be famous” to “what kind of music he likes.” Sting, who spent about an hour with the students answered all the questions, while stressing the value of getting a good education.
“Computers are a critical technology tool for our students and this is a perfect demonstration of how this cutting edge initiative can be applied in the classroom,” said Dr. Tina Barrios, Manatee District Schools’ Supervisor of Instructional Technology.
Manatee District Schools’ one-to-one laptop initiative, EDGE (Education Through Global Experiences) has been in the works since 2001. Following the lead of other school districts across the nation, the district has spent nearly two years in planning the program and has completed a series of pilot projects to ramp up the program.
At present, there are 5,229 Apple laptop computers in classrooms at 11 elementary, 3 middle and 2 high schools in the district. Manatee High just received 2,000 laptops this month. Eventually all Manatee County Schools will have the laptop technology available for all students.