Apple on Monday announced it has secured a deal with Georgia’s Cobb County School District to provide more than 17,000 iBooks for teachers across the district and students at four “demonstration site” high schools. Apple noted that if the school board approves it, this deal could equip all Cobb County high school and middle school students with iBooks beginning in 2006 — for a total of 63,000 iBooks.
Apple claims the Cobb County deal is the largest ever one-to-one computer learning initiative. Cobb County calls the program “Power To Learn,” and superintendent Joseph Redden called his district’s program a giant step forward for education. “Apple’s combination of innovative technology, world-class technical support and unparalleled experience in the education market make it an ideal partner,” said Redden in a statement.
The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Apple. Although Apple is riding high with public awareness and media buzz surrounding its Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger” operating system, the company late last week lost a bid to equip high schoolers with new iBooks in Henrico County, Va., which instead went with rival Dell. Henrico County was the site of the Apple’s first major one-to-one computing success, where it equipped middle school and high school students and teachers with 23,000 iBooks in a four year lease program valued at US$24.2 million.