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Apple secures large-scale Maine laptop contract

post #1 of 25
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For the second time this year, Apple Computer has won a significant contract for the large-scale deployment of laptops, this time in the state of Maine, MacNN reports.

According to the report, Apple has been selected as the top-scoring bidder for services and equipment for a four-year, 36,000 laptop Maine Learning Technology Initiative, following a request for proposals on January 13th, 2006.

Apple will provide "portable computing devices with suitable basic applications" for all middle school students and teachers, along with upgraded wireless networks for all participating schools, appropriate server capacity, training and technical support, the report says.

Earlier this year, Apple was chosen to supply Henrico County's middle school students with laptops, despite a lower bid from Dell -- a deal involving nearly 13,000 laptops for $15.8 million.

"This award is a final decision, subject to State Purchases Review Committee approval and final legislative approval of the Department's budget," said representatives from the State of Maine. The State will now enter into negotiations with Apple in order to finalize the terms and conditions of the agreement for Apple's services and equipment.

Under the current timelines and subject to final legislative approval of the department's budget, the Department said that it plans to deploy new laptop computers to teachers, librarians, principals and technology coordinators in the summer of 2006 to begin preparing for the upcoming 2006-7 school year, according to MacNN. New laptop computers for all grade 7 and 8 public middle school students will reportedly be issued at the start of the school year.

Overall, the contract will be for an estimated 36,000 laptops.
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Apple will provide "portable computing devices with suitable basic applications" for all middle school students and teachers[/B]

Ahhh, "portable computing devices" is much easier to roll of the tongue than as-of-yet announced "MacBooks."
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post #3 of 25
Maybe I should move to Maine?
post #4 of 25
You have to figure this is either A) Apple wowing them with the un-announced MacBooks or B) Apple saying "We'll have at least 36,000 new, unopened, fully-supported iBook G4s sitting around in the next couple of months that you can have for next-to-nothing because we'll be intro'ing MacBooks"

Either way.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
[i]Apple will provide "portable computing devices with suitable basic applications" for all middle school students and teachers, along with upgraded wireless networks for all participating schools, appropriate server capacity, training and technical support, the report says.

In addition to the usual suspects, Mail, Safari, and iCal, I wonder what additional applications might represent "...with suitable basic applications"? Presumably there's a word processor beyond TextEdit. So, AppleWorks? iWork? Or, MS Office?? There's no mention of the software bundle in the MacNN article. Hmmm....
post #6 of 25
Get ready for the next wave of 2-month waiting lists after Apple announces the new iBook (MacBook... whatever).

36,000 are slready spoken for.
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post #7 of 25
Great for the kids, great for the schools, great for apple!

GREAT!
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post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
Great for the kids, great for the schools, great for apple!

GREAT!

.

... yeah except for the fact it's an incredible waste of taxpayer's money. High school I could understand, but middle school? Why the heck do middle school kids need laptops? I mean it's nice and all... but aren't there more important things to spend the money on? Like maybe high school students?

Or maybe I'm just jealous. One or the other.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by ctachme
.

... yeah except for the fact it's an incredible waste of taxpayer's money. High school I could understand, but middle school? Why the heck do middle school kids need laptops? I mean it's nice and all... but aren't there more important things to spend the money on? Like maybe high school students?

Or maybe I'm just jealous. One or the other.

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post #10 of 25
I was a senior in high school (in Maine) when this initiative first passed, we had an independent governor and it was all his idea, tax payers all hated it seeing as Maine was already one of the highest taxed (per capita) states in the nation.


Anyhow, in a related note, I remember having a powerbook years ago, and when it broke there was only 1 mac guy in my town (Bangor) he was very pricey. With 36,000 laptops you think they will need some tech support? It would be nice to move back home and do my job there, you think the techs will be apple's own guys?



-Roy

*edit* look what I found, looks like it is being offered to private schools and some high schools too:

Apple wins bid to continue laptop program
March 21, 2006
AUGUSTA, Maine --Apple Computer Corp. submitted the winning bid to put new computers on the laps of 36,000 seventh- and eighth-graders and their teachers, extending for another four years the state's first-in-the-nation program, officials said Tuesday.

The bid comes out to an annual cost of $289 per unit -- compared to $300 per unit contained in the original bid four years ago, said Jeff Mao, coordinator of educational technology for the Maine Department of Education.

The bid, which works out to roughly $40 million, includes new iBook computers, upgraded wireless networks, a four-year warranty and other perks like professional development for each of Maine's 241 public middle schools.

"We think this is a phenomenal proposal. Now we have to sit down and negotiate the intricacies of the program," Maine Education Commission Susan Gendron said Tuesday.

Unlike the first deal, this one will also be made available to private and parochial schools, as well as the state's high school and elementary schools, Mao said.

The state is also making available additional money through the essential programs and services school funding formula to extend the program into high schools. More than 30 high schools already have some laptops deployed.

Only two companies submitted bids. The other company was CDW-G, which provides technological services to government, education and health care. CDW-G's proposal called for Lenova Thinkpads in partnership with other businesses.

Both companies wanted to participate because the state's program has become a model for others to the follow, Gendron said.
"The proposals really did recognize that Maine is an international leader in integrating technology and learning," he said.
post #11 of 25
I don't know if it's really necessary to equip every kid with a computer... it would be nicer if they used the money to hire highly qualified instructors for the kids with real-world work experience. US schools are utterly inadequate for preparing kids for real work. They need to learn how to learn before they start relying on their computer to do all the heavy lifting for them.

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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
I don't know if it's really necessary to equip every kid with a computer... it would be nicer if they used the money to hire highly qualified instructors for the kids with real-world work experience. US schools are utterly inadequate for preparing kids for real work. They need to learn how to learn before they start relying on their computer to do all the heavy lifting for them.

I have lived in California for 4 years now and i do see how inadequate the schools are, but in Maine I assure you it is very different:

http://www.nea.org/goodnews/me01.html

Good News about Public Schools in Maine
Students Achieving
Reading Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: Maine 4th graders rank 7th in the nation in reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAR

Reading Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: Maine 8th graders rank 2nd in the nation in reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAR

Writing Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: Maine ranks 6th in the nation for having the largest proportion of public school 4th graders scoring at the highest two levels in writing in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).RCW

Writing Scores Are Up: The proportion of Maine public school 8th graders who scored at the highest two levels in writing in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) increased by 13% between 1998 and 2002. RCW

Math Scores Are Up: The proportion of Maine public school 4th graders who scored at the highest two levels in mathematics in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) increased by 56% between 2000 and 2005. RCM

Math Scores Are Up: The proportion of Maine public school 8th graders who scored at the highest two levels in mathematics in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) increased by 20% between 1992 and 2005. RCM

Science Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: Maine ranks 2nd in the nation for having the highest percentage of public school 4th graders scoring at the two highest levels in science and ranks 10th in the nation for having the highest proportion of 8th graders scoring at the highest two levels in science. RCS

SAT Scores Are Rising: More Maine students are getting high scores on their SAT college entrance examinations. The proportion of graduating seniors getting high scores on the Verbal SAT has increased by 16% since 1994; the proportion of graduating seniors getting high scores on the Math SAT has increased by 41% since 1994. (A high score is defined as 600 or above). SAT

SAT Scores Are Rising: Since 1994, Maine's combined SAT college entrance examination scores have risen faster than the national average. SAT

More Public Schools Than Private Schools Offer AP: While 87% of Maine's public high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses through which high school students can earn college credit, just 34% of Maine's private high schools offer these advanced courses. AP

More Public Schools Offer AP Courses: Since 1998 the proportion of Maine public schools offering AP courses has increased by 23%. AP

AP Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: Maine public school students rank 2nd of 50 on AP economics exams. AP

Public School Students Outperform Private School Students on AP Exams: In Maine, public school students score higher than private school students on their AP exams. AP

Public School Students Outperform Private School Students on AP: Maine public high school students are more likely than private and religious school students to receive grades on Advanced Placement (AP) exams that qualify for college credit. AP

Among the Best Gains in the Nation in Students Going to College: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education ranks Maine as one of the top 3 states in the gains made over the last decade in students attending college. HE

Among the Nation's Biggest Gains in College Entrance Exam Scores: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education ranks Maine as one of the top 3 states in the increase over the past decade in the proportion of school graduates with scores in the top 20% nationally on either ACT or SAT college entrance examinations. HE

Even More Good News
Among The Nation's "Smartest States": Maine has been named as one of the five "smartest states" in the country based on the quality of its public elementary and secondary schools. ESR

High School Graduation Rate Among the Best in the Nation: Maine ranks among the 10 highest states in the percent of entering 9th graders who go on to graduate high school. ESR

Schools Are Safe: No schools in Maine were identified as "persistently dangerous" under the new "No Child Left Behind" law. EWQ

Among the Leading States in School Attendance: Maine is one of the top 9 states in the country in the percentage of public school 8th graders attending schools without an absenteeism problem. EWQ

Best State for Students Showing Up to School on Time: Maine is the #1 state in the country in the percentage of public school 8th graders attending schools without a tardiness problem. EWQ

Computers Highly Available: There is one classroom computer available for every 3.8 public school students in Maine, making Maine one of the top 2 states in classroom computer availability for students. MDR

Widespread Internet Access: All of the public schools in Maine have internet access. MDR

edit: sorry for the super long post
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by ctachme
.

... yeah except for the fact it's an incredible waste of taxpayer's money. High school I could understand, but middle school? Why the heck do middle school kids need laptops? I mean it's nice and all... but aren't there more important things to spend the money on? Like maybe high school students?

Or maybe I'm just jealous. One or the other.

Surely they already have enough students. Why do they need to buy some more?
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post #14 of 25
Computers are not "needed" to get a good education, are very much a part of our lives, but like anything else they need to be used properly to benefit us
post #15 of 25
Waste of tax payers dollars.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by ctachme
.

... yeah except for the fact it's an incredible waste of taxpayer's money. High school I could understand, but middle school? Why the heck do middle school kids need laptops? I mean it's nice and all... but aren't there more important things to spend the money on? Like maybe high school students?

Or maybe I'm just jealous. One or the other.

errr...i did a ebay search on the school districs computers (all schools have the same) and they sell for 1 cent...yah they suck. ANY school could use a laptop...especially a virus free laptop which in the long run saves money.
post #17 of 25
Good for them!
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post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Waste of tax payers dollars.

It's too bad you feel that way. Though people may not realize it, computer labs are becoming a thing of the past and are more expensive than the deployment of laptops. The benefits of laptops being given out to students include:

- The ability for every available class period to have a computer based lesson plan or curriculum, rather than have "normal" time and "computer" time depending on when a computer lab is available.

- The chance for all students to do be able to do their homework on a computer both during and after school. Not all children and their parents can afford to have a computer at home. This overcomes that boundry.

- Reduced infrastucture costs: Laptops when paired with wireless can be setup and used almost anywhere. Desktop computer labs required a dedicated room, and specially designed electrical and ethernet wiring, which costs money.

- Reduced payroll costs: Many times schools would have to hire extra help or pay overtime to faculty and staff so that computer labs can stay open for student use after normal school hours. When each student has their own computer, having labs available for those who can't take their work home to complete is no longer needed.

- Improved computer literacy: students will work with computers more often and for longer periods of time when they have laptops in comparison to having just a computer lab or no computers at all. Basic procedures such as opening, saving, backing up files, restarting a computer, doing file searches, word processing, searching the Internet for information, and many other tasks that need to be taught in "Computer Literacy" classes in high school can be eliminated when middle schoolers come in already knowing this material. Instead, more advanced computer topics that interest the students can be taught (desktop publishing, graphic design, video editing, computer programming) giving these high school students a better skillset when they leave.

So how is this a waste?

And no, I'm not a teacher or school administrator. Unless you feel that ALL computers in schools are a waste of money?
post #19 of 25
Laptops for anyone below college level is...retarded. Period.

I can't believe Maine let this happen. They're idiots.

Of course for Apple...it's great! And after this their stock keeps sliding. I'm getting so anxious to see it drop even more and then grab some.
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post #20 of 25
Personally I'd rather see the money goto hiring more qualified teachers. This is more of a general comment about all thse laptop programs then it is directly about the Maine deal.

I grew up in Detroit MI, one of the worst school districts in the country, on the verge of collapse. Infact just yesterday 53 school were close do it a sick out becuase we are running out of money to pay teachers. I personally think the money is better spent on hiring more qualified teachers, and making sure that the math and sciences are taught better.

While you have great points that would work in an ideal situation, nothing in this world is ideal. I don't see how having a computer is better then teaching on a good ole chalk board (Michigan is a state where chalk boards are still fairly common) or reading from a book. While I realize some things can be better taught on a computer (science is a good example of this with models and graphs to demonstrate principals) but how many teachers actually do it?

I work for a major university and it boggles the mind on how many calls we have about how to use powerpoint and how to use word from both teachers and students. I frankly think that teachers are not qualified atleast from my experence to properly intergrate computers into their lesson plans. From what I've seen both from high school and college is that teachers barely know anything about computers let alone how to intergrate them into lessons.

As to computer literacy, I already know this statement will have backlash but I'm gonna say it anyway. If you are pushing for computer literacy skills for students, then the OSX platform is a bad choice. Bare with me as I say this. 90% of the worlds systems run on Windows, if for nothing else, teaching on a Windows based computer would be far more applicable in reusable skills later, whereas you are unlikely to encounter OSX in the workplace as often.

Also one of the things I have seen is that a good precentage of students won't pay attention to the lesson at hand, and screw around on the computer instead of learning. That happens everywhere I've taken a class from high school and college.

While I'm all for computer education, the US Education system needs to get the basics right first with Math, Science, History, and English skills before anything else.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Personally I'd rather see the money goto hiring more qualified teachers. This is more of a general comment about all thse laptop programs then it is directly about the Maine deal.

As to computer literacy, I already know this statement will have backlash but I'm gonna say it anyway. If you are pushing for computer literacy skills for students, then the OSX platform is a bad choice. Bare with me as I say this. 90% of the worlds systems run on Windows, if for nothing else, teaching on a Windows based computer would be far more applicable in reusable skills later, whereas you are unlikely to encounter OSX in the workplace as often.

Also one of the things I have seen is that a good precentage of students won't pay attention to the lesson at hand, and screw around on the computer instead of learning. That happens everywhere I've taken a class from high school and college.

Well it is almost a catch 22. It's true a lot of school districts have a lack of funding or lack of knowledge in how to run themselves. I didn't grow up in Detroit, so I don't have the experience in dealing with a poorly run school system first hand. My response is more of a response to the fact that almost ALL schools have some type of computer infrastructure in place, and what the benefits of having laptops over desktops would be. You seem to be arguing more of the fact whether there should be computers in schools at all.

Maybe if we actually taught teachers-to-be about this technology, they would use it. Then again, the technology has to be there for the teachers-to-be to learn and use.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
As to computer literacy, I already know this statement will have backlash but I'm gonna say it anyway. If you are pushing for computer literacy skills for students, then the OSX platform is a bad choice. Bare (sic) with me as I say this. 90% of the worlds systems run on Windows, if for nothing else, teaching on a Windows based computer would be far more applicable in reusable skills later, whereas you are unlikely to encounter OSX in the workplace as often.

We are talking about junior high school here. By the time these students get to the workplace there might not even be such a thing as "Windows". Excel is Excel, Word is Word, PowerPoint is PowerPoint (and all debuted on the Mac, not Windows, BTW).

Unless by "reusable skills" you mean cleaning malware off of your system...
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post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
We are talking about junior high school here. By the time these students get to the workplace there might not even be such a thing as "Windows". Excel is Excel, Word is Word, PowerPoint is PowerPoint (and all debuted on the Mac, not Windows, BTW).

Excel and PowerPoint debuted on the Mac, but Word did not.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
If you are pushing for computer literacy skills for students, then the OSX platform is a bad choice. Bare with me as I say this. 90% of the worlds systems run on Windows, if for nothing else, teaching on a Windows based computer would be far more applicable in reusable skills later, whereas you are unlikely to encounter OSX in the workplace as often.

That's like saying, "If you learn to drive on a car you will not know how to drive a truck."

post #25 of 25
Secured Main contract, check this out!

Looks like the have secured every kids school in Ireland!
Every single primary schools, all kids aged 4 - 12 across the county!
http://www.apple.com/uk/education/profiles/fis/
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