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Maine to extend iBook program?

updated 10:05 am EST, Thu December 29, 2005

Laptops in Maine schools

The Maine Department of Education today is making plans to just two months later. Next month, Maine's Department of Education will offer the program up to bidders for another four-year plan, according to a report from the Associated Press. The state can pay approximately eight million dollars to continue the Apple contract as-is, but for another two million Apple will reportedly replace all 34,000 laptops with new models. In the event that no new bidders win the contract, the state will default to extending the program with Apple's current lease agreement.

by MacNN Staff





  1. aer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    maine vs. henrico county

    maine is smart for sticking with apple. i can only imagine the mess in henrico county, virginia for cold turkey switching a 100% mac infrastructure to DELL!! dummies...

  1. Mr. Smith

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ME Laptop Program

    If you read the release, there is no guarantee that Apple will be the vendor. I am a tech coordinator for a district in Maine and I think I'd quit if they chose Toshiba or other Windows based hardware. I'd be interested in MIT's $100 Unix solution, though.

    As it sits, there are three senarios that may play out in Maine. 1. The RFP is awarded at the state's expense or in some formula, e.g. 50% state money, 50% local money (old iBooks could be bought at $48 each); 2. The contract is extended for another year; 3. The program ends and districts buy iBooks at $48 each. As I understand it, all options are still on the table. The legislators will need to check in at some point.

    Switching to Windows laptops would be an absolute nightmare IMHO. IIRC, the state can consider factors other that just cost in awarding contracts. Apple has a lot of plusses such as their Maine service system and their virus/malware resistance. Even hard core Windows folks I know would see it as a mistake to contract for Windows systems. I'd need another full time tech to handle the increase in support that would be required with Windows!

    From a teaching and learning perspective, many Maine 7th and 8th grade teachers are now successfully integrating technology into their learning strategies. Switching platforms, while not as dire as even 4 years ago, would be a bit of a setback, especially with regards to multimedia uses.

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