updated 04:30 pm EDT, Tue June 30, 2009
MacBook in Maine schools
Plans are now in place to distribute MacBooks amongst Maine high school students, according to officials from the state's Department of Education. Known to have been in the works since at least March, a deal with Apple will see over 64,000 MacBooks reach students and teachers between grades 7 and 12. Another 7,000 notebooks should be ordered within the next few weeks, officials say.
The plan is a part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, which since 2002 has attempted to supply all Maine middle school students with notebooks. No other state has attempted such a broad program, and the high school expansion may make MLTI the world's biggest educational technology program. Apple has also agreed to supply help in terms of software, professional development and technical support.
The 2008-2009 school season saw just 2,000 notebooks given to high schoolers, and 2009-2010 should bring the numbers to between 22,000 and 28,000. Aside from learning basic computer skills, students will be able to write and research homework with their MacBooks, and participate in online teaching sessions. It is not known if the program will require any raises in taxes, as was previously denied by the state's governor.