Today it was announced that the state of Maine, known predominantly for Stephen King, lobster rolls and silly accents, has ordered 64,000 MacBooks for students in grades 7-12. An additional 7,000 laptops are planned for the coming weeks.
The initiative- aka the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI)- may just be the world’s biggest educational technology program of its kind. Even cooler is that Apple plans to hook Maine up with educational software, technical support, repair and replacement, so the pimply rugrats don’t even have to drag their cranberry-bogging selves to the Genius bar.
In a statement, Education Commissioner Sue Gendron said boringly:
“We have seen incredible success with our middle schools showing increased student engagement and achievement with MLTI in place and we want to bring this same opportunity to our high schools. This is not just about technology, it’s about using the technology to support education.”
Not so hot is the fact that only half of the state’s districts plan to participate in the initiative. Places you’ve read about in It and Needful Things such as Portland, Bangor and Augusta are seeking permission hook a brother up using stimulus funds to get the MacBooks for their oddly-speaking youngsters. It would be pretty awesome if that happened, because the lucky kids in Maine get to take their shiny new MacBooks home for homework, online teaching sessions and other edumacational stuff.
No one said what I really wanted to know- are they going to stick porn filters on them or something lame like that?