updated 11:55 pm EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
Apple asserts 92 percent dominance in Maine school orders
When Maine schools were given the choice for the first time under the next school year's Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) between Windows-based laptops, the Apple iPad, and the Apple MacBook Air, the schools overwhelmingly chose Apple products. Of 69,059 hardware orders placed, 92 percent of the purchases will come from Apple.
While 100 percent of Maine's schools have not chimed in with orders, 39,457 students and educators will start using the iPad at a cost of $266 per year, per seat with associated network expenses according to the Maine Department of Education. The MacBook Air has been adopted by 24,128 students and staff at $319 per year with networking, $33 above the funding provided by the state. A distant third is Governor Paul R. LePage's preferred option, the HP ProBook 4440 laptop running Windows 7 at $286 per seat with associated network expenses included.
Most of Maine's Career and Technical education centers have not placed orders, but less than 8,000 machines remain to be ordered. The final order totals will be submitted by the state on June 24, with teacher devices in hand in July. Student devices are scheduled to arrive before the start of the school year. The initiative originally had been Apple-exclusive in previous years.
"These devices put students in the driver's seat," Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said. "Modern educational software adjusts to each child in ways that a teacher cannot, providing increased instruction on a concept where students need it, and less when they don't. The result is an educational system in Maine that is truly able to meet the needs of all students as it best prepares them for college and career in an increasingly digital world."
Governor LePage said of the HP offer that it was "important that our students are using technology that they will see and use in the workplace. The laptops use an operating system that is commonly used in the workplace in Maine. This is the lowest-priced proposal, and these laptops will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their learning and give them experience on the same technology and software they will see in their future careers."