As part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, Apple Computer got itself a four-year contract to provide Maine seventh- and-eighth graders during the 2006-07 school year, as well as their teachers, with 36,000 laptop computers and the proper programs and services, Federal Computer Week (FCW) reports.
The initiative was launched to help prepare students for entry into the workplace, by familiarizing them with the computing tools they’ll someday use to do their jobs, FCW reports.
The computers will contain standard word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation and e-mail applications, as well as multimedia programs that will allow students to assemble audio-visual projects, according to FCW.
Apple will also provide wireless networks for all of the schools that are participating in the program, as well as the accompanying functions, like server capacity and training, FCW reports.
The contract is a notable victory for the computer giant, because recent years have seen increasingly larger chunks of market share stolen away by companies—such as Dell—selling machines that run Microsoft operating systems.
Maine will pay roughly $290 for each setup, which includes Mac OS X Server-based e-mail accounts and private instant messaging services within a hosted StudyWiz environment, according to FCW. Apple will also provide all the necessary helpdesk functions, FCW reports.
The contract will not be officially awarded to Apple until it’s received budgetary approval from the state’s Department of Education and the nod from the State Purchases Review Committee, FCW reports.
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