According to this AP story, Maine is in the process of expanding its laptop program, which aims to provide a computer for every 7th-12th grader in the state. School officials are now in negotiations with Apple to provide 100,000 Apple MacBooks, says the article.
This is somewhat surprising news considering the divided opinions about the efficacy of 1-to-1 laptop programs, as well as obvious financial challenges because of the economy. But Governor John Baldacci has reassured tax payers that it is being done with existing resources and will not require additional taxpayer money.
Looking back through Education Week‘s coverage of 1-to-1 laptop programs, it seems like Andrew Trotter’s story about Netbooks from last year has become even more relevant and may be worth checking out. From what I’ve observed in my reporting, as well as at various ed-tech conferences, it seems like mobile technologies—including Netbooks, PDAs, and smartphones—are garnering more attention than traditional 1-to-1 laptop programs these days, in part because of their low cost.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.