I was in Maine on Friday at a training session and was with many
teachers from Maine that took part in the project. They were all
favorable in their discussions of the program. They did say it was a
little bit rough at the start and they did mention the critics, but said
they felt that students were getting a lot out of the program.
One concern they had though, was how to keep it going. The students
this year were 7th graders and they worry about how it will roll out for
the next group of students. The 7th graders will be reluctant to let
them go.. (as well as their parents).
As Tommy mentions, they said some data was forthcoming from the state.
Technology Integration Specialist
7 West St.
Montpelier, VT 05602
[log in to unmask]
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tommy Walz
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 10:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Maine Laptop initiative
In a message dated 5/20/03 11:41:58 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:
Through its Learning Technology Initiative, the State of Maine provides
a laptop to all 7th and 8th grade students and their teachers, and funds
professional development and training for helping teachers integrate the
laptops into their classroom instruction. The Maine legislature
appropriated $30 million to create the Maine Learning Technology
Endowment, which help fund the initiative. Several Maine banks and the
MBNA Foundation have also donated funds. The state signed a $37.2
million contract with Apple to supply the technology, training and
support. Many lawmakers and citizens have criticized the plan, saying
that the money could be used for renovating the old schools that are in
desperate need of repair. For initial project evaluations, see:
[<http://www.usm.maine.edu/cepare/pdf/ts/mlti.pdf>]. The report suggest
that students are benefiting from the project. The main website for
Maine's initiative is <http://www.state.me.us/mlte/>
While in Maine recently, I read a lengthy newspaper report (Bangor Daily
News) on the laptop project. It contained some criticism of the cost,
but was positive on the benefits to students. They claim to be
generating some data to that effect. I don't think the project is old
enough for the data to have much meaning or validity, but it would be
interesting to see.
Tommy J. Walz
Barre Supervisory Union
120 Ayers St.
Barre VT 05641