Well, at least that’s what Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams (R-Lyon) would want to do. According to Jim Galloway’s article, Sen. Williams said:
“Last week we met with Apple Computers, and they have a really promising program where they come in and their recommending to middle schools – for $500 per child per year, they will furnish every child with an iPad, wi-fi the system, provide all the books on the system, all the upgrades, all the teacher training – and the results they’re getting from these kids is phenomenal.”
Apple fan boys rejoice, but can we really afford to do this? Last time I checked, we haven’t really solved the budget problem or what we’ll do with HOPE. Personally, I’m thinking that Apple is trying to unload its first generation iPad inventory on schools in order to make way for the iPad 2. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad idea, but let’s look at other priorities and even some alternatives to Apple’s product. Amazon’s Kindle starts at $139, but it doesn’t have pretty colors and isn’t as “cool” as the iPad. However, it could still serve the purpose of keeping texts up-to-date along with lightening the load in students’ backpacks.
If the senators take up the issue, they should at least consider all of the costs of implementation and maintenance for the Apple iPad solution vs. an Amazon Kindle alternative vs. other alternatives vs. continuing the dead tree route. Apple makes a great and simple product, but our state senators shouldn’t take the word of the Disciples of Steve as gospel.