Sorry Apple lovers, kids in Maine will be logging into Hewlett Packard computers next school year. The Maine Department of Education announced HP as its preferred contractor in the Maine Learning Technology Initiative’s most recent bid on Friday, April 26.
As part of Maine’s push to allow schools more flexibility in choosing their technology, Governor Paul R. LePage is encouraging schools to utilize technology children will use in the workplace later in life. For this reason, HP’s ProBook 4440, running Windows 8 software, will be the primary technology and learning platform in Maine schools.
Proposals for the initiative came from HP, winning both the ProBook and tablet solutions, Apple, which proposed an iPad and a MacBook Air laptop, and CTL, which proposed a Windows laptop.
“This is the lowest-priced proposal, and the laptops use an operating system that is commonly used in the workplace in Maine,” Governor LePage said. “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.”
Though the HP proposal will be Maine’s primary technology platform, flexibility in technology prevails. Middle schools can still choose from any of the five proposals awarded through a competitive bidding process; the state will cover the cost up to the equivalent HP bid, said Governor LePage. For Maine high schools, which use devices paid for through the local district, the state plans to leverage its buying power to help district schools get the lowest prices possible.
“It’s about how we use technology to enhance student learning by giving students access to tools that will be used for creativity, to access content and to allow them to communicate and collaborate with peers around the world,” Stephen Bowen, Maine’s education commissioner, said.