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Maine Learning Technology Initiative Dumps Exclusive Apple Contract for Microsoft

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) will end its 11-year exclusive contract with Apple and allow schools to choose Microsoft Windows-based technology. The reason behind the switch is to ensure students learn to use the technology that is most commonly used in the workplace.

The MLTI is a statewide effort to provide middle and high schools with professional development opportunities and tools needed to support an increase in 21st Century skills, the attainment of the Common Core State Standards, and implementation of new proficiency-based learning systems. A key focus of the program is 1:1 learning, where all students are equipped with their own computing device.

The Maine Department of Education has awarded a four-year contract to HP. As part of the contract, MLTI has selected HP ProBook 4440 laptops running the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system as the state's preferred technology and learning solution. HP will also provide a development specialist, instructional workshops, technical workshops, and an active portal that is intended to serve as a one-stop shop for professional development resources for any educator in the state.

According to Margo Day, vice president of education for Microsoft, United States, 95 percent of businesses use Windows and those employers expect workers to be skilled with Microsoft technology.

"It is important that our students are using technology that they will see and use in the workplace," said Maine Governor Paul R. LePage in a prepared statement. "The laptops use an operating system that is commonly used in the workplace in Maine. 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."

Thousands of middle and high school students in Maine will have their new HP laptops in the upcoming school year, according to information on the MLTI site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].