Wisconsin plans to use settlement funds from Microsoft to buy 1,400 iPads for educational use. The almost $80 million in settlement funds came a result of claims that Microsoft was overcharging consumers for software.
The iPads are being paid for with $3.4 million from the funds. With Apple's educational discounts, the schools should be able to purchase each iPad for around $479 each. They plan on initially purchasing 600 this Spring with plans to purchase an additional 800 in the Fall.
Not all schools chose to spend their share of the money on iPads. Some chose to spend the money on other media including smartboards, laptops, and other technology equipment. The $2.1 million averaged out to around $85.09 per child.
State superintendent Tony Evers is scheduled to release a statewide digital learning plan next week. The district's director of technical services, Bill Smojver, thinks the iPads are going to be a significant transition for education.
"This is the most significant transition point for having digital learning at the optimal level,"
Apple's recent education announcement was met with enthusiasm by Smojver, who thinks it's a significant development. He still believes the schools will proceed cautiously when it comes to replacing traditional media with electronic versions.
There are currently around 50 school districts in Wisconsin currently implementing iPads according to Minnestota-based technology consultant, Naomi Harm. While some schools are going to experiment with students actually having access to the iPads, some are going to allow teachers access to implement them in planning and record-keeping.
iBooks Author has given authors an easy way to put together digital textbooks. iBooks 2 gives those authors a huge marketplace for distribution. Leanna has already stated that she believes this is only the beginning for iPads in education.