PG NewsPG delivery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Home Page
PG News: Nation and World, Region and State, Neighborhoods, Business, Sports, Health and Science, Magazine, Forum
Sports: Headlines, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Collegiate, Scholastic
Lifestyle: Columnists, Food, Homes, Restaurants, Gardening, Travel, SEEN, Consumer, Pets
Arts and Entertainment: Movies, TV, Music, Books, Crossword, Lottery
Photo Journal: Post-Gazette photos
AP Wire: News and sports from the Associated Press
Business: Business: Business and Technology News, Personal Business, Consumer, Interact, Stock Quotes, PG Benchmarks, PG on Wheels
Classifieds: Jobs, Real Estate, Automotive, Celebrations and other Post-Gazette Classifieds
Web Extras: Marketplace, Bridal, Headlines by Email, Postcards
Weather: AccuWeather Forecast, Conditions, National Weather, Almanac
Health & Science: Health, Science and Environment
Search: Search by keyword or date
PG Store: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette merchandise
PG Delivery: Home Delivery, Back Copies, Mail Subscriptions


Headlines by E-mail

Headlines Region & State Neighborhoods Business
Sports Health & Science Magazine Forum

Quaker Valley teachers, students get an Apple

Thursday, June 07, 2001

By Alisha Hipwell

In the digital age, teachers in the Quaker Valley School District get an Apple -- and the students do, too.

The district was one of three in the state selected in February to receive a $2 million state grant to become a model for technology in education, and school officials promised computing that was compact, powerful and completely portable.

At a training session yesterday, school staff got their first look at the high-tech tools that will attempt to deliver on that promise. After months of negotiations with various vendors, district officials tentatively announced that Apple would be their first choice as hardware supplier.

The district's nearly 1,600 students each will receive a new Apple iBook laptop computer that weighs just under 5 pounds. The district's 70 teachers each will get the more powerful Apple titanium Power Book G4, a mere 1 inch thick and only slightly heftier than the students' model. The school libraries will be equipped with Apple Power Mac G4 cubes.

In addition, Apple staff will assist in implementing the system during the first weeks of the coming school year.

"Every child, regardless of wealth, is going to have this connection to the information society. This is about computers that transcend the school -- that go anywhere," said Superintendent Gerard Longo.

District officials had narrowed the choice of hardware supplier to Dell and Apple. While the board still must formally award the contract to Apple, it has released some details of Apple's proposal.

Under the proposal, Apple will provide the teachers' computers for free. Joe Marrone, district technology director, said the district could not have afforded such powerful computers otherwise. Also included are upgrades to district secretaries' computer systems.

Both the students' and teachers' computers will feature eBook software, calendars, standard Internet access and the ability to easily connect with other technological devices. In addition, the laptops are wireless so users will be able to move from room to room without having to reboot the computer or reconnect to the Internet. Teachers and students will be able to use the laptops at school or at home.

The total hardware and service package from Apple would normally carry a $5 million price tag. But Marrone said Apple offered the package to Quaker Valley at less than half that amount. He declined to give an exact price until the district formally approves the contract.

School staff yesterday also got a peek at the district's new student accounting system by PowerSchool. The integrated grade-book software allows teachers and parents to monitor everything from grades to homework to lunch money accounts 24 hours a day with just the click of a mouse. The software normally costs in the $200,000-to-$250,000 range but the district negotiated a price just under $75,000.

bottom navigation bar Terms of Use  Privacy Policy