The state of Michigan spent $110 million to equip 90,000 public school teachers with new Macintosh i-Book laptops over three years ago, but the jury is still out on whether they were even needed.
The laptops aren’t necessarily getting the use lawmakers had intended for them: “I think I’ve taken it up on our sailboat three times,??? said teacher Nancy Woodruff. “It’s sat in the bag for so many months I’ve had to wipe the dust off to use it.??? Many Michigan teachers agree with Woodruff’s assessment of the laptops’ utility, while others insist that the computers are vital to classroom management, instruction, and professional development.
Teacher opinions aside, it does seem telling that one of the state-funded laptops ended up at a yard sale and sold for $50, while many others have been reclaimed for student use in media and technology centers. Woodruff comments, “…There are so many things we could’ve used much better for that kind of money.???