The students at Ames High School in Iowa received a pleasant surprise this school year in the form of 1,425 brand-new MacBook Air notebooks, thanks to a program the district calls 21st Century Learning. The purchase cost a total of US$1.4 million, which figures to roughly $980 per computer.
The Ames school board voted on the program back in May, and students are now getting their first hands-on time with the new Apple gear. Each student in ninth through 12th grade has the privilege of checking out a fresh new MacBook for a rather reasonable deposit of just $25. In the event of damage or loss, the student (or more likely, their family) will be charged amounts ranging from $50 up to the full cost of the hardware.
Before being given their own notebook, each student must agree to a list of terms. Among other stipulations, each student must agree to use the device for educational purposes only, recharge it every night and never install any programs unless approved by an administrator.