In the month since we announced the next generation Maine Learning Technology Initiative solution, we’ve been busy working with the three vendors and your schools to ensure this initiative continues to best support your learning goals moving forward.
As your district continues to discuss the most appropriate solution for your schools and students, we wanted to update you on new information that has emerged as a result of our ongoing conversations with preferred provider HP as well as available alternative providers Apple and CTL.
In working with HP to finalize the best educational package, we have secured some exciting upgrades for their preferred solution. The Hewlett-Packard ProBook 4440 will now ship with a faster Intel i3 processor and include 4GB of RAM, an increase from the 2GBs initially offered. As a result of feedback from the field, the devices will run Windows 7, which we and HP are in agreement will be the most optimized operating system for this solution, with an opportunity to upgrade at no cost to newer versions including Windows 8 in the future. In order to obtain those upgrades, we have reduced the hard drive storage space from 500 GB to 320 GB and will be shipping only the teacher devices with a DVD read/write drive. MLTI is confident this learning package will best serve Maine’s students, educators and communities and we’re eager to see it in action in your schools this fall.
When we announced this new preferred solution, we said the State would cover the cost up to the amount of the HP proposal. To clarify, that refers to both the seat cost of the HP ProBook 4440 solution ($254.86) and its supporting network ($30.91) for total State support of $285.77 per seat, which would also fully fund the Apple iPad and its network. Schools that opt for a more expensive solution – including the HP tablet, the Apple MacBook Air or CTL Windows laptop – will be responsible for the difference between that $285.77 amount and the combined cost of their chosen solution per seat and its network.
I want to reiterate the State’s continued commitment to MLTI, which we see as an integral part of the Department’s strategy for fulfilling the new Common Core State Standards, as well as implementing new proficiency-based learning systems. We understand how important professional development is in ensuring MLTI’s success. We have already held several “Windows In the Classroom” workshops to introduce educators to the new solution and its capabilities for advancing student achievement and will be scheduling additional sessions soon for this solution and the others. Please stay tuned to our professional development events page.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be reaching out to further facilitate your transition and are also available to provide assistance via phone or email. Please know if other vendors upgrade or change their solutions, we’ll let you know immediately in a Priority Notice and you can always find the latest deployment information on the MLTI website at www.mlti.org/deployment/.
Stephen L. Bowen, Commissioner of Education