Apple's influence in US education continues at the Marin School of Art and Technology (MSAT) in Northern California where every student has access to an eMac.

School principal Bob Lenz told BBC Online: "We believe the arts and technology are a great tool for engaging students' minds for learning and investigating and for creating. The future depends on kids' knowing this stuff. Everyone needs to be facile with technology in the 21st century."

Lead teacher Tony Harris says MSAT's alternative teaching approach engages students who would otherwise nod off in class.

"The idea is that you put control and the responsibility of learning in students' hands," he told BBC, "It's inquiry-based, so we basically pose the problem and then tell the kids to find the answer. When they ask how, that's when we step in and facilitate – but we wait until the kids start asking the questions. This is active, hands-on learning."

The kids agree. 14-year-old Alan said: "This school is a dream come true. I want to be in the school better than at home. Because we start at 9am I come in at 8."

MSAT is the flagship school for Envision Schools, a nonprofit corporation that develops and sustains small, innovative, and high-performing public high schools. It works to an educational philosophy of enabling children which is described on Envision's Web site.

Its project focused teaching uses technology at a fundamental level to boost learning. The school claims to: "Thoroughly integrate technology into the curriculum, using it as a tool for creativity, innovation, and communication rather than as a stand-alone skill."

"All students will master the fundamentals of technology and learn to use the daily tools of the workplace. Advanced students will work according to industry standards in areas of engineering design, digital arts, environmental science, and media and communication," it claims.