The University of Maine has initiated a new scheme that will require students majoring in Education programs leading to teacher certification to buy an iBook by the beginning of the 2006 autumn term.

The requirement will become effective with the class entering the College in autumn this year. The Apple iBook package (laptop and software) will be available for purchase through the University at a special discountv price.

The State of Maine has a well-publicised scheme in place in which all students and teachers in seventh and eighth grades in public schools in the State are equipped with iBooks.

Technology and education is critical

College Dean Robert Cobb said: "It is critical that technology be part of tomorrow’s teaching in our schools. It is essential that teachers understand how this laptop technology can be used in the teaching and learning process."

Students are required to have a 12-inch G4 iBook, (1.2GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 30GB drive, Combo drive, Airport Extreme) running Mac OS X. A three-year maintenance plan is included if the computer is acquired from the college.

Software requirements include Apple's standard software (iLife 05), Worldbook, and Quicken for Mac.

It also includes: Inspiration, Notetaker, eZedia, Microsoft Office, the open source GIMP application and First Class.