A 20,000-pound delivery took place at Little Elm High School late last week. More than 2,200 brand new MacBook Air laptops for LEHS students arrived on 33 pallets. To give you a visual of how much that is, imagine two FedEx 18-wheeler trucks full of laptops because, in reality, that's exactly how they were delivered.
"We want to be the destination district,” said Russell VanHoose, director for technology, digital learning, and media services. “We are getting attention for the quality of laptops we are able to provide and what students are able to learn because of them.”
VanHoose said he was pleased with the Board of Trustees vote last month that approved his recommendation to enter in a four-year lease plan with Apple. The plan will help sustain the value of the district's MacBook laptop supply. This will help as the district moves forward with its 1:1 Digital Learning, a program designed to give students in grades 4-12 a laptop for the school year.
The MacBook Air laptops will have a slightly bigger screen than the other laptops.
"It went from an 11-inch to a 13-inch screen," said Martin Lee, technology support services coordinator. "We received feedback from high school teachers this year who said students had a difficult time doing assignments on a small screen."
Lee said the MacBook Air is a powerful tool. Students can expect these new laptops to be 70 percent faster, have double the hard drive space, quadruple the RAM (random access memory) and a longer battery life that went from six to 12 hours.
Students will be required to use a protective case on their new MacBook Air laptops, which will be available to students at the beginning of the school year.
"Just a little scratch on the corner of a laptop that has hit concrete drops the value of the laptop by $100. The case, which costs $10, will save the district $100 2,200 times," Lee said.
The district's current supply of Chromebooks and older Macs will be used in grades 4-8.