ACS buys Apples

Published 1:19 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Andalusia Board of Education Monday approved the lease-purchase of 180 Apple computers to upgrade three labs and establish three new ones.

Superintendent Ted Watson said the purchase will be an initial push to get the system closer to the reality of one computer for every student, or a BYOD (bring your own device) model for electronics in Andalusia City Schools.

For months, the board has been discussing the need to move to electronic textbooks. Watson said the first step was taken earlier this year when, through a partnership with the Dixon Foundation, the system upgraded its internal information highway.

The system will make payments on the devices for three years, then purchase the 180 laptops, MacBook Airs, for $1, he said, adding that the interest is just “a grunt over 1 percent.”

The new computers will replace current computers in the K-1 lab, the 2-3 lab, and 4-5 lab, create a new 6th grade lab in the addition recently added to AES; create a new 7-8 lab in the new junior high school currently under construction; and create a new lab at AHS.

“That’s 30 computers in six classrooms,” Watson said.

The computers currently used in those existing labs will be repurposed, he said, to further extend the system’s capabilities.