Yesterday, June 30 Maine’s Department of Education put in an order for 64,000 MacBooks, to be followed by an estimated 7,000 more over the next several weeks to Apple.
Under the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, the state continues positioning itself as a technology educational leader supplying every 7th and 8th grader and a number of High School students in the state with Apple laptops. As Maine continues to bring high speed internet into every corner of the state, it is clear the state is positioning itself for a digital revolution. But will it be a wired or unwired revolution?
On June 4th AT&T announced the expansion of 15 new cell cites in the state, including new towers in my home town of Lewiston/Auburn (the other LA), and with nearly $70 million invested in the state so far by AT&T, the potential is clear. As thousands of Maine students become increasingly familiar with Apple products and the Mac OS, we will find ourselves with a new wave of technology-savvy artists, scholars, application and software developers growing up in the state creating, innovating and finding solutions for Maine’s traditional industries and industries yet to be. I suspect, in the coming years, other Mainer’s will begin to realize the potential of the iPhone as not just another cell phone, but a bridge device between work, education, recreation, etc helping to smooth the transition between these different aspects of our lives. With that smoothing comes the opportunity for a more integrated and connected life we’ve not experienced for generations or maybe ever.
With relatively high standard of living, low crime, great public schools, a creative populace, the largest track of unbroken forest in on the East coast, an outdoor lifestyle, and of course cheap lobster, and growing access to GMS service for the iPhone, Maine really is the way life should be.