Apple sweet for WA's Education Dept

Western Australia's Department of Education and Training (DET) has recently commenced a new project that will see an array of Apple Macs installed in a large number of selected schools throughout the state.Through the program -- Learning with ICT Schools Technology Upgrade Project -- the department will purchase Apple's Intel-based iMac, Mac mini and MacBook machines for the designated schools.

Western Australia's Department of Education and Training (DET) has recently commenced a new project that will see an array of Apple Macs installed in a large number of selected schools throughout the state.

Through the program -- Learning with ICT Schools Technology Upgrade Project -- the department will purchase Apple's Intel-based iMac, Mac mini and MacBook machines for the designated schools.

The effort is the successor to the department's 100 Schools Project, which kicked off in 2003 and was the initial phase of an overarching program to upgrade IT and communications infrastructure in schools.

"Apple desktop and notebook computers were procured as part of the 100 Schools project," the department wrote in tender documents recently released. "This contract will expire in 2007."

The education sector has traditionally been a heavy purchaser of Apple products, although Microsoft-based PCs have also made in-roads into that market in recent years. Schools are able to select other Windows-based or Apple products beyond this rollout, as per their needs.

DET has gone to market for a supplier of the Apple technology, noting that the establishment of coordinated government procurement guidelines meant the successful vendor would supply other institutions in addition to public schools in the state.

"These agencies include TAFE colleges throughout WA, the Curriculum Council, the Department of Education Services, the Western Australian College of Teaching and the Country High Schools Hostel Authority," DET wrote in tender documents. The new contract will be for a period of two years.

DET did not respond to a request for comment by the time of press. The department's ICT function is headed up by chief information officer Bevan Doyle.

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