Microsoft Money Buys Wisconsin Schools iPads

The Madison school district in Wisconsin is buying 1,400 iPads for its classrooms, and the cash to land the deal is coming from a settlement with Microsoft. The district is starting by distributing 600 iPads among students and teachers and plans to add another 800 iPads by next fall, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Microsoft money buys schools iPadsMicrosoft money buys Wisconsin schools iPads

Wisconsin and Microsoft settled a software-related lawsuit in 2009 that landed US$3.4 million for the state, along with $80 in technology vouchers. $2.1 million was divided between the schools, and the Madison district is using some of that to finance its iPad purchases.

The district will start by placing the multimedia tablets in 20 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and three high schools.

Apple is making a big push back into the classroom with the introduction of its new iBooks-based interactive textbooks earlier this month, along with its free iBooks Author app for designing the books. The price for textbooks distributed through the iBookstore caps at $14.99, which is far more affordable than traditional textbook pricing — assuming schools can afford to buy iPads for their students.

At least in the case of the Madison schools, it looks like they found a way to get iPads into the classroom without killing their budget. Where that money came from, however, must sting Microsoft.