Just got a bit of news that’s not been officially announced but kicking around the state – the K-12 schools in West Virginia are getting a 3 year license for ESRI software, donated from ESRI itself! I’m a little unclear exactly how much of the software they’re getting (does it include server for example?), but it will be a state wide site license and prominately feature the full ArcGIS license. Supposedly the high schools and middle schools have greatly expanded their computer infrastructure, so they’ll have access to equipment that can run the software. I’m slightly curious about hand-held stuff too, as I doubt many schools have GPS units capable of running ArcPad. However, despite the vaugaries, this is pretty exciting news. Kids who otherwise would have zero exposure to GIS and Geospatial technologies are going to get some good, hands on experience with arguablly the most widespread tools in the business. That can’t help but be good for West Virginia.
ETA: Made it clearer this is a donation from ESRI.