Sunday, October 29, 2006

Low cost devices for 1-to-1 initiatives

There are now two low-cost computing devices that have been created to support students in areas of the world where technology is needed. I am hoping someone decides, at some point, that devices like these two, which do more than handheld computers but less than full laptops, and are affordable for districts like mine, would be appropriate for 1-to-1 initiatives in US schools, too.

I have always said if each student had a device, like a handheld, they could do 80% of what they need to do on the device. We could then "bling out" the desktops to allow them to do any final production and creative work. By "bling out" I mean provide them with access to camcorders, digital cameras, scanners, audio and video-editing software, midi keyboards, and high-level software that requires a full computer. With devices like Intel's Classmate PC and OLPC's XO, I feel the 24x7 access to a device that is rugged and can perform the simple tasks without a huge learning curve, would be very beneficial for our students.

Your thoughts?

Intel's Classmate PC
ClassmatePC pictures

One Laptop Per Child XO
OLPC Hardware Specs

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