Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tiny Devices and 1-to-1

I am writing this from my new Fujitsu U810 tablet computer with the 5.6" screen, I am investigating the use of the iPod touch with a class of high school students, I am on the list to be notified when I can purchase the XO laptop with their "Give One, Get One" program starting soon, and I am waiting patiently for the 7" Asus EeePC (at, it seems, about $200 or $250) to come out so we can start realistically thinking about one device per student.

See a trend here? I have been saying for years that much of what one needs to do with technology can be done on a "smaller" device. (And, as many of you can attest, bothering anyone who would listen to me and put up with my excitement at what my newest gadget could do!)

Now that so many applications are available as Web 2.0 applications, which are Web-based and require little processing power on the user's device, I think the time has come to start promoting a "1-to-1 Device" initiative for schools.

At the same time, we need to purchase pods of "blinged-out" computers, the production stations students will need for their heavy duty processing applications (video, CAD, audio editing). We also should include scanners, Flash card readers, Firewire ports, midi keyboards, and any other input devices students might need for their creative purposes.

Even of more importance to me is the fact students need to have wirelessly connected devices with them 24x7. We are becoming a society of information consumers, and students should have access to information sources, both on the open Web and in subscription databases, wherever and whenever they need it. They should be able to communicate and collaborate with others via social networks and Web 2.0 content-creation tools.

I think these small, low-cost, well-made, feature-rich, crop of mobile devices can meet this need. Anybody with me?

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