Wednesday, July 15, 2009


1 to 1 computing - netbooks - When?

Many see the advantage of every student having their own Web-book, their own computer in the classroom. Recent reports show purchase of netbooks doubling around the world while sale of laptops, etc. are flat. PriceGrabber shows numerous models from $200 up. Is it time for schools to begin major investments in them? PixelQi thinks $75 is within reach in the near future. In addition to cost, I'm thinking that the palm, netbook, and touch tablet designers can still greatly improve battery life and screen readability for differing light conditions, which will come with new screen designs announced summer 2009.

Here's more detailed thinking on this topic with references that could also use some reaction.

Netbooks are certainly gaining momentum in the K-12 market and with them come a new set of problems as the price of all of these communication devices become less and less. Spindles are disappearing as fast as the need for books and paper. Internet compatability is the future with the cloud delivering applications and digital lockers becoming accessable from any jacked-in location. Everyone sees the potential and sales glitz and literature of what these can bring to the classroom. Let's look at the details of 1. funding resources and acquisition, 2. wirelesss density issues, 3. maintenance, 4. filtering/CIPA, and 5. compatability with legacy systems where millions dollars have already been spent. These too are where the rubber meets the road and where the guys behind the scenes are left with the task of making it all work. These are subjects worthy of discussion as much as the rest.
Every new level of achievement reached will raise new challenges and new struggles. You've highlighted an excellent list of items that I've reframed as questions at the end of the piece and added more. Keeping our eyes on the prize of universal access to the digital age is the next step goal that must not be lost. More will follow.
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