Lately I’ve been reading a lot of articles that have been dugg and that have been floating around some social communities out there. One example is “Education reform: Let’s start by burning all the textbooks”. This article discusses a focus on digital/electronic education and getting rid of textbooks. The great thing about digg is all the opinions that come to surface.
One argument seems to be the inability to provide all students with a laptop. There were a bunch of other arguments, but I thought I would run with that one, but focus on elementary school students. I decided to put together a list of laptops / notebooks / netbooks that I felt would work well for elementary schools students. Let’s face it, most teenagers now have a laptop or want their own so the biggest issue would be getting the elementary kids computers.
My criteria was pretty simple. I tried to find the following elements in a laptop:
- Physical Size – something small and easy to haul around.
- Screen Size – something small but something that had decent resolution.
- Wireless Connection – netbooks that would connect to the internet via wireless.
- Internet Browsing – netbooks that will browse the web.
- Word Processing – netbooks that have word processing capabilities.
- Affordable – netbooks that were reasonable in price, preferably under $500.
Note to gamers: These netbook computers and their specs may not fit your standards when it comes to a machine. These netbook computers were evaluated based on basic functionality and the minimum ability to run applications usually encountered in a learning environment.
Netbooks / Notebooks / Laptops For Elementary School Students
Acer Aspire One
$229 – $349
Asus Eee PC
$249 – $599
Dell Inspiron Mini 9
$279 – $479
HP Mini 1000
$279 – $599
$349 – $399
MSI Wind U100
$289 – $429
One Laptop Per Child
$199 (working on $100)
My conclusion is that there are a lot of options out there for elementary schools students for laptop computers. If you spread the cost of a netbook for a student from Kindergarten to 5th grade, the expense would be less than $100 a year per student. You could either let the students buy them or even rent them out to the students. They already do this with instruments in most music departments anyways. Think of this as an instrument that everyone needs. I even remember buying a calculator that was mandatory for my math class in 8th grade for $300. I can get a laptop for that now.
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