Friday, April 4, 2008

Low Cost Computing Options That Will Enable More Educators to Consider 1-to-1 Environments

As most Innovative Educators will agree, the key to having a successful 21st Century classroom is equity and access to some key technology tools like a laptop and digital video camera. Unfortunately, cost has been a huge factor, until now. Many are familiar with Nicholas Negroponte, MIT’s visionary behind the $100 laptop. The dream has finally come to fruition as not only has Negroponte’s XO laptops been released, but he has also inspired the development of an entire class of low cost laptops ranging from $200 - $500. I will be personally testing out some of these new devices and watching how well they work in the classroom.

Here are three suggestions for Innovative Educators interested in finding out more about these devices.

1) Read New York Times Technology writer David Pogue’s review or watch the video.
2) Read about a class that is using the XO laptops in the classroom to enhance writing in the OLPC Blog from Teaching Matters, a New York City-based educational technology professional development organization.

3) Go straight to the websites of three of the leading providers of low-cost laptops.

With the advent of these low-cost learning tools, teaching in a one-to-one environment will become more and more prevalent. I look forward to learning along side other innovative educators the terrific ways teaching and learning are enhanced with low-cost computing and hope that some readers of The Innovative Educator will share their experiences.
Post Thoughts
(What I've thought or found after publishing the post)
4/21/2008: Looks like HP has also entered the game. See
5/16/2008: Rumor has it OLPC may be releasing a windows version. Here's the photo from Tech Crunch. Click on the picture for the full story...and more interestingly, comments.
5/19/2008 - From the New York Times:
Microsoft Joins Effort for Laptops for Children

After a years-long dispute, Microsoft and the computing and education project One Laptop Per Child said Thursday that they had reached an agreement to offer Windows on the organization’s computers.
Microsoft long resisted joining the ambitious project because its laptops used the Linux operating system, a freely distributed alternative to Windows.
See what people are saying at Classroom 2.0
General 1 to 1
General Sublaptops


  1. Hi Lisa,
    Your blog is great! I can vouch for the iEEE laptops from ASUS. CIS 339 was the first school in the DOE to purchase and pilot this model, and the results have been great. The kids love them, and because they have less "bells and whistles" they are more Web 2.0 and school-friendly.
    Happy blogging,

  2. Hey Lisa,
    The device can't find the OS.
    Maybe the should use Mac OS.
    Only kidding.
    In reality the should be using open source software.
    Linux is the way to go.


  3. I had some hands-on experience with the Classmoate (now called the 2Go for schools) - great idea and very useful for students - and the price point is great, makes them truly cost effective if you are using them for the right types of activities - definitely need to stick with the 2.0 for these types of machines - it is about the resources you can access as opposed to running applications on the local machine.

    Because, as always - whether it is $300 or $1,300, if it isnt used effectively it is all a waste of money :-)