Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Netbooks - Ed Tech Savior???

These small, inexpensive computers are all the rage - but are they an ed tech savior? Even though Netbooks are suddenly everywhere, some people who own them don't even realize it! (see Engadget, "Netbook study finds that netbook buyers don't know what netbooks are")

Sure, who wouldn't want a computer for 99 cents! (see "Sprint sells Netbook for a Buck") But with that low cost (typically around $300) comes some system limitations. Mainly, slower processors and limited memory. While these netbooks may shine for on line work, load Microsoft Office into one and see how it runs. On the plus side, forking out $300 for a full featured Windows XP machine may be just enough incentive for school districts interested in reaching for the 1 to 1 laptop ratio for students.

More important to the students we support is the question - will these machines run the assistive technology software / hardware needed to complete assignments? I will be exploring this issue during the school year if I can pry this netbook away from my daughter!

Once school starts, I have also asked Haley to make a list each week of all the tasks she completes on her netbook. Look for periodic updates right here.

If you are considering a purchasing one of these computers, check out the Summer 2009 netbook roundup from CNET

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