plakboek (plakboek) wrote,

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A good deal about netbooks

The ISTE journal "Learning & Leading" current issue Vol 37.1 has a good article about netbooks on page 14. You can download and read the free online PDF version from this link. It is a 4 page summary of the different options spanning thick, ultra-portable and thin computers and gives good mention to the OLPC XO-1 netbook.

Recently this gained some heavy traction and attention as OLPC Australia deployed units to members of the Yirrkala Community Education Centre on the northeast tip of Arnhem Land, Australia
As a member of ISTE, I will declare an interest and if you scroll down .. (blush) a profile about me with a photograph taken standing on "The Dish" radio telescope with blue hard hat and the hand puppets I use to teach with :-)

A really rough and sobering analysis of the Apollo missions estimates a 10% failure rate and a 1% failure rate for the space shuttle. They are hoping to do even better for the next craft. The safety imperative that they are working to resolve is to separate human passengers from the instrument / satellite cargo with two launches. The former is packed full of nice human safety stuff such as life support that can launch and return to earth, quite independent from the cargo and the huge fuel reserve that is needed to launch the cargo into orbit.

This is akin to selling the school truck and replacing it with a minibus and huge trailer (and a huge remote controlled trailer at that) .. or separating passengers from their luggage in an aircraft. Though we might grumble when our baggage sometimes is separated from our bodies with various airport handling errors, we would all agree that our safe journey and return should be the main priority.

I like to think of the XO-1 as great thinking capsules where users and groups can structure, build and adapt their learning spaces. I rather like the point made at the end of the ISTE review that a cheap solution is not desirable if it is created through draconian measures to limit access to technology resources and services.

This is not about crumbly hardware bloated with features or fighting to lock students down then out.

It is about robust solutions and open places to learn.
Tags: iste, netbook, olpc
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