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Archive for October, 2005
Doug Grimes and I have completed our evaluation of the first-year implementation of the Fullerton School District laptop program. Though not discussed at length in the report, there are a couple of interesting tensions that are showing up in laptop schools we’ve investigated. One is the tension between broader learning goals and the drive for increased test scores. The other is what has been called a "Sesame St. effect," meaning that an innovation targeted at reaching an at-risk population instead benefits as much or more more privileged children who can better leverage their pre-existing strengths (language ability, literacy skills, home resources) to take advantage of the innovation.
If the MIT Media lab can develop a $100 laptop for use in the developing world, why can’t somebody else make a great laptop for $300 to $400 for kids in US schools? I’m convinced if the price dropped to that point you’d see a big expansion of laptop programs in schools. Any thoughts on what the specs/design would be of a cheaper laptop for kids?