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Re: [school-discuss] Re: [IIEP] Which?- computers for ICT4D and FOSS

Dr. Robert G. Rittenhouse wrote:
Pamela McLean wrote:

Thanks Rob - so we have a start

You have given us several laptops worth considering, I've enthused about
the Solo previously and you responded with the Simputer and the Carnegie
Mellon work. Sid  mentioned something else that started the discussion.

You've mentioned some of the important benefits to consider - Linux,
power consumption, and portability ...

One possible application for laptops is to plan on making maximum use of
their portability. We have some experience with laptop carts, 15-20
laptops all packed into a small space for transport. This, combined
perhaps with satellite communications, makes a computer/internet mobile,
analogous to a bookmobile, potentially practical. The whole setup could
fit into the back of a pickup truck or in a larger vehicle such as a bus
as a self contained mobile schoolroom.
My daughter's school spent a large sum of money on a rolling cart of
Apple laptops with wireless support (against my better judgement).
The idea was that the cart could be taken to classrooms on an organized
schedule and used by the students, rather than trying to find space
for a proper lab.

In practice, very few teachers go to the effort to get the cart, pass
out the laptops, collect them back up, and return the cart.  In fact,
my daughter has never even seen one of the laptops.  (The fact that
the school is on a hillside with lots of stairs should have been
clue enough that this would be the case.)

I'm not trying to say that a rolling cart is a bad idea (and the school
situation may be totally different from what you are talking about),
but it would be prudent to consider the practicality of such a solution.


Don Christensen       Senior Software Development Engineer
djc@cisco.com         Cisco Systems, Santa Cruz, CA
  "It was a new day yesterday, but it's an old day now."