FYI this post is being written on the little Asus eeepc that I purchased for the school. So far only three (whoops, four) spelling mistakes because of the little keyboard. This is the most amazing little computer and I’m convinced it is the leading edge of a huge wave of sub-compacts about to hit the market.
It all started with the One Laptop Per Child Program which aims to put affordable, reliable and connected laptops in the hands of children in developing countries. The technology spin offs from this project have led to the development of comparable laptops by IBM, HP and of course Asus.
My original thought was to try and purchase a cart load of these little things (at $400 each they are very affordable for what you get) that could be distributed to students as they work on projects in the classroom. I particularly liked that these little things would be a useful resource/tool but wouldn’t be the focus of the entire lesson.
I am also excited about loading audacity on these things and adding a microphone to turn them into portable recording stations. The potential for exciting multimedia projects is endless.
I’ve since changed my tune a little. The small screen and keyboard on these computers does take some getting used to and I think it might be frustrating for some. Instead I’m thinking that if we can find the money a proper laptop cart would be a better initial investment because it would garner more buy in from students and teachers, which would hopefully lead to more technology integration in the classroom.
However, there will still be 4 or 5 eeepcs floating around the school for students and teachers to experiment with. It should be exciting!