Last login: Friday, April 13, 2012
With California school districts close to bankrupt, mayhap the adoption of a noncommercial model for textbooks (like Beyond Textbooks, http://beyondtextbooks.org/) now makes sense.
At today's prices, with SiP technology, an Android (or Linux) based Pad can cost as little as $60 to make (for a 7" screen). Even for a 10" screen computer (that's what they are), the cost to manufacture is less than $100. That is not vaporware, but deliverable today, complete with camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, MicroSD, and HDMI output.
The $100 computer is already here - you just have not heard.
Give each kid (K to 12) one of these electronic pads (less than the cost of just ONE printed textbook today). Kids no longer have to lug around 70 lb. school bags. Teachers can do really wonderful class activities - interactive, with full media. Imagine a microscope with a 10" screen as eyepiece, and with the view shared by all the PADS in the classroom.
Do more with less money. That always helps in a down economy.
Even if you do not wish to take the radical route and kick out all the textbook publishers, you can still save money by demanding that the commercially published texts be delivered electronically only. As the "cost" of publishing and distributing such books would be much less for the publishers, and the savings should be passed along to the schools.
With existing technology, you can easily store the several "textbooks" on the PAD (for the particular child) for the duration of the school year, so the child can "bring the books home." Also, a native electronic system would allow tests and assessments to be done and scored electronically (even the "written" portions can be entered and stored). Attendance taking would be trivial. Self scoring tests with instant feedback can easily be implemented. Cutting down on teachers' chores allows them to do more teaching.
April 13, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
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