"For me the Asus Eee PC has always been a pointer to the future rather than a solution. My view is that these lower cost solid state devices will make an impact on all of us over the coming years.
At this point I normally talk about satellite navigation devices and the impact that mainstream retailers have on prices and ubiquitous usage – imagine talking to the board of Psion in the 90’s about your idea to introduce personal satellite navigation devices sold for £100 odd in high street retailers. In 2003 Psion’s Mark Gretton joined a small Dutch PDA software company, TomTom, run by former Psion Computer MD Harold Goddijn. As chief technology officer, Gretton assembled a team of former Psion engineers to create its first hardware products. In fiscal year 2006, TomTom reported revenues of €1.36bn making a net profit of €222m.
Again imagine high street retailers selling low cost laptops, and personal devices like the Eee PC for a price point around £100 (or maybe even 2 for 1!). I have been working with schools for a year or so talking about this and the impact it will have on all of us but clearly from Peter’s perspective we’re not reaching enough schools quickly enough – this is something that has been said to me before and I really do try to reach as many schools as possible.
You’ll see other devices coming along very quickly over the summer; there’s the HP 2133, Dell’s producing one, the Elonex One, the MSI PR210, and the Acer Aspire to name a few. I agree with Peter that this new class of low cost device provides as many challenges as it resolves. Try changing the default language on an Eee PC…
The enthusiasm that Chris and others have for these devices comes from their immediacy; they are closer to mobile phones than traditional computer technologies. As Andrew has mentioned, there are many programmes out there looking at the impact and use of these and many other devices; the BSF heads have been working with RM about the Eee PC’s since January and we’re looking forward to sharing this work across the city. You can also attend the RM conference on the 8th July and join the workshop showcasing "…some of the excellent outcomes following the use of new technology in some of our BSF schools. Equipment such as Play Station Portable (PSP), games consoles and minibook computers have been used in a variety of ways to engage our youngsters and improve their learning". Richard"
It's great to have this debate about ICT and the potential it has to revolutionise teaching and learning. Any further contributions would be very welcome.