July 26, 2006

Wireless PCs motivate students, says wireless PC maker

Writing about web page http://www.techweb.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=190300631&cid=RSSfeed_TechWeb

My title is perhaps overly cynical.

About 23,000 students and 1,500 teachers in 100 Michigan school districts are participating in the program. Students get their own wireless HP notebook PCs and are allowed to learn at their own pace. Teachers, meanwhile, receive comprehensive training and curriculum guidance through a centralized learning portal. The report is backed by HP.

But if these notebooks are effectively free at the point of use for the students, and the teachers get a rich, well–supported infrastructure to help them, then it's hardly surprising that the participants regard the program as beneficial. What would be more interesting is to know whether the benefits are worth the costs of providing the program or whether the same sum spent on other activities (books? laboratories? more teachers?) would have produced equivalent or greater benefits.


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