I absolutely love using Apple computers, Apple mobile devices, and Apple software. Netbooks have really challenged my thinking about 1:1 computing in schools in the past year or so, however, and I am definitely not alone.
Yesterday at an Oklahoma City AT&T store, I had a chance to get my hands on a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 for the first time. (Those are actually my wife’s hands on an Acer netbook in the photo below, however. The Dell is on the right.) I know, I should have checked these out at NECC 2009, but I honestly never set foot into the vendor hall at the conference. Apple wasn’t there (again) so what was the point in going?!
Wow. I have no question that student laptop computers should be this size, be at least this powerful, and cost this little. Yet as a Mac lover, of course, I’m torn. The MacBook Air is light, beautiful, and I really like it’s reduced starting pricepoint ($1500 US) — but that’s still $1200 more than the entry-level Dell Inspiron Mini 10 ($300) or HP Mini 1000 ($280). For student laptop initiatives, no one is using the Macbook Air– the $1000 white Macbook is the choice for many. That’s still $700 more at retail price. Educational and consortium pricing can be less, but the financial differences here are still HUGE.
I’m also confused by Dell. Why won’t Dell discount its Inspiron Minis that ship with Ubuntu… Starting cost is still $300 with or without WinXP Home. What gives?! Is this an attempt by Dell’s pricing gurus to not financially incentivize open source operating system alternatives to Windoze? (Gasp!) Several others in my Twitter community seem to suspect similar things.
Given my love of all things Apple, it should not be a surprise that I love the Twitter-orchestrated YouTube video, “Why we use a Mac.” I definitely use Macs for all those reasons too.
I wonder how many examples of 13 year old digital creativity we can find online at this point which were entirely netbook created?
Not many, I’d wager. But that may change with time. Nice work, Charlie and friends. I’m betting you didn’t learn all those digital literacy and collaboration skills in schools, did you?!
Given the choice AND the funding, would you recommend the purchase of Mac laptops or netbooks (of some flavor) for your own school district? Would it surprise you to learn that at least 18 Maine school districts are now going with netbooks? Hat tip to Maine educator Alice Barr for telling me about this at NECC.
The hardware computing landscape is changing in big ways, and netbooks are a major catalyst along with mobile devices.
How long until I purchase one of the netbooks linked above so I can be a personal, “digital witness” to their capabilities? Hopefully soon. Would the September release of an Apple Tablet / Jumbo iTouch change my mind? Probably not. But I’d certainly want to buy one as soon as possible to make up my own mind about their potential ability to compete with netbooks! A big key in that answer will be PRICE.
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On this day..
- Glimpse the Future with Amy Webb @amywebb (Thanks @TWiT) - 2018
- Changing "Classroom Normal" with Interactive Blogging - 2012
- Passion-based learning in action: Brian Crosby at TEDxDenverEd - 2010
- You still going to teach the same when you face this? - 2009
- Digital media becomes socially interesting as it becomes technologically boring (ubiquitous) - 2009
- links for 2008-07-27 - 2008
- DOPA might not kill all DSN education in schools - 2006
- Virtual Field Trips: Take Students on An Adventure to Learn - 2006
- Putting the "interactive" into interactive electronic whiteboards - 2006
- DOPA passes US House of Reps - 2006