News out today shows how Google will be releasing an Operating System distributed initially on Netbooks in 2010. I think this could be great news for education. Since last year I have been testing out, exploring, using and sharing a wide variety of software. Google has a huge number of online services. Using the internet more for online applications is easier, and free for users. There are several privacy and security options with each program and individual file. I've blogged about "Cloud Computing" and "synchronicity" previously. It all makes sense, and I agree that more people will be turning to the web for programs and storage.
Educators around the world are under pressure to have technology accessible for students integrated in all subject areas. E-learning is growing and will continue to prosper. Keeping students engaged with creative and challenging task, differentiating for each students needs, requires more use of technology in all classrooms. Add to that increase ease of use and tight budgets and making more use of free tools just makes sense. Technology can be a way to increase innovation and reduce the economic gap between schools in districts and even countries around the world.
The Old model of having an expensive "fat" computer loaded down with a lot of programs that quickly go out of date is a way of the past in my opinion. I purchased a Netbook last year and love it. Half the price, half the size and weight and all the functionality you need when you work online.
As an educator who works in the classroom, teaching online, with students and peers, I think that this is great news for education. If progressive school boards consider moving to Netbooks in the future that would be great. Our computer labs are overbooked and laptop carts are not available. In the U.S. and other countries there have been one-to-one programs so every student has access to a laptop. We have not been that fortunate, but with a lower cost maybe it will be considered. At a cheaper price even if students come in with their own Netbooks, that may be welcomed in some cases. Of course if school provided access to Netbooks then than the teachers would have an easier time managing their use to ensure it is effective and appropriate, and put away when it is time for other teaching/learning vehicles. Educators can focus our teaching that enhance student creativity, engagement. I'm hopeful that lower costs will reduce or eliminate barriers to access that exist now.
Here are news announcements:
Netbooks- wouldn't it be nice!
Why Cloud Computing
Sychronicity Google + YouTube + Picasa