Has anyone implemented using a subnotebook computer in their school district?

Recently, I saw a HS teacher in my school district using one of the new subnotebook computers in our media center. As I got a closer look at the computer, I started thinking that it might be a viable solution for our K-4 schools where we need to replace our aging 8 year old laptops. The price which is around 1/3 of a traditional laptop was certainly a selling point. Since our current laptops are used mainly to access the internet and for word processing, the fact that they come pre-installed open source software, Open Office, and have wireless/wired network access included, were two pluses. I also thought that the smaller keyboards would benefit younger students if we plan to move keyboarding instruction down to the 2nd grade. I purchased one to demo and are in the process of evaluating it, but was wondering if anyone has actually implemented their use in their school. Please share any pros and cons you have encountered with this solution.

Tags: elementary, oss

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I have two XO's from OLPC- the kids love them- If only I could get flash to work. The lower price does men putting more laptops in the hands of kids
I purchased an Asus eee PC. At a monthly meeting of a tech group my school district has joined, someone passed around a Classmate PC notebook from Intel. With its built in handle, it reminded me of Apple's ClamShell which is what we are currently still using in most of our elementary schools. It looked much more rugged than the Asus. They mentioned that it cost around $500 which was around $150 more than what we paid for the Asus Surf model. I did have a problem getting WPA wireless to work, but was able to resolve that issue by downloading an update.
I teach fourth grade and received a Jennings Grant to purchase new laptops for my class next year to implement several 2.0 applications in class.

Many people I talk to are raving about the Asus EEE Pc 4G. With my grant I should be able to purchase about 6-7 of these machines for my room.

I have played with one once. The keyboard is a bit smaller, but for what we are going to use them for, I think they are wise and economical.
I agree that the keyboard is small for an adult. I found myself repeatedly typing the wrong keys and finally starting typing with two fingers to overcome my frustration with having to constantly make corrections. Since I'm not targeting it at adults, I'm not going to let this adversely affect my opinion of this product. I hope to test it out with some students soon.
Using small electronic devices is becoming common in many schools. I teach an online professional development course through the University of Wisconsin-Stout "Learning Applications for the iPod and Handheld Computers". There have been a great many early elementary teachers take the course and have developed extremely creative class projects. Their ideas of incorporating smaller devices into the curriculum seems to be unlimited.

Ann Bell



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