What’s the future of student technology? Without a doubt – mini notebooks. Computers like the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Asus EeePC, and HP Mini 1000 will be populating classrooms of the near future. With prices in the $300-500 range these computers are a cost effective method for implementing a 1:1 program in any school. Even without schools providing them, mini notebooks may become as ubiquitous as cell phones and iPods. Right now its relatively easy to tell students to put away devices that don’t appear to have any school-sanctioned educational purpose, but how will you handle personal laptops? Are you really going to tell a class full of students wanting to use their personal computers as engaged learning devices to turn them off and put ’em away? If you are please leave education now. I will help you pack! For financially-strapped schools looking for ways to bring more technology into the classroom how hard would it be to convince parents who are already filling Christmas lists with iPhones and Sony PSPs to purchase a $400 laptop to be used at home and school? All its going to take are leaders pushing the envelope and putting plans in place to support this technology.
With that in mind I ordered by Dell Inspiron Mini 9 last week. Its supposed to be here by the end of the month. I researched the HP Mini 1000 and Asus EeePC, but chose a Dell mainly because I wanted to test out Ubuntu in my goal to be triplatform. My Mini will have 1GB of RAM, a 16GB solid state drive, and the 1.3 megapixel camera. Between a sale at Dell and my CUE member discount, the grand total was $409 before shipping and sales tax. Right now I am at a school loaded with 600 Macbooks, but at $2000 a pop its a pricey endeavor, especially as they start getting refreshed. I’m curious if mini notebooks might be a long-term alternative. The only way to find out for sure is to get one and play. I can’t wait until it arrives!
- Find your Mini cheap at Amazon