With education standard slipping consistently over the last couple of decades, educators the world over are looking for anything that can help them engage their students and those ever-selfless people at Intel and Lenovo have come up with something which is sure to grab the children’s attention.
The clamshell Classmate+ PC is a collaboration between Intel and Lenovo and will see the netbook being sold exclusively to educational institutes. It is being aimed at students aged from Kindergarten up to age 13 or 14. The partners call it “a purpose-built laptop designed to improve learning for students.” In a bid to help the children, the laptop will come pre-loaded with Intel’s Learning Series software which has educational software as well as teaching resources. Since Intel first introduced the Learning Series back in 2006, more than 3 million classmate PCs have been shipped worldwide.
The Classmate+ will come with Intel’s Atom N455 processor, a 10.1in LED-backlit LCD screen, a 1.3 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and Windows 7. Customisable options include 8GB or 16GB SSD, 160GB or 250GB HDD, 1GB or 2GB of RAM and 3- or 6-cell batteries which give you between 3.5 hours and 9 hours of life. As we said the Classmate+ PC will not be available to the general consumer but Intel and Lenovo have already secured the first shipment, with 158,000 units heading to children in Buenos Aires in Argentina.
So is this the future of education or is it just another step towards the continuing diminution in education standards?