So my question – Are you moving to Windows XP Pro on these netbooks? Once the decision is made to use XP Pro (or maybe 7) the cost per netbook goes up, and the only remaining benefit seems to be the longer battery life and compactness. - RickM
Ditto on what Bjorn said about the need for a 6-cell battery. The extended battery life is one of the biggest advantages of these, as is the small form factor.
We replaced a computer lab here at SBHS with 40 Dell netbooks. The Dells are excellent, though pricey. Their charging cart is the best thing ever. You just slide a netbook into its station and it connects automatically. The thing that made the netbooks not well accepted was a combination of trying Ubuntu with a lack of dedicated integration support. I'll take the blame for the lack of dedicated support, though it is very possible that even this would not have made a difference with the cadre of teachers involved. They simply never warmed to the fact that the tradeoffs of not having mapped network drives for storage and substituting OpenOffice for MS Office allowed us to save a heap of money and get them more machines. I found that most of the students I talked to said it was no big deal. They didn't have a problem with the extra clicks necessary to access their network storage, or using OO. Some students used flash drives and others used Google Docs as more convenient solutions for file storage, but there were enough students who had problems saving their files, layered on to the fact that many of the teachers didn't seem to understand (or maybe didn't want to try to understand) how to work around these compromises that we have decided to install Windows on these netbooks. I actually had a teacher, who I respect for her professional abilities, though perhaps not for her technological prowess, look me in the eye and say "We hate netbooks." When you get that kind of feedback, it's time to take some action.
I think when you get teachers creating true "21st century learning" environments, the portability and low cost of netbooks will show their true value. If teachers are trying to use them solely as a "take the class to the computer lab so they can all write the same paper" replacement, you'll find that netbooks fall short.
South Burlington High School
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vincent Rossano
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Anyone remember netbooks?
I'm speaking in jest, of course; we all remember them. There was a lot of chatter about them last year at this time. However, the chatter quieted down considerably by the start of this school year. Is anyone out there deploying them extensively? Is anyone thinking they might still purchase a bunch of them?
I never got very excited about them, but I wonder if others did and if they still are. If so, would they care to comment on their experience with these devices? Price is the obvious reason to like them, but did you who purchased them feel they did everything you expected them to do? Any regrets?
Thanks for sharing.
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