Should Netbooks be Required?

By Bryan Toporek — December 16, 2009 1 min read

Mark at The Elementary Educator asks when schools will make netbooks required materials, much like calculators for a math class, or gym shoes for gym class.

Here's another comparison: in the elementary school in which I teach, students are required to keep a separate pair of gym shoes in their lockers at all times (except when in use). Judging by the looks of the shoes that students bring in, I'm sure many of these pairs of shoes cost $30-$50 or more. When the price of netbooks drops to around $99 (especially with the school getting a discount due to volume), is it really that unreasonable to say that if we're willing to ask parents to spend $30 to $50 or more on shoes for a class we only have once a week for 50 minutes, we might as well go ahead and ask parents to throw $100 down to buy something that we're going to use to revolutionize the way we do school?

But Mark notes that the investment in a netbook could have interesting implications for the classroom.

After spending money on the mini-laptops, parents and teachers might be more insistent on students putting them to good use.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.

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