The topic that got my number when I was visiting Intel last week, was education. Since this event was all about the women in technology, it was a topic that came up a lot.
I have two kids and I know that technology has changed the way they learn, what they know, and how they envision their future. But even in my neighborhood and the school my kids go to, I see children who don’t have the same access to information technology my kids have. And I know that elsewhere in the world, the situation is worse. Intel feels this every day when they try to hire people to design the stuff at the heart of all this technology. So the company is all over education.
My son is a bright kid who is accustomed to working on a computer at home. At school, where everything is often done with pencil and paper, he was out of his comfort zone and constantly losing assignments before he turned them in. His grades were abysmal even though he was trying hard. This was frustrating for him. A netbook â€“ and some understanding teachers — fixed this problem. Now he emails his assignments as soon as he is done with them, jots homework down on his computer, and does research right from study hall.
When I mentioned a while back that a netbook helped my son bring his grades up, I got several questions about which netbook to get. We got him an inexpensive Asus but I don’t know if I’d recommend this for every middle-school student. I also like the Dell Mini 9 and the Lenovo IdeaPad. But Intel showed me a cute little netbook I hadn’t seen before â€“ the Classmate PC. It’s durable â€“ you can drop it without hurting it â€“ and has a waterproof keyboard. This might have been a better choice for us. We have had the netbook we got repaired twice in the few months we’ve had it. My son is careful with it because it’s important to him. But there are lots of kids in school who aren’t as invested in its survival and they have stepped on it and knocked it around the way kids will. You can find out where to buy one and get details about the computer at Intel’s Classmate PC site.
I hope you enjoy that video (above) about how technology can change education.