...the resource is almost as accurate as the online encyclopedia Britannica, at least when it comes to science.The article goes on to say that of 42 randomly selected topics, there were no distinguishable differences in either encyclopedia.
Customization of every computer would create many, many more systems that simply stopped working and were no longer functional. Who would maintain these systems? IT resources (human resources) are extremely limited as it is, the costs for this model would be much higher than it currently is. The initial cost of a computer is very small when compared to the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) over time. Here is a link to a case study of TCO at the Texas School District, http://classroomtco.cosn.org/texas.pdf. It is true that TCO will continue to decrease, but at this time one-to-one computing is still a VERY expensive model. MIT is currently developing a sub $100 notebook ($100 Laptop Initiative)
By definition, the kids would have notebook computers as opposed to desktops. Notebook computers as a shorter life span are VERY limited in capacity and are not readily upgradeable or expandable (i.e. if new, innovative technology comes out you may end up in a situation where none of the notebooks can take advantage of it. TCO of a Wi-Fi enabled notebook alone is pegged at 3 to 4 percent per year higher than non-enabled notebooks which equates to $197 - $325 annually (Gartner Group).
These are challenging issues. Can someone address these? I can't. But I still think there's a way. There is no doubt that cost is a huge stumbling block. But are we still able to provide students with the same education with a lab setup or even pods? What is reasonable access?
I agree that we need to do new things in new ways in education and technology is one force of change which should be used to its advantage. I've learned not to get too uptight about not knowing everything about working technology because the kids help me. What I try to do is get them to think about what they are doing. We have gotten kind of lazy about thinking and problem-solving independently. We are creating a non-thinking generation and a lot of that has to do with the power consumerism has in/over our lives. We are all considered items that can be bought and sold and the marketplace would have us believe our minds should be consumed by thinking about how we are going to "get" things or decorate our bodies. Unfortunately this takes up a lot of our time. And a lot of people like to be told what and how to think whether it is through media, religion or politics. We are seldom open to true debate or thought anymore. We are all supposed to be the same. This is something I think we need to address in education and if technology can do this that is great.
Some kids will be more engaged learning through technology; others are engaged by art or music or words or other people. Don't you think? I know all children need to have access to technology and know how to use it to their benefit. I don't think it is acceptable that some people of my generation don't even try to enter the computer age, but I suppose as with everything, one has to have patience. My generation does seem to be becoming more computer literate.