Monday, October 16, 2006

The Next Classroom PC

Ever since the interview I did with Larry Cuban, I've been intrigued with the idea of understanding what a computer would need to be like to be broadly assimilated in to the regular school classroom. I've started a mailing list to discuss this topic, which you'll find here. As soon as I can determine that there is enough interest to justify it, I have purchased the domain name, and could start a website devoted to this cause.

But first things first. Here are the attributes that I believe the next generation classroom PC will need to have:

  • It should be able to be easily adopted by teachers (that is, it must be simple and easy to use)
  • It should be low- to no-maintenance
  • It should be low-cost
  • It should be acceptable to technology directors and support staff
  • It should provide user-authentication
  • It should have accountability tracking in some form
  • It should provide a data-storage for users that is independent of classroom and schools, extended through the lifetime of their education
  • It should allow the classroom teacher to see the screen display remotely
  • It should be able to be updated remotely
  • It should be able to have applications added and upgraded remotely
  • It should have audio and video input capability
  • It should have video-conferencing built in
This is obviously a quick list, but I want to give this discussion a start. Let me know what you think! Please respond here or on the email list.

For more history and background on this topic, see here.