The laptop was good for an "education revolution" photo shoot during the election campaign, to demonstrate that Rudd was "fresh" and Howard "stale"
But once elected things change --> FAQ from the government's digital education revolution web page:
Will every Year 9 – 12 student get laptops?This is business as usual, not an "education revolution"
The purpose of the fund is to ensure that every student in Years 9-12 has access to a computer at school. Schools in consultation with their school community will determine their ICT needs. They will be able to purchase a range of equipment, such as laptops, desktop computers, thin clients, interactive whiteboards, data projectors, digital cameras and other technologies.
Will the Fund be used for laptop or desktop computers?
Schools in consultation with their school community will determine their ICT needs. This may include laptops, desktop computers or other ICT equipment.
Will the student be allowed to take a laptop home?
Whether or not students are allowed to take laptops home is at the discretion of the individual school. This decision will need to be made within the requirements of their education jurisdiction.
Can parents access a laptop that has been provided to their child by the school under the Fund?
Equipment purchased with a grant provided under the Fund is for use within the school and is not intended for parental use.
Here are my views (from December: rudd's non vision ...) outlining a more radical approach:
- laptops to take home, not computers stuck in labs
- wide distribution on OLPC in Australian primary schools - it is now possible (givemany)
- if you have to choose then laptops to the younger kids, not the older kids
- free software
- programming languages included in the software distribution
- teacher inservice would focus on how maths and science concepts could be enhanced by computer usage