reply to Desdinova
Re: So Where Will they March Next? (for this response kids= high schoolers)
You may have forgotten caring what felt like 100 pounds of books in a back pack, but I have not. Most schools today, for safety don't allow back pack in case the kid has drugs or a gun. Most schools today don't have lockers. So the kids get stuck either "forgetting" their books at home (which I have to admit doing a couple of times) or caring them around all day. I would have gladly traded all those books for a laptop even a bulky one. Not many schools can afford two sets of books, one for home and one for class.
The laptops can be locked down so the can't be used for all those advertised things you were talking about. Simply get laptops with out cd/dvd writers or floppies. On the software side don't give the kids any admin rights. Seems easy enough to me.
Have you taken any tests lately? Most tests are not on paper or scantron they are given exclusively on computer. There isn't any chance to go back an re-read a passage to answer. It's read it the first time and that is it. All this in the name of not-cheating.
Kids need to be exposed in a limited way to what the outside world is going to expect of them.
Most reports of schools that have gone with laptops have an insurance program to cover maintenance and theft/loss. Also the laptops could bought/made in such a way that they don't have a good street value (as stated above low screen resolution, integrated very low end chip, soldered ram). Schools even have thought of e-bay and have "scouts" on the look out for stolen computers.
Books and printed documents are important, they will always be. Computers for high school kids - OK. Computer for younger kids - no way.
Just my 2 cents.
The computer case could be made with a bright color to prevent theft. Easy to identify.
My 7 year old handles a laptop just fine. He's had it for over a year and it's in very good shape. I walk him through all the maintenace on it. If my kid can learn it, why can't others?
Again, arrogance in selling children short and assuming they are capable of very little.