Books v PCs

Italy pupils ditch books for PCs

Pupils at a school in Italy are replacing all their text books with computers for a year - in what is being described as a unique experiment.

More than 60 children - aged between eight and 10 - at Turin's Don Milani school will be using mini laptops with the full curriculum.

Their access to the internet will be controlled by special software.

The experiment, which is backed by parents, aims to test how a computer alone can improve the learning process.

Cheaper alternative

Until Wednesday, the Don Milani di Rivoli elementary school was like any other in Italy.

Children turned up, got out their books and pens and began the process of learning.

But now, 60 fifth grade pupils and a number of third graders will start using computers only.

The mini laptops, which run Windows software, weigh less than a kilogram, can be dropped from a height of one-and-a-half metres and are waterproof.

Instead of spending the equivalent of $700 (£400) a year on books, the laptops, built by the Italian company Olidata, cost less than $400 (£228).


Source: BBC News



Listen to the story here.
What do you think of this experiment? What are your memories of your schooling?

Comments

José said…
Hi Graham,



I think is interesting to use all tools that permit improve education. The computer is the most important thing inside the cultural world. Not only it is necessary but it is essential. I can’t imagine a student or a scientist without the computer. Education is the best investment that countries, families and everyone can do. This is proved. Investing in computer helps to improve culture but, as well the use of a computer increases electric, technology information and telematic means. The English teacher who uses the computer has his mind smarter. LOL.



In addition, if parents save a lot of money, almost 50 per 100, this is other reason for buy the computers and the laptops. Sometimes, it’s the principal reason because there are families with many children and not many resources.



No way, the computer can ditch books. Be careful. Books are always necessary, before and now, with or without the computer. It’s not the same read a book in the computer that read a physical book or in paper support. It’s very romantic read a book on lap or between two hands.



See you.
Graham said…
Hello José,

This story is from nearly ten years ago so I wonder how the experiment turned out. I guess that children would be keener to get their information from a laptop rather than a boring, old book.


I think it is interesting to use any tools that permits/allows an improvement in education. The computer is the most important thing inside the cultural world. Not only is it necessary, it is also essential. I can’t imagine a student or a scientist without a computer. Education is the best investment that countries, families and everyone can make. This has been proved. Investing in computers helps to improve culture but, what is more, the use of a computer increases electric, technology information and telematic means. ....

In addition, if parents save a lot of money, almost 50 per 100, this is another reason to buy computers and laptops. Sometimes, it’s the principal reason why there are families with many children and not many resources.


No way can we ditch books for computers. Be careful. Books are always necessary, before and now, with or without the computer. It’s not the same to read a book on the computer as read a physical book or in paper support. It’s very romantic to read a book on your lap or between two hands.



I am not sure what you mean by "50 per 100".

You made mistakes in this comment that you don't normally make. Everybody has their off day.