ePortfolios, PLEs & Mini Notebooks

I read and watched with interest the news about the VIA Open Source Notebook on the TechCrunch blog. Open source software and now open source computers.


Love the 2 way camera! While I am a through and through Mac user and always have been, it seems as though there is a gap in the Mac market for the void that I want to fill. That is to have a small portable tool enabling the ePortfolio to transform, or additionally become, what people may refer to as a Personal Learning Environment (refer to Graham Attwell’s blog for his take on PLEs.). True anywhere anytime cost-effective portability for learning, sharing learning and social communication.

The mini laptop seems to be the right tool for the job. Small, virtually no footprint, portable (i.e. throw it in your backpack). For me the concept seems to fill the gap between the MacBook and the iPhone. That is, a small portable device that can access all the Web 2 tools the students use as well as record still and video, project to a projector, wireless, bluetooth… an all on one solution that is small, lightweight and portable and does not require a highly expensive mobile broadband account as a mobile does. And it is cheap!

The Linux version of an Asus is only $520. Entry level MacBooks: $1649…

I hear you say, “But it’s not a Mac!”  Does that matter anymore? I exclusively use Web 2 tools for the majority of my work. Whether I use Linux, Windows or OS X it does not effect the tools I use on the web.

I am not alone in thinking this, in his Switched On column, Ross Rubin says,

the historically hazy and suddenly hot device space between the cellphone and the notebook is emerging as the best shot yet for the Linux…

One cannot finish without mentioning the XO, the laptop developed by the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) social welfare organization. Or indeed the upcoming XO2 seen above…

Food for thought.

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