eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

Intel to roll out portable PCs in Indian schools

Posted by egovindia on July 29, 2007

Intel to roll out portable PCs in Indian schools
By Fakir Balaji

Jaipur, July 23 (IANS) Global chipmaker Intel Corp is all set to roll
out its Classmate PC, a portable mini-notebook, in Indian schools from
August to digitally enhance the existing teaching format.

The Indian subsidiary of the $39-billion silicon firm has tied up with
HCL Infosystems to hard sell the novel educational tool in thousands
of schools across India for empowering students and teachers with
computer literacy.

“The Classmate PC, designed and developed in India by engineers at our
Bangalore development centre, will only complement the conventional or
existing format of teaching and learning in classrooms in a digital
form or e-way,” John McClure, the Intel South Asia director
(marketing), told IANS at a industry-media conclave here.

HCL, one of India’s largest PC manufacturers, will be the prime vendor
to distribute and maintain the Classmate PC for enhancing the
education system and infrastructure in government-run as well as
private schools, he said.

The innovative computing device, powered by Intel’s Celeron mobile
processor 900Mhz, comes with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity. With a
seven-inch LCD screen, 256-512 mb RAM and a flash memory of one-two
gigabytes capacity, the portable device runs on Linux and Windows XP
operating systems.

Weighing about 1.5 kg and having a three-four hour battery life, the
product is being manufactured in China by Intel’s ODM (original design
manufacturer) Computex, a Taiwanes firm, for the Asia-Pacific region.

Since the $1-billion Intel World Ahead Programme was launched a year
ago, the company has distributed around 32,000 Classmate PCs in the
APAC region, including 10,000 units in select states across India on a
pilot basis.

To be priced at about Rs.18,000, the PC will be customised to meet the
local requirements in terms of rich content and features for quicker
adaptability. Equipped with a water-resistant keyboard and rugged
protective cover to prevent dust, the handheld device will be loaded
with special content for two-way teacher-student and teacher-parent
collaboration.

“In addition, the Classmate PC has an advanced theft-control feature,
based on network-issued digital certification, and is powered to run
mainstream applications, including video and educational software,”
McClure said at a preview of the product.

“The game plan is to encourage innovation and enable schoolgoing
children to communicate worldwide, developing 21st century skills such
as digital literacy, problem-solving, critical thinking and
collaboration, ” he added.

HCL Infosystems vice-president Rajendra Kumar said the Classmate PC
would revolutionise classroom learning by taking teacher-student
interaction to a higher level in schools across the country.

“A large number of public and private schools have already started
setting up computer labs to expose students to the world of
information and communication technologies (ICT) and equip them with
skills that will empower them in e-learning and qualify them for
high-tech jobs,” Kumar pointed out.

HCL will also rope in content developers and education service
providers to offer customised and integrated learning solutions. It
will reach out to schools and educational institutes across the
country through its distribution network.

Indo-Asian News Service

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