We at Gear Live have been hearing early morning reports from Shanghai Daily that hardware manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., AKA Foxconn, has been allegedly pulling Chinese students from classrooms in preparation to build Apple's iPhone 5. The social network, Sina Weibo, has been filling up with claims that at least 200 students from the Huaiyen Institute of Technology were being escorted to Foxconn factories under the guise of being enrolled in a "school to work program" or "Internship." The students will allegedly be paid $224 per month to work 12 hour shifts, six days a week. Now, possibly as a result of public scrutiny, Shanghai Daily is reporting that students are being brought back to classrooms and instead are being offered to volunteer for the so-called school to work program.
Read More | Shanghai Daily
Once again, Microsoft is going to be offering a free Xbox 360 for students who buy a qualifying PC. The computers start at $699, and when purchased at certain retailers, a 4 GB Xbox 360 will be thrown in gratis beginning on May 18. Up in Canada, students are welcome to the same deal, and the PCs start at $599. Participating retailers include Dell, Best Buy, Newegg (see our Newegg promo code thread,) Fry's Electronics, Staples, Future Shop, the Microsoft Store, and more.
Wanna save even more cash? Wait to make the purchase until June 2, when the Windows 8 upgrade program is set to launch, allowing PC buyers to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $15.
Read More | Windows Team Blog
Intel has been working on designing a tablet, dubbed the Studybook, that focuses and built primarily on educational needs. The tablet would run on Windows 7 or Android 3.0, powered by the Atom Z650 processor, feature a front and rear-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, and all the versatile ports such as USB 2.0, HDMI, and a microSD slot. It would fall into Intel’s line of educational computers, such as the Classmate Convertible, which is used by 7 million students over the whole world.
Now, you might be cringing thinking about how quickly students will destroy the tablets, but Intel has designed the Studybook to withstand abuse. It’s made of durable plastic and can withstand a drop from about 2 feet or so.
The StudyBook is to come with preinstalled educational software, such as the Kno e-reader and LabCam suite for science. It’s reported that the tablet should sell around $200, but no word of when its official release and availability date will be.
There is going to be a lot of debate over the fact that American students are again falling behind in their education. According to National Assessment of Educational Progress, American children are nothing less than pathetic when it comes to understanding science.
This whole mess will be blamed on all sorts of things, probably all valid. But who, besides me, is going to blame the computer? Has anyone noticed that ever since the computer was brought into the classroom, student test scores have been falling? Does anyone find this coincidence weird? After all, the computer is, in itself, a teaching machine, of sorts.
Over the years, I've seen a lot of quasi-teaching software and educational software companies come and go, but can you name one large or middle-sized software company that specializes in educational software for children in grade school now? Just try to name one.
The biggest software company in the world, Microsoft, used to have some educational software sold under its discontinued Home brand, but I have no idea what became of it. The company, along with the Gates Foundation, promotes the idea of computers in the classroom, but it seems more of a ploy to make kids comfortable using Windows than anything else.
For science education, the greatest thing a computer can do is to show scientific principals in a way no blackboard or discussion could ever do, with graphical representation and full motion animation. You'd think that with all the computers that have been installed in school that American kids would be wizards by now. But no.
In a recent announcement by India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal, (who subsequently can now be referred to as ‘The Indian Steve Jobs’) an innovative tablet PC is headed for the market in 2011 - with a retail price of only 15 dollars! The remarkable device, dubbed Sakshat, is made with students in mind, acknowledging the problem of high cost devices essential to a higher education. Developed by the Indian Institute of technology and the Indian Institute of Science, Sakshat costs a mere $30 to manufacture. While even at such an astonishing price already, Sibal seems hopeful that it can be lowered to an unheard of $10.
Read More | IBN Live
Gateway is after the student demographic with their NV Series Notebooks. Available in black, blue, red, or brown, most feature a 15.6-inch LCD (1366×768,) 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, webcam, DVD burner, HDMI and Vista Home Premium. The NV5214u, with a price of $499.00, comes with a 2.1GHz dual-core AMD Athlon 64 CPU and ATI Radeon 3200 graphics while the NV5807u has a 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and an Intel 4500MHD graphics chipset at a price of $599.00.
Read More | Gateway
While keeping a cell phone on campus may be good for security reasons in the States, Japan has an entirely different idea. Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo has been handing out free iPhones to their staff and students at the School of Social Informatics. They are doing so to keep track of them by GPS to find out if they are cutting class. The instructors will also use them for homework and testing.
Read More | Tokyo Mango
It may be almost the end of the term for most, but if you are a student, Microsoft has a deal for you. Their Office Ultimate 2007 is priced at $59.95, as opposed to the usual $679.95. That 91% savings is good for anyone who has a viable .edu addy and is enrolled in school or is taking a credited class. The pricing will remain through the end of 2010 and you can grab a copy on its “Ultimate Steal” site. Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT)RED Upgrade w/SP1 and Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007 are also available at reduced prices.
Read More | Microsoft Ultimate Steal
This is our kind of bathroom fixture. Students from the Skjern Technical College in West-Jutland, Denmark have designed an intelligent toilet. The thing is so smart it puts down the seat after it has been flushed without the use of an energy source. The four contenders were given a prize for best product at the Young Enterprise entrepreneurial awards. This is a prototype that we hope gets some funding and makes it to the market soon.
Read More | The Copenhagen Post
India has agreed to work on the planet’s cheapest laptop. The Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari says that the country will try to develop $10.00 units for school kids. Back in 2006, the Indian Government decided not to go for the OLPC program but seems to have changed its mind. The project will be funded by the Reliance Anil Dhirubahi Group and will launch in Maharashtra’s Khairat village. They are hoping to cover about 25,000 towns 6,000 villages by the end of this year.
Read More | India eNews