Netbook Pilot Project

Points about the netbook pilot project:


  • Use a plastic Tote box to move netbooks from class to class. I can get 10 netbooks into one box. Much cheaper than a netbook cart which costs over $1800. Oct 27-09. 
  • We are use the Acer 10 inch netbooks - Working well - Do not like all the pre-loaded software on the Acers - Too many popups. Oct 15-09
  • Google Apps works much better with the Chrome browser from Google Nov 24-09 

Email for more information

In April 2009 our school received 17 netbooks as part of a pilot project. The netbooks are being used with different classes from grades 7 to grade 12. 

I used the class set of netbooks yesterday with a grade 7 class. It was very successful as the students were very engaged. The feedback from the staff has been very good. Security is an issue. Presently the netbooks are being booked out of the school library. 

To make best use of them you need a good wireless connection - that can support all the netbooks at the same time.

I am still looking into a netbook cart (they are expensive $2000+ US) which can be wheeled into any classroom, but I may get a carry unit which would hold 5 netbooks. These carry units then would allow the netbooks to be split up among different classes. 

I installed the following software (all are free) on each netbook.
  • Open Office (like MS office)
  • Audacity (for making podcasts)
  • Photo Story (making multimedia presentations)
  • Google Earth
I am encouraging students to use Google Apps Education Edition (our school is registered- for free) for their word processing, spreadsheet work and save their files in the "cloud". See more about Google Apps from my non-profit web site ( ). The model of cloud computing and portability fits in with the 2009 Horizon Report

Part of the pilot project is to write curriculum to be used with the netbooks. This curriculum will be written over the next year.

Why I picked netbooks instead of laptops:

Netbooks are cheaper than laptops (at least 33 % less).Netbooks are more portable (about 1 KG each) which mean they  easier to  move around the school. They tend to be tougher than lap tops (eg. if they are dropped) and they also use less electricity. If they are signed out to be taken home. they are small enough to fit into a student's purse.

Reasons for the Acer one (10 inch) for this project (about $ $360 US)
  • price about 25% less than other vender's netbooks (with 6 cell battery)
  • six cell battery - which means the netbook only has to be recharged once a day (about 6 hours between charges) - a three cell battery will limit the number of classes that can use the netbook per day- I only seem to get about 4 hours out of mine though...
  • Acer One is currently the most popular netbook
  • physically a tough unit
  • automatic restore software - (restore computer to factory setting quickly - special software is included
From PC Magazine
Acer Aspire One (10-inch)
REVIEW DATE:  02.09.09
Acer proves that it's still the master of the netbook recession special with the new and improved Aspire One (10-inch).

Phenomenal battery life. Six-cell battery is standard with the price. Still the most affordable netbook around. Ten-inch widescreen and mouse buttons are consistent with everyone else's.