“Give”: Not quite free

I was totally surprised to read this headline on Information Week:

Chicago High School Will Give Every Student A Tablet PC This Fall

Pretty cool, right? But then I read further down: “the tablets (which students lease for $56 a month over 46 months)”. So by give, they mean sell. And not cheaply, either… that works out to a total cost of $2,576 – which isn’t cheap, even by retail standards.

Wait, it gets better!

“It’s offering a computer network class in which students can obtain A+ certification, after which they will work in the school’s computer repair center. “We are building a workforce of IT students,” Peña says.”

So they charge the students for the computers they use in the network class, charge them tuition (De La Salle is a private school), and then put them to work in the repair center (which, presumably repairs the tablets they were “given”).

I like the idea of integrating technology in the classroom, but this seems more hassle and expense than necessary – especially to the pockets of the parents.

1 Comment so far

  1. Bill V (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 8:34 am

    Nice catch! I’d have to agree it seems like a ripoff to the student. I’ve read about other schools that sell laptops at discounted rates, but not anywhere near that total price. Seems like these students are getting hit from both sides.

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