After reading Intel seeding Indian schools with PCs and I have to wonder what took them so long? I also have to wonder why Intel has chosen not to put similar efforts into US educational system -- though I can guess. Quoting the post, here's the plan:
"Intel’s approach includes increased access to low-cost PCs and placing more computers into the classrooms and cafes of the developing world. Intel plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years ..."
In the end, Intel is commiting to a much more meaningful project than Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC initiative (see my post The lame $100 laptop) and the various publicly-funded state-run projects (see A laptop in every pot?) are even worse.
What Intel has done is set reasonable goals focused on the classroom, on training and on IT tools, owned by the schools -- not given away to individual students. And no one can even claim OS bias:
"Along with increased Internet access, Intel has also been developing a $400 mobile PC designed for the classroom. This PC will run Microsoft Windows or the free Linux operating system and offer standard features, including wireless Internet capabilities."
Comparing Intel's plans with those of several states, and Mr Negroponte's OLPC initiative ought to remind us that privately-funded initiatives, while not grandiose, are often better conceived, more easily attainable, and often they do far more good than publicly-funded initiatives which, in the spirit of the politicians who propose them, are often merely symbolic and wasteful and rarely do they meet their stated goal.