So here's another scenario for you. As we explore options for our elementary schools, it occurred to me that we have three major problems in our facilities: space, power, and infrastructure.
The existing labs are quite cramped with kids doubled up on computers and little room for instruction. Similarly, some labs have extension cords running from other classrooms to avoid tripping breakers. Whole schools require complete overhauls of their wiring, top to bottom as well.
It occurred to me last night, then, that mobile labs or laptop carts just might be the answer. While the cost would be somewhat higher, a few well-placed access points could immediately address infrastructure. The laptops could be charged in their carts wherever power was available and the small labs could be reclaimed for storage, conference/testing rooms, etc., since the labs could move from class to class.
We could deploy MacBooks, Windows machines, or even Linux-based netbooks with a Terminal Server to handle software if that was deemed necessary.
The only potential downside I saw, aside from increased initial cost, was durability. How well would kids treat these machines? How often would they be dropped off of desks? In my experience, younger kids actually tend to be a bit more careful than older kids, but I'm interested in your experiences. Take the poll and talk back below.