I posted a review this morning of the newly updated Intel Classmate PC, launched in Central Park today. Some new media are available and one launch partner in particular is worth mentioning: McGraw-Hill.
You'll probably remember that McGraw-Hill got itself into some hot water over a perceived leak regarding the iPad launch. May thought the company's absence from the iPad launch was a deliberate punishment, although both Apple and McGraw-Hill deny it. Regardless, McGraw-Hill is onboard with the Classmate, rolling out new literacy software and curricula optimized for the device. According to the press release,
The first McGraw-Hill Education program optimized specifically for the new Intel-powered convertible classmate PC reference design is LEAD21, an all-new elementary school literacy program...LEAD21 is a comprehensive literacy and language arts program offering students and teachers full print, digital and professional development resources. Through this collaboration with Intel, LEAD21 offers integrated content and hardware solutions as well. The program provides every learner with easy access to digital tools, such as an Online Coach, ePractice activities and more, which help students manage and extend their own learning. In the coming months, McGraw-Hill also plans to introduce additional programs and software created to work specifically with the Classmate PC.
Again, who needs an iPad?
I have to share this video that Intel's Jeff Galinovsky (you can find him on Twitter at @classmatepcdude) put together with his kids showing a day in the life of one of these new Classmates:
A bit of hyperbole? Perhaps, but the new reference design definitely raises the bar on durability.
Other launch partners aren't new to the Classmate PC ecosystem, but included Pasco Scientific, Easybits Software, Lego Education, and SMART. The Lego Education WeDo Robotics software is enough to make me want to go out and buy some serious Lego gear. Shown with a first-generation Classmate here, the software has been optimized for touch and Windows 7. It can integrate with Scratch as well.
Interestingly, SMART, Scratch, the Lego software, etc., don't run on an iPad. Just saying...