India announces $35 tablet computer for rural poor

India's low-cost Aakash tablet. (AP)

Following through on a promise made last year, India introduced an inexpensive tablet computer on Oct. 5, saying the device would deliver modern technology to the countryside to help lift villagers out of poverty.

The computer, called Aakash, or “sky” in Hindi, is the latest in a series of “world’s cheapest” innovations in India that include a 100,000-rupee ($2,040) compact Nano car, a 750-rupee ($15) water purifier, and $2,000 open-heart surgery.

Developer Datawind is selling the tablets to the government for about $45 each, and subsidies will reduce that cost to $35 for students and teachers. In comparison, the cheapest Apple iPad tablet costs $499, while the recently announced Kindle Fire will sell for $199.…Read More

College presidents sending mixed messages about technology

The report finds that presidents' beliefs about the mission of higher education are linked to their views on online learning.

Most college presidents say they use technology every day, yet only half say online courses are comparable to traditional courses—and nearly all say plagiarism has increased as a result of technology, according to a recent survey. However, college presidents also believe online courses and technology are the keys to higher education’s future.

These are the results from a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, in association with the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which 1,055 presidents from two-year and four-year private, public, and for-profit colleges and universities were surveyed online about technology use in higher education.

The results seem a bit contradictory: Though only half (51 percent) of the college presidents surveyed say online courses provide the same value as traditional courses, more than 77 percent say their institutions now offer online courses. Fifty percent also say that 10 years from now, most students will take online classes.…Read More