The "next big thing" has arrived in education, and it's a little computer--the netbook.  School districts from Maine to California are considering acquiring netbooks for student use, figuring they are a low-cost route toward one-to-one computing. Never mind whether one-to-one computing is truly a panacea--are netbooks a good education platform for our children?

 The advocates for netbooks make three basic arguments:

1. The price is right: We can afford enough machines for every student.

2. The size is right: Students will do best with a small, light machine.

3. Students don't need any more power: With cloud computing, everything they need is available on the...

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