Targeting the education market under the AlphaSmart brand, Renaissance Learning has launched the Neo, a portable notebook computer that keeps children away from the Internet and focused on learning activities.
Greg Wright, SVP and general manager of Renaissance Learning, told eWEEK that “The goal in the K-12 market is to provide schools with a cost-effective way to offer one-to-one computing to their students, which appeals to administrators, teachers and students.”
While the Neo by AlphaSmart laptop does not have Internet capabilities, it does feature resourceful learning software that will focus on helping kids develop writing, keyboarding and quizzing skills, which could help students stay on task without potential Internet distractions.
“While students are working on their Neos, they arent distracted by instant messages popping up from friends or are tempted to slack off by surfing on the Internet when they should be practicing their writing,” said Wright.
With the learning-focused laptop, school teachers can manage a students access to programs and different options while also allowing teachers to move classes student assignments to any Macintosh or Windows computer and evaluate them.
The Neo laptop also comes with the following features:
- Full keyboard with a large LCD screen
- One-touch file access and autosave, which seeks to prevent startup delays as well as the loss of data
- Spell-checking and thesaurus
- User dictionary for adding additional words and terms
- Linked files for rubrics, homework instructions or reference materials
- Built-in help system for quick access to command reference
The Neo laptop weighs 2 pounds; its designed so that students are able to place it in their backpacks.
The Neo by AlphaSmart Laptop is available now online.
Non-school customers pay $249 for the unit, cables and batteries, and SmartApplets for word processing, quizzing and keyboard instruction, while K-12 customers pay $229 for 1-29 units and $199 for 30+ units.