Feb 3, 2007

Get The Kids Hooked Early

Here's the kind of innovative ideas we should be using in the U.S.: About 175,000 French high school students (in the Paris region) will be given USB sticks containing a suite of open source software. The idea is to improve computer access for students:

The sticks will give the students, aged 15 and 16, the freedom to access their e-mail, browser bookmarks and other documents on computers at school, home, a friend's house or in an Internet café -- but at a much lower cost than providing notebook computers for all, a spokesman for the Greater Paris Regional Council said Friday.

It's a way to reduce the digital divide, said spokesman Jean-Baptiste Roger.

The sticks will probably contain the Firefox 2 Web browser, Thunderbird e-mail client, an office productivity suite such as OpenOffice.org 2, an audio and video player, and software for instant messaging, he said.

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