The need for a non-profit initiative:Edit
Commercial manufacturers of handheld devices have so far neglected the education market. Despite the growing use of handhelds in classrooms, these handhelds are usually PDAs or smartphones, designed with other users in mind. The handheld devices most popular with children, gaming toys such as gameboys, have no games or other content with clear educational value.
There are handhelds devices that are specifically designed for education, for example by AlphaSmart, and by Franklin. These have clear educational benefits for all learners, and can benefit dyslexic users as well.
The major disadvantage of these handhelds, as opposed to PCs and laptops, is that they may not accommodate excellent content which is not designed specifically for that device. While commercially produced gaming devices may one day be expanded by their manufacturers, to provide educational content, parents and teachers have no sure reason to trust that they will ever do so, as profit will remain the primary interest of commercial manufacturers.
The advantages of a non-profit initiative:Edit
A non-profit creator of educational resources can benefit from a wide source of private and public funding. It will be easier to justify asking for state subsidies for parents and schools to buy a device manufactured for no profit.
Non-profit publishers of educational software and content, should collaborate more willingly to provide affordable access to their materials, to a not-for-profit enterprise.
Commercial entities that create educational software and content, should also collaborate more willingly with a not-for-profit enterprise.
Finally, a not-for-profit entity will have no profit interest to stand in their way of exploring the cutting edge in providing value to its users. Or from continuing to invite collaboration from its wiki community to improve the design.
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