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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Computer ownership among Round Rock middle school children

Those of you who have browsed my blog or read my blog header know I have a dual track: One track is apparel independent consultants, the other is technical independent consultants.

I received this information from a knowledgeable school employee today concerning my project to create computer ownership among middle school children and a source of revencue for technical independent consultants. My question: What number/percentage of Round Rock middle school children do not own a home desktop/laptop computer? Here's his reply. Read my comments following his reply. gt

Unfortunately, I don't have access to that information.  However, we have
discussed a "Bring Your Own Device" project in the school district and have
estimated that 25-30% of the students may have access to personal
technology devices (i.e. notebook computers, netbooks, tablets,
smartphones, etc.) that could be used at school.  That number may vary by
geographical location within the district.  For example, I would expect the
percentage to be higher for Walsh MS than for Chisholm Train MS or C.D.
Fulkes MS.  I would also expect the percentage to be higher at high school
than at middle school and for middle school to be higher than for
elementary schools.

Given the high tech community that is represented by Round Rock ISD, I
would make at educated guess that approximately 80% of the students in
RRISD have access to technology in their homes.  In your question below,
however, you asked how many middle school students own a desktop/laptop
computer.  This implies that even if there is a computer in the house that
a student could use, do they have their own computer.  If this is truly
your question, then I think my estimate of 80% would drop considerably. 

I have shared this bit of information with two computer/parts vendors whom I keep in my information loop. The fact is children are at the top of the poverty list in America. Lets not mistake computer ownership or web access by the parents for a full, meaningful access by the child for his/her school work. Even a conservative figure of 20% computer ownership among children is non-acceptable in a high tech community like Round Rock. One can only imagine how much greater this number might be in other communities.

It is not likely that children in the 20% bracket would own a smartphone, notebook or other similar devices. Furthermore, these devices precisely because of their high mobility and their social and entertainment use are not likely to be used by children for school work at home.

As I have described to the two vendors my business model involving independent consultants can efficiently, effectively and profitably create computer ownership among children as well as generate revenues among independent consultants who build these systems.

Yes, we know a new complete computer system can be purchased for under $300. Really. The reality is that amount of disposable cash is not what in the pocketbooks of the 20%. However, a creative model which allows for these children to obtain a computer whether a desktop or laptop can make the difference.

Your comments are welcome.

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