The new Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci is a super-cheap tablet that will attempt to connect every student in India to the Internet. Educators have long hoped that cheap computing devices could bridge the global information divide, but previous attempts have been dogged by disappointing performance, lack of Internet access, and financial barriers. The latest version of India’s $35 tablet comes equipped with WiFi and has an optional upgrade of a cellular Internet package. More important, it is expected to launch this month in India with the government’s commitment to connect even the most remote areas of the country to the Internet. The impact of a successful rollout is difficult to overestimate: Rural schools that have been connected to the Internet show immediate and tremendous gains.
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