The British PM has announced a plan to spend the equivalent of nearly half a billion dollars providing free laptops and broadbrand Internet access to 270,000 low-income families. The program will need parliament’s blessing.

We can think of loads of great things to do with a laptop and a broadband connection — Truthdig, Netflix and “World of Warcraft” come to mind — but the Brits are after something much duller. The giveaway is part of a larger plan to guarantee parents the ability to monitor their children’s progress at school.

Whatever. As long as these things can browse Cute Overload, we’re all good, Gordon. — PZS

The Guardian via Engadget:

The premier told the annual Learning and Technology World Forum on the first day of its two-day conference in central London that the government recognised parents’ need for “rich, varied and easily accessible information” on the progress, behaviour and attendance of their children.

“That is why we have said that from 2010 all secondary schools – and from 2012 all primary schools – will guarantee reporting online to parents,” he said. “So the mother who’s worried about her son struggling with his reading can find out more about how she can help, or the dad who works long hours and can’t make a parents’ evening can keep in touch with his daughter’s progress, at whatever time of the day or night that he’s free.”

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