Laptop sharing

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A laptop sharing manager could be a variant of a calendar application or cooperate with a calendar application.

The sharing manager would allow two or three pupils living close to each other to share one laptop with well-defined usage time during the day. The sharing schedule could rotate over one, two or three weeks, so that every pupil would have the opportunity to have the laptop e.g. on a sunday.

The laptop sharing manager could warn a pupil about remaining usage time and automatically log out the pupil at the time when the pupil would have to give the laptop to the next pupil, only accepting the password of this pupil for the next login. In case of multiple users per time slot this could also be a group of accounts.

This could be especially useful for the least developed countries, which may not be able to pay for more than one laptop for three pupils (or even less than that [OLPC investment funds])

Obviously one could further reduce laptop access by reserving it for pupils who had reached a certain qualification without leaving school; in some countries pupils stop attending school early. One could motivate pupils by offering them laptops if they remained in school until grade four, five or six, when they would become eligible to receive a shared laptop. Sharing could continue after the school days, which could also allow people to trade in laptop shares through an online application managed by the OLPC foundation. Awareness for that online application could also reduce the risk of laptops being sold on a grey market.

An established online application could possibly also prevent laptops being sold before a pupil had left school and correct the value of a machine according to its remaining MTBF.[E-waste]

In poor countries with a high population growth rate one laptop (share) per family may be a preferable model.

Several logins at once

A laptop could also allow two logins at once and split the screen horizontally, optionally flipping one side of the display upside down. This way two pupils could sit opposite to each other and read two different e-books on a laptop lying flat on the table. This would probably not be a recommended or very popular use but it might help people who just didn't have enough laptops.

Teachers

The laptop sharing manager should probably be able to synchronize with an application for teachers with which teachers could demand the presence of a laptop for certain classes.

See also

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