Hawaii – Luckily because of decreasing internet costs and a recent upswing in software innovation, the ability to have a meaningful telepresence experience is within grasp of just about everyone. That is, as long as they have a device to experience it on. The US DOE (Department of Education) is planning on making a pretty significant purchase– several thousand computers (laptops and tablets) to help make virtual classrooms more viable.
There is currently a stock of 138,000 devices in the department’s possession and it says it has obtained around 23,000 devices for the coming school year by drawing on resources provided by the CARES Act. The department has plans to buy more when they can but simply put, the supplies are not currently available.
No Tourism = No Money
With tourism levels not expected to return in a meaningful way until well into September, the Hawaiian islanders have had to face some pretty rough times. A group of people who clearly saw that others were in need managed to raise over $12,000 to provide 60 laptops to children who’s parents don’t have enough money to buy the much-needed devices. Personally, I think thats really nice.
A Safe Approach
Gov. David Ige said, ‘We do not want to reopen our schools and receive more travelers simultaneously. A phased approach will help ensure a safe return for our students and minimize other factors that could lead to the spread of COVID-19 that we have been able to carefully manage so far.’
Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne said, ‘If we want distance learning to be successful, we have to have those relationships. This is an opportunity in August to do that. I do believe the month of August will be a safe time.’
According to the DOE, the computers will be given out to parents on loan, and it comes down to individual schools to make the choice on how they are distributed.
So basically, thousands of kids in Hawaii are about to get free access to vitally needed computers that will enable them to get back to school and social interaction in a safe way. This will allow Hawaii to carefully re-open its doors to tourism while getting its kids back in school as fast as safely possible.
We are all left to wonder what devices have been purchased. More than likely a lot of Chromebooks and iPads, although it would be nice if they opted for a mid-range Android tablet instead. Either way, you can bet that the majority of these devices are ARM-based. ARM processors are on billions of devices now. They have been in our pockets for years are now they are beginning to show on on our desks.
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