The multiplying effects of computers, the Internet and education can double the reach of technology's benefits worldwide in the next 5 years, Intel Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini said today in a speech at the World Congress on Information Technology.
"We're close to achieving Andy Grove's vision of a billion connected PCs and the economic, social and personal gains that come with them," said Otellini, referring to the Intel co-founder and former CEO. "Our job now is to harness the combined potential of full-featured technology, high-speed connectivity and effective education to speed the gains for the next billion people and the next billion after that."
At the event in Austin, Otellini also gave the first public demonstration of a low-cost notebook PC for students in developing nations and announced a plan with the Mexican government to provide PCs to 300,000 teachers.
In his speech, Otellini said that the predictions by Grove and of another co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, form a backdrop for the new World Ahead Program from Intel. The program's 5-year goals are to extend wireless broadband PC access to the world's next billion users while training 10 million more teachers on the effective use of technology in education, with the possibility of reaching another 1 billion students.
Otellini demonstrated one of the PCs developed from Intel's extensive ethnographic research in developing countries, a small notebook PC for students codenamed "Eduwise." Eduwise is specifically designed to provide affordable, collaborative learning environments for teachers and young students.
With students using the Eduwise notebook in class, a teacher can make presentations, control what a student has access to, and interact individually with each student in giving tests or providing feedback. The Intel-developed education application integrates with other non-computing learning tasks such as note taking and handwriting with wireless pen attachments. Because it is a fully featured PC, the Eduwise design can accommodate other standard software and tools for additional needs and uses.
Otellini also announced that Intel and the Mexican government have reached an agreement to make Intel's new low-cost, fully featured PC available to 300,000 teachers by year's end. The systems, unveiled last month in Mexico by Otellini as part of Intel's Discover the PC initiative, provide an easy-to-use, fully functional PC for first-time users. Intel also plans to extend teacher training to 400,000 teachers in Mexico through the Intel Teach to the Future program by 2010.