New Textbook Platform by McGraw-Hill & Intel

With a hint of sarcastic tone that seems to doubt any sweeping success,  the Wall Street Journal reported today that McGraw-Hill’s Education unit will venture further into digital learning by releasing a new internet-based reading platform for elementary school children.

The Classmate PC, for which Intel provides processors and other unnamed companies manufactures, costs i the range from mid-$400 to $600.  For the standard clamshell, it’s $200.

One might ask, how is this any different from other e-books and/or net books?

My question exactly.

Intel said that joining with a textbook provider helps prove that the computer is built for the classroom and doesn’t just accommodate it. Schools can buy the Internet-based LEAD21 curriculum, which includes a “coach” that prompts students with reading comprehension questions, separately or bundled with the computer.

“It’s an answer to some critics who talk about putting [content] on the Kindle or other products that aren’t purpose-built for the classroom,” said Greg Pearson, Intel’s vice president of sales and marketing and general manager of world wide sales and operations.

As for the look, it resembles One Laptop Per Child model.

(Click image for a review by Endgadget)