Yes, we can put a powerful computer in every child's hands for learning. See this Carpe Diem post about the great deflation in computer prices: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/03/great-deflation-computer-prices.htmlhttp://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/03/great-deflation-computer-prices.html
The question is whether the education SYSTEM, namely the ministry, school jurisdictions, schools, leaders, teachers, parents, community stakeholders, business partners, have the appetite to do so. When considering "costs", the education system has to take a sharp look at the cost of NOT investing in the creation of twenty-first century learning environments for EVERY child in this province. From research we know that the greatest gains in learning with technology are found in schools where the teaching changes to reflect inquiry and knowledge building, the assessment focuses on the improvement of ideas and outcomes, and the technology is in hands of every teacher and student.
As my colleague, Therese Laferriere, recently argued (EduTech Summit) - connectivity is another issue that school systems have to address. We need to find solutions for increasing connectivity and bandwidth in schools, and also knocking down the firewalls between teachers, students and the online knowledge base.