I live at Brazil and here we have a very impressive effort at an educational project in a state called "Rio Grande do Sul".
They are connecting all public schools of the state to a internet provider they exclusively created for this task. (some schools just don´t have computers...)
The project is very interesting because GNU/Linux will be used in all computers, and they use correctly the term Free Software: "Use it because is the correct thing to do, not because is cheap".
To solve the adaption problem to the GNU/Linux system, they will provide the server/gateway primarily configured with a modified debian distribution. This server will, in early stages, be operated remotely, but after some time they will let the school configure it.
I agree that the desktops have enhanced a lot, and I truly think they will be incomparable in one year. Heh... I think the big problem is that geeks don´t like to get rid of console.;-)
Just my 2 centavos.8-P