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Schools No Longer as Eager To Accept Used Computers
March 6, 2002
In Linda Griffin's computer science classes in Jacksonville, N.C., high school students learn how to program, repair, and rebuild personal computers—all thanks to organizations that have donated used computer equipment to the Onslow County school district's vocational education department.
The program has worked well on two fronts, Ms. Griffin says. Not only does it give students a great opportunity to learn a marketable skill, but in its three- year history, it also has provided the 20,000-student district with about 600 much-needed computers. "We had an opportunity to get a lot of computers into the classrooms quickly," the teacher said.
Still, donated computers are not always a boon to districts, according to some technology experts. Many schools find that they cannot use the older, outdated equipment that businesses and individuals want to give them, or that the cost of repairing and maintaining older technology is too high.
"The cost of free equipment is not free," said Keith R. Krueger, the executive director of the Consortium for School Networking, or CoSN, an education technology advocacy organization based in Washington. "There is no free lunch with donated computers."
To read more of this article, visit Education Week on the Web.