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Secondhand computers are one way to bridge the gap. Some dealers provide multiyear warranties that limit risk.

In December 2009, Superintendent Steven Self of the Woodsboro (Texas) Independent School District received news from U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) that his district would receive $1.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a dome structure that would serve both as a school multipurpose area and a community shelter. Woodsboro, located along the Gulf Coast, has proven vulnerable to damage from storms, such as Hurricane Ike in 2009. Self had applied for a FEMA hurricane and tornado Pre- Disaster Mitigation Grant through the state nearly a year ago.

The Irvine Unified School District in Southern California has confirmed plans to install solar panels in 21 of its 38 facilities. The installation is predicted to save the district some $17 million over the next 20 years.

In November 2009, Irvine finalized an agreement with SPG Solar, Inc., project developers and designers of solar power systems.

"Irvine was groundbreaking," says Thomas Rooney, CEO and president of SPG Solar. "It was the largest and most ambitious solar project for a K12 school in the country."

Within five years, every student in every grade in every school will be using a mobile computing device for learning. (We consider cell phones, smartphones and netbooks to be mobile devices; we do not consider traditional, 5-to-7-pound laptop computers as mobile devices.) Why will these devices have a significant impact on teaching and learning even when laptops, electronic whiteboards and handheld clickers, online materials and online testing have had a very limited impact on teaching and learning?

Reason #1


Chirag Patel never knows what may come down the line in his job as a computer refurbisher. But he knows what to expect when work on the equipment — mostly top-of-the-line desktops and laptops from manufacturers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo — is done.

Vienna High School Principal Patrick Harner spun a sad tale about aging technology for CDI’s “Share Your Story” contest. But the story has a happy ending.

For his winning entry in the contest, Harner won a laptop and his southern Illinois school district will be outfitted with a complete tech lab from CDI, North America’s leading computer re-furbisher. The award includes 30 refurbished Dell desktops and monitors, cables and accessories, and an interactive whiteboard.

Michael Bator, a respected education industry thought leader, has been engaged by CDI as a consultant to help broaden its reach in the school sector.


Responsive education solutions manages 38 public charter schools in Texas. George Moore is Director of Technology.

Buying a refurbished computer can save you some green. It might make your school district greener, too.

School districts are being forced to do more with less, even as demands for technology steadily rise.

To cope, many school officials have turned to refurbished equipment as a way to get computers in the hands of students without significant compromises on performance.