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In June 2008, Ken Lupo, director of technology for Saline, Mich., Area Schools, was leaving frequent voicemails asking his district’s 600 employees to empty their inboxes to free email storage space. The email system the district had relied on for years was simply not able to manage or store all the email for faculty and staff.


There's a difference between a refurbished computer that merely appears brand new and one that actually performs as if it just rolled off the manufacturing line. CDI, a refurbisher that serves many Us school districts, uses rigorous testing to ensure its products meet the higher standard. "We do more checks, both automated and by technician," says Chris Bristow, CDI's operations manager. "And we go deeper into the machine to ensure every component is working, as opposed to simply checking that the unit is operable." Attention to detail makes the difference. Is the monitor bright and clear?


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.

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.

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


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

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.

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.

On April 7, 2009, as the nation agonized over a worsening economy, voters in western Wisconsin's Elk Mound Area School District passed a $9.3 million referendum to upgrade its three aging, overcrowded schools. On that same day, similar referendums in surrounding school districts failed. How did Elk Mound, a rural community without even a local newspaper, convince voters to address the needs of students?

Call it a case of "vertigo." Middle school media specialist Grace Poli was determined to find a way to use technology to help her ELL and special-needs students learn English more quickly. As she watched the Apple ad featuring the U2 song "Vertigo," something clicked.

"I thought, 'This will motivate kids,'" says Poli. After looking into the benefits of music and how audiobooks can help struggling readers, Poli approached her superintendent with a proposal for an after-school iPod program.

Administrators and information technology staff at Hudson Falls Central School District in Kingsbury, N.Y., found that individually managed computers were costing them an inordinate amount of time and money. This small suburban school district uses 1,400 desktop computers and its IT staff needs to continually update software, fix problems and keep settings consistent. According to Brian Becker, director of education for Hewlett- Packard, who works with the Hudson Falls district, IT support needs were "overwhelming" the staff.

A new report by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) highlights efforts across the nation to address a key point in the No Child Left Behind law and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARR A)—the equitable distribution of high-quality teachers across all schools.


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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

Few technologies in the education industry have grown at the pace of video or data projectors. Over the past several years, what was once an expensive luxury has become commonplace in schools as this technology has become increasingly affordable. Today, nearly every major projector manufacturer has a K12 education division, with district level purchases constituting a significant portion of the industry overall.