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It's a salesperson's dream — having customers tell you it would be "almost irresponsible" not to buy your products.

With the increasing popularity of social networking sites and the Internet as vehicles for communication (Twitter, Facebook, e-mail), what pitfalls should superintendents be aware of? What possible negative consequences could occur by using these tools? Should we be drawing parameters for how teachers, especially our younger (digital native) teachers, communicate with students?
Mike Ford, Superintendent of Schools,
Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District Clifton Springs, N.Y.

Dear Mike,


Deer Park ISD, located outside of Houston, started 2008 with all its systems in place and no major implementations or changes on the horizon. But within a year, the district had three major new system installations underway.

Our public school system was founded for the purpose of ensuring that we have an educated citizenry and instilling in our young people the values of democracy. As a result, woven in among the reading, writing and arithmetic have been the lessons of democracy. As educators, we encourage students never to accept inequity, and we teach them that history lessons speak to the price of freedom, the importance of courage, and the necessity of compassion and forgiveness.

Online content is the future. Textbooks are finite; they have a beginning and an end. Online content is, for all practical purposes, infinite; learners can feed their interests to their hearts' content. Online content is current; textbooks can be years old. Online content is global; students can access content from the BBC, The Times of India, and, with a bit more effort, read the news from France, Sweden or Nigeria. How cool is that? Online content is, for the most part, platform-independent: desktops to smartphones, Apple OS to MeeGo—everyone can see and hear the same content.

<i>Lake Worth ISD began buying refurbished computers in 2001. Dru Godwin is the district's technology director.</i>


Third-grader Makenzie Melton's artistry will ensure that students in her Missouri school district will have access to scores of top-quality recertified computers from CDI.

Dear Educator,

These days, the economy and the environment are high on everyone's lists of concerns. Here at CDI, we're proud to be part of the solution in both those areas by helping school districts meet their technology goals in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way.