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

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

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.


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.


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?

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.