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Reconditioned PCs--A New Solution for Bringing Technology into the Classroom.

Teachers, technology coordinators and administrators across the country are looking for new ways to lower the student-to-computer ratio at their schools while keeping within a fixed budget. The solution: reconditioned PCs. Ideal for use in the classroom, these computers provide schools with the technology tools that fit their curriculum needs. Many teachers realize they do not need the latest and greatest technology. What they do need is quality equipment with low maintenance costs from a company they can count on. Comdisco works with hundreds of schools with limited information technology budgets. These schools want to enhance their students' learning, but they are faced with the all-too-common obstacle of limited funds.

Janet Reif, director of technology at St. Joseph High School, Westchester, Illinois, found Comdisco after spending nearly half of her technology budget for the year on hardware repairs. "We had nothing left to purchase the new hardware we needed to reach our school's goal of making sure every student has access to technology they need to help prepare them for the future." Reif added: "Purchasing reconditioned PCs helped us to achieve our goal. We even had money left over to purchase much-needed computers for the teachers and administrators."

Carol Sabbar, director of the computer center at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, purchased reconditioned PCs for the first time in 1996. Due to a limited budget drained from purchasing and maintaining new equipment, Carthage College needed a miracle to fill the technology demand. Sabbar looked around for alternatives and found reconditioned PCs would provide her students with the technology they needed at the cost they could afford. "We saved so much money, we were able to use the leftover money for new software."

Getting Started

Here are some tips to help you decide what's best for your school: Functionality. Are the computers upgradeable? Will students be using an industry standard? Will this technology be obsolete tomorrow?

Total Cost of Ownership. The cost of computers and accompanying software is only the beginning of your investment. Make sure you understand the differences in long-term maintenance. Performance. Talk with other schools that have purchased reconditioned PCs as a solution. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses to determine what's right for your school.

Maintenance. Establish a relationship with experienced and reputable hardware and software partners. Look for companies that have experience in the education market and understand the needs of schools. Also look for companies that are IS0-9002 certified for consistent quality practices.

Consider your learning objectives when selecting computer hardware. What are your educational goals? How do you want students to use the computers within the curriculum? Also, consider your budget and the technology that will fit your needs. The following steps are recommended: (1) develop your school's goal; (2) contact companies to help determine the equipment that will best suit your school's needs; (3) establish a plan, budget, timeline and milestones; (4) arrange maintenance and support; (5)integrate technology into instruction; (6) train students; and (7) evaluate your technology program.

Comdisco delivers high-quality, reconditioned equipment solutions through Comdisco Technical Services (CTS), a 250,O00-square-foot facility located near Chicago. CTS is the largest facility of its kind to receive the IS0-9002 certification for consistent quality practices. We maintain a multi-million dollar inventory of several thousand used PCs from leading manufacturers including Compaq, Dell, Digital, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Committed to the education market, Comdisco is helping to increase access to technology and connect schools, parents and the extended community. With that in mind, skilled Comdisco technicians -- each with an average of 10 years of computer-related technical experience -- inspect, recondition and configure PCs. To learn more about Comdisco, call (800) 227-0034 or visit http://www.comdisco.com.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Technology Information
Author:Stuckert, Bill
Publication:T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 1998
Words:610
Previous Article:IN BRIEF.
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