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> >  *many* corporations give them to *schools*. Even if you cant take a
> >  tax break, it's still *great* community realtions. You often *can*
 
> Speaking as a teacher and technogeek, -SCHOOLS DON'T NEED THAT OLD CRAP!
> SCHOOLS NEED NEW TECHNOLOGY, NOT OBSOLETE JUNK!!!
 
 I agree (almost) 100%. It's what you do with the old crap that
 matters.
 
> I know that this sounds ungreatful, but school need to have equipment _at
> least_ as good as what the students have access to at home. It is very
> frustrating to students to work (and be taught) on old XTs and Apple IIs
> when they have access to 486s and Macs at home.
 
 I do bleeding-edge computer work for a living.
 
 I have two children who are in elementary school. We used to live in
 Fairfax County, VA; by their own boasting (and the calculations of
 others) "one of the top ten school districts in the nation". Every
 classroom has two computers - typically APPLE IIe or gs? machines.
 I spent numerous hours as a 'helper' in the computer portion of their
 classrooms.
 
 What do they *DO* with those computers?
 
 Rote math drills - Bleech!
 Read the paragraph & multiple guess - Bleech!
 
 Publish a 'book' - ah, now there's *motivation*
 
 (imagine how proud _your_ six-yr old is to come home and give you a
 book s/he "published")
 
 If this is what the top ten has, imagine what folks in the rural,
 backwards South have.... (yes, I can say that - i was born there,
 lived there most of my life, and live there now)
 
> Schools are supposed to be preparing students for the future work force.
> Given the rate of techno-obsolecence, that's difficult enough with brand new
> equipment, and impossible with the old.
 
 I agree 100% (again, almost).
 
 We just moved back to Charleston, SC and frankly, I was worried as
 hell about this topic, given what I had just seen in "the top ten".
 They are trying to educate and inspire the year 200 workforce with
 1970s technology. Stupid.
 
 My kids attend an elementary school with 800 kids, 2 computers (in
 the library), and a reputation as one of the top schools in this
 area. I agree with their reputation.
 
 Given that there are < 20 kids per class, where is the money gonna
 come from to buy 40, 80, or 120 computers; esp since you'd have to do
 that every coupla years to keep up with technology? We're talking
 $40 - 240,000 in a school where the whole budget for this stuff was
 $3000 last year. This year the whole STATE has $9.8 million. That'd
 be enough for 30 - 50 schools. Unless you wanna raise taxes, or take
 a cut in your already disgustingly low salary (another soapbox).
 
 The folks at the school, district, and county level are currently in
 the throes of putting together a 5 year plan for interconnecting the
 schools, teachers, and classrooms; automating the libraries, etc.
 Concerned parents and members of corporations and schools in the area
 have (or are putting together) mentoring programs, after-school
 computer 'clubs', business partnerships, competitions,
 gifted-and-talented programs, etc to help stimulate the kids and
 develop their skills.
 
 It's an uphill, underfunded fight but there are lots of good,
 concerned folks involved.
 
 It doesnt seem reasonable that the kids will have leading edge
 technology, ever. Maybe we can give them access to the Internet and
 similar leading edge technology, piggy-backed on old technology
 (vt100s, ATs, etc) though.
 
jim