> Seriously, if schools can't buy >new books and >teachers have to buy their own >paper, pencils, >etc., where are they getting the >money to buy >computers and all the $$$ that >goes >with it.
ever wonder what companies to with older obsolete models? they give them away. i know, because i've been in contact with MY own (and several other) companies to secure some boxes. 99.9 are in 100% corking condition and they're totally free.
it's one of those untapped (at least by us) resources.
that said, even with the money they DO get and decide to spend I tend to think the computers are a long term investment. even when they get obsolete -- you can have vocational classes where you teach upgrading. i don't mean to gloss over the cost issues, but that need not be a wall instead of a hurdle. of course computers aren't a necessity, but then again neither is a phone or a tv (or some jordans, of dkny jeans, etc). if you can't keep your lights on a computer isn't going to do jack for ya -- that's real. this discussion was initially about priorities and why so many folk DON'T prioritize differently (particularly in our culture where temporary material investment superseeds others).
the "digital divide" does exist (again), the question -- which a few are working on as we speak -- it what do we do about it?
i'll conclude thusly:
computers are by no means a panacea (and neither is internet access). BUT, they are a valuable tool which can ease many of the problems we face educationally -- if taught and used correctly. i don't promote the idea that if you put a computer in every classroom or home that magically the playing field will be leveled, nor do i front the idea that the use of the net should replace human interaction. just like a tv or a phone, it's a tool and little more. i'd just like to see the potential for the usage of this tool to be realized/utilized until the net becomes a wasteland like the broadcast airwaves. many of the reasons we select to stay away from the use of this tool are faulty, and the longer we wait to examine their usage the further behind we'll get. in a world where there are DEFINTE roadblocks to advancement, this is one small area where we can take initiative and overcome/avoid future and current hurdles.