Computer donations boost technology education in <br />Tioga County schools
By Bill Steele
Technology education at Tioga Central High School will get a boost from a donation of 40 computers from Cornell. The donation, managed by the Cornell Computer Reuse Association (CCRA), also included three laser printers.
"In these difficult times, we continue to look for opportunities to improve our educational program while being mindful of the available resources," said Scot Taylor, Tioga Central School District superintendent, in a letter of thanks to Cornell President David Skorton. "CCRA has provided us with that opportunity."
CCRA is a student organization that passes cast-off computers to schools and nonprofits. Since it was launched in 2005, it has sent about 1,300 computers to Zambia, Jamaica, Nicaragua, South Africa, Mali, Togo, Kenya, Liberia, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ithaca's own Greater Ithaca Activities Center.
According to Alan Heiman, Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) student employment supervisor and adviser to CCRA, most of the computers come from the Cornell Library and CIT computer labs. Typically, he said, labs are updated with the newest models about every three years, and the old computers are recycled. Heiman launched CCRA when he realized that what Cornell considers obsolete might be of tremendous value elsewhere.
"These are three or four years old, but they are as new as my newest machines," said Bill Canner, Tioga's network specialist. "I can make them last another six or seven years, and they replace some we have that are really ancient." He estimated the value of Cornell's donation at about $20,000. Most of the donated computers will be used in a technology lab at the high school to teach computer-aided design. Having the new lab will free up existing labs for other student users, Canner added.
"I was very grateful to Al. He had just the right glove to fit my hand," Canner said.
CCRA is happy to accept donated computers, as well as financial support for refurbishing and shipping costs. Go to http://rso.cornell.edu/ccra/.