Here are a few basic principles on how to obtain, distribute, and manage school computers, distilled from the author's nine years as a school technology director:

1. You can have too many computers. Old or poorly refurbished computers are not worth the trouble. Develop a firm policy for purchases and donations, and stick to it.

2. Not every student needs a computer. Students need easy and regular access to computers, but this can be achieved by rotating the use of a limited number of high-quality machines, either by moving

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