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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Computer Repair News: Students Set Up Shop to Help Restore Computers

In a Tennessee high school recently students and teachers used a computer repair class to create a high tech lab and restore computers. Begun in September as a room to store outdated computers, the computer repair shop has been responsible for refurbishing 31 computers.

The computers repaired by students were from as long ago as 1998, and the computer repair class cleaned them, then updated each machine to add more RAM, a new mouse and the Windows XP operating system.

Teachers were excited about the innovative program, as a fully functional computer repair service has never been so successfully implemented into the school system. This service taught students constructive skills such as trouble shooting and real work with hardware and software that many professional consultants and computer repair technicians don’t learn until they are already on the job.

The tech staff at the Rutherford County Schools offered the students cable Internet access so the students could see the results of their efforts in how well the computers they repaired could be re-connected to the school’s network.

According to teachers, the refurbished computers run better than some of the newer computers. The computer repair class was given a break in price for the operating system because the school is part of the Microsoft Academic Alliance. Membership for this alliance is priced at $850 per year. The school also funded students’ industry certifications. The total cost of the computer repair lab was only $1,000, which is less than the district typically spends to buy one new computer for about $1,200.

Other schools in the area are excited about potentially adding this type of computer repair learning program to their curricula. Previously as much as $70,000 has been spent to provide high tech computer rooms for hardware, networking and other work-based tech programs, so this could be an opportunity for many schools across the country to grow programs at very low cost.

Many students that took part in this computer repair program have expressed interest in getting into the computer field in college and beyond.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg