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Published in Print: October 1, 1998, as Tech Talk

Tech Talk

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Used Computers: At its meeting this past summer, the Education Commission of the States presented its first annual innovation award to Oregon for a program that puts students to work rebuilding discarded computers. The program, known as Students Recycling Used Technology, or STRUT, gives old donated computers to high school students who fix them up for classroom use. Since its beginnings in 1995 as a partnership between the Northwest Regional Education Service District in Hillsboro and Intel Corp., the program has spread to 60 Oregon high schools. To date, STRUT students have recycled some $5.2 million worth of computer hardware and software.

Virtual Reunion: When some members of Fred Light's class of 1973 at Bettendorf High School in Iowa asked him to help track down classmates for a 25th-year reunion, Light volunteered to create a World Wide Web site. "They always have a problem finding people," he says. "I said, 'Put together a Web site and have them find you.'" Light, who runs a roommate service and designs Web pages in Boston, built quite an elaborate one. He scanned in photos of classmates and posted a list of class members the reunion committee could not locate. As information flowed in through e-mail, he added biographies. Many of the 300-plus classmates used the Web page to set up carpools to the July reunion. Even strangers took an interest. Banyan Productions, a Philadelphia-based company, asked for class members to share their stories and be filmed for a documentary on reunions to be shown on the Learning Channel.

Educator TV: Starting October 8, the National Association of Secondary School Principals will use satellite technology to beam twice-weekly educator-oriented television programs to subscribing schools. Audience members will be able to interact with the experts featured by telephone, fax, or e-mail. "It's getting harder and harder for principals and teachers to be away from their buildings," said Lenor Hersey, who is heading the new network for the principal's group. "This is the way to go to provide professional development." The network will also include monthly discussions of current education issues featuring reporters and editors from Education Week, Teacher Magazine's sister publication. "The show will be an hourlong, moderated forum, similar to Washington Week in Review on public television," said Liz Parker, special-projects editor for the newspaper. For a fee of $2,000, schools will receive 40 programs, which will initially be telecast on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons during most weeks of the coming school year. The programs may also be taped for later or repeat showings. Participating schools will need to install satellite dishes for a one-time cost of $500.

Vol. 10, Issue 2, Page 18

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