Some school districts have figured out how to make refreshing and repairing computers a bit easier and more cost-effective by having their IT departments serve as certified Apple repair centers.
They make repairs on Apple Inc. machines that are still under warranty. That means the school district doesn’t have to send the machines out or wait for repairs, and in some cases a district might find itself being paid by Apple to do the work.
In the 6,000-student Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Neb., nearly all the computers used by students and teachers are made by Apple. Kent J. Kingston, the district’s director of information technology, says his IT department is certified as an Apple repair center.
Most of the district’s computers have been purchased on a three-year lease-to-buy plan. During the time when the computers are covered by a warranty, if Kingston’s in-house service center fixes a problem on one of those machines, Apple actually pays his team for its work.
According to Apple’s Web site, a district can participate in the company’s “self-servicing account program” if it has at least 50 Apple computers. Under the agreement, a district IT department can repair only the products it owns or leases from Apple.
Other computer companies, such as Dell, have similar programs that sometimes certify students too.
A version of this article appeared in the February 03, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as Building In-House Apple Expertise