Ed-Tech Policy

I.B.M. Will Donate 2,000 Computers to Schools

By Anne Bridgman — February 15, 1984 2 min read
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The International Business Machines Corporation has announced that it will donate approximately 2,000 personal computers to 130 public elementary and secondary schools as part of a $12-million program to train teachers and students to use computers.

Under the program, each of the 26 large, urban school districts selected by ibm will choose up to five schools to receive ibm personal computers or pc-jr.'s. to establish computer-literacy courses.

The Bank Street College of Education and the University of South Florida, which have been designated by ibm officials as “National Professional Development Centers,” will train staff-development teams to conduct four-week training sessions in each district for teachers of grades 4 through 12.

Training will consist of instruction in how to use microcomputers in classrooms, how to evaluate software, and how to integrate microcomputer applications into the curriculum.

“The key ingredient in the microcomputer revolution is the teacher, not the ma-chine,” said Richard R. Ruopp, president of New York City’s Bank Street College, in a prepared statement.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to bring Bank Street’s know-how to bear on the quality of education in school systems with lower-income students,” he added.

To be eligible for selection by the participating districts, schools must be open to students regardless of race, religion, sex, or national origin and must receive Chapter 1 federal funding, according to ibm Some private and parochial schools that meet these criteria and are located within one of the public-school systems may be included in the program.

The districts are expected to make their school selections in the spring. The computers will be delivered to the schools during the summer so that computer-literacy programs can begin at the start of the next school year, said an ibm spokesman.

The computer-literacy program is similar to a model program developed last year by ibm and currently in operation in California, Florida, and New York.

In that experiment, the company donated personal computers to 89 secondary schools.

The 26 public-school systems selected for the computer-literacy program are:

Albuquerque (N.M.) Public Schools; Baltimore City Public Schools; Boston Public Schools; Burlington (Vt.) Public Schools; Charlotte-Mecklenberg (N.C.) Schools; Chicago Board of Education; Clark County (Nev.) School District; Cleveland City School District; DeKalb County (Ga.) School District; Detroit Public Schools; District of Columbia Public Schools; Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools; Granite School District in Salt Lake City; Hawaii, which operates under a statewide system; Houston Independent School District; Jefferson County Public Schools, Lakewood, Colo.; Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Ky.; Memphis City School System; Milwaukee Public Schools; Mobile County (Ala.) Public School System; Newark (N.J.) Public Schools; Orleans Parish in New Orleans; School District of Philadelphia; Rochester (Minn.) Public Schools; St. Louis City Public Schools; Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District.

A version of this article appeared in the February 15, 1984 edition of Education Week as I.B.M. Will Donate 2,000 Computers to Schools

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