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November 7, 2002


Some novel ways to help Falk School

To the University community:

The Falk Laboratory School of the University of Pittsburgh, a kindergarten through grade 8 elementary school located on the University campus across the street from the VA Hospital, provides a progressive, dynamic and diverse learning environment. Students who attend Falk School receive individualized and meaningful learning with a class size of approximately 11 students to 1 teacher.

We would like to thank the community for their generous support of our fund-raising endeavors. Thanks to many of you, our computer cartridge recycling program is a huge success, raising nearly $2,000 over the past year and growing! We encourage you to continue to collect used laser and inkjet cartridges and donate them to the Falk School.

We are, again, asking for your support of another very important and EASY fund raiser — the Giant Eagle Apples for the Students program. This program provides our school the opportunity to earn points towards valuable technology products just by shopping at Giant Eagle and registering your Advantage Card. The program began Nov. 3, 2002, and runs for 20 weeks.

Donating your points to the Falk School is easy to do — it takes only three steps:

1) Call 1-800/474-4777 or register at Have your Advantage Card available.

2) Enter the Falk School ID # 0335.

3) Shop with your Giant Eagle Advantage Card!

To learn more about the Falk School and/or our fund-raising projects, please contact Nancy Glynn, PTA fund-raising coordinator, at or 412/825-6545, or Barbara Bianco, Falk School computer specialist, at or 412/648-8459.

Thank you for your generous support of the Falk School!

Nancy W. Glynn

Falk School

PTA Fund-raising Coordinator


Clarifying some points about wireless technology

To the editor:

In order to clarify any mistaken impressions that may result from Bruce Steele’s Oct. 24, 2002, article entitled “Pitt experimenting with wireless as alternative to data ports in classrooms,” I would like to provide additional information relating to several points from that article. Let me begin by saying that I was invited to speak before the University Senate’s educational policies committee at their Oct. 15, 2002, meeting specifically to discuss the details of the classroom scheduling process (how selections are made, priorities determined, etc.), which did, in fact, comprise the bulk of my presentation to the committee. During the course of my presentation, a number of specific questions regarding the process I was describing, as well as questions related to classroom renovations and instructional technology, arose. In reporting this, it appears that the University Times has “blended” some of my responses, and it is for that reason I wish to provide a more detailed explanation to your readers.

The first point I wish to clarify is that the specific wireless projects that were mentioned were designed and implemented by CSSD in conjunction with relevant academic departments, not by my office or by CIDDE. This confusion may have resulted from my mentioning that representatives from CSSD and CIDDE (along with representatives from my office, the faculty, Facilities Management, the Health Sciences area, and the Provost’s office) serve on the classroom renovation committee, which I chair. Also, there have been no pilot wireless projects in classrooms in the Cathedral of Learning, and I never said that there were. I did mention that CSSD had done some “testing” in the Cathedral of Learning, to see if wireless technology would work, but this has not involved classrooms.

A second point of clarification relates to the cost of wireless technology. At one point I was questioned regarding data ports in classrooms and I did state that hardwiring every student station for ports and power was very expensive. When questioned regarding wireless technology as an alternative, I did say that I had an impression that it was less expensive, but by that I did not mean to imply that it was, as stated in the article “a lot cheaper.” That is in fact not the case. Wireless technology is also expensive to install and maintain, and for that reason it is not an alternative to wired connections because of price. Rather, it is appropriate to address environments in which wired connections are not possible or where mobility is critical.

One last point, I did not state that the earlier classroom renovation project “ran out of money before Pitt could replace some of its old chairs.” What I did say was that the money to acquire new seating was never allocated as part of that earlier project.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify these issues.

Samuel D. Conte

University Registrar

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