I talked to a teacher in Kentucky last week His students take a lot of certification exams for things like Microsoft Certified Professional and other certifications. The school district provides training (of course) but doesn’t have the money to pay for the exams themselves. Many of the students do not either. I think that’s pretty common. So the school supports LAN Parties as fund raisers. The school provides the network connections and students bring in their own computers. I’m not sure if the school lets them use the school computers or not but I can see that as a possibility some places as well. The money raised goes to pay for certification exams. Students get an education and industry recognized certifications for their resumes. Good deal!
I’ve talked to other teachers are other schools who have raised money from LAN parties as well. It takes some support from faculty and the administration has to approve it of course. But generally you can find students who are more than happy to do a lot of the work. Personally I think that setting up a network for an event like this is a good learning experience all by itself.
The school also found a good way to get additional computers. They act as the recycling resource for local businesses. The companies donate computers that they would otherwise have to pay to get rid off. Landfills and other free places to “dump” things will not take computers and especially monitors because of hazardous waste concerns. The school cleans up the computers and uses them for writing labs, internet access and other purposes that don’t require the higher speeds and capabilities that programming and other more advanced computing courses require. It seems to work well for them.