14th March 1997 at 00:00
Three supermarket chains- Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco - are competing frantically to offer schools the best "vouchers-for-equipment" scheme. The voucher drive was started more than five years ago by Tesco. In the threelatest "cause-related" marketing wheezes, customers can collect one computer voucher for every purchase of Pounds 25 (Tesco), Pounds 10 (Sainsbury's) and Pounds 25 (Asda) and redeem them for hardware andsoftware.

Star products from Tesco's technology partner, Xemplar,include Pocket Book II 256K Class Packs, Apple Mac Performas, Semerc A700 CD special needs computer systems and PC formats. Research Machines is collaborating with Sainsbury's to supply RM Window Box PCs and its schools Internet service, Internet for Learning, in exchange for vouchers.Asda's partner, Viglen, appearsto offer more powerful multimedia PCs for fewer vouchers than Tesco and Sainsbury's. The AsdaViglen deal also gives schools three months' free subscription to the Internet from Demon. All schools need to do is register their interest with the stores, coerce us parents todo their food shopping at one or all of the participating supermarkets and then hand out a few extrateam points to the child who brings in the most vouchers. They call it pester power.Details from Nick Agarwal,ASDA Stores Ltd Tel: 0113 241 7112; Tesco Computer for SchoolsTel: 0171 580 9370; and Sainsbury's Tel: 01235 826001.

* IT Art and Mental Health, amobile art exhibition, starts at the House of Lords on April 15. Organised by the National Council for Educational Technology and Inclusive Technology, the exhibition will feature computer artwork from artists who suffer from a rangeof mental health problems. It willbegin a six-month countrywidetour at Birmingham Central Library on March 19 (until April 5) that includes visits to Edinburgh, Glasgow, NewcastleFurther details from Sally McKeown, NCET, Milburn Hill Road, Science Park, Coventry CV4 7JJ. Tel: 01203 416994.

* This year's MAPE (Micros and Primary Education) conferencewill include workshops andpresentations covering the useof PC, Acorn and Apple machinesin primary schools. It is to be heldat Northern College, Dundee, from March 21 to 23. The three-day"IT's a voyage of discovery"conference costs Pounds 141 formembers, Pounds 161 for non-members.Details can be found on the Webat MAPEindex.html or from Mrs E Livingstone (MAPE 97), "Klimmen", 8 Colsnaur, Menstrie FK1 5NW.

* The National Association for Co-ordinators of Teachers in ITis holding its 10th anniversary conference from July 3 to 6 at Buckinghamshire College, High Wycombe. The three-day conference, "Ten Years On", looks to thefuture of the organisation, using themes on how to turn IT from the longest pilot project in educational history into an entitlement for all pupils. Pounds 240 for members booking before April 1, Pounds 269 after that.Details from Gill Lock, ACITT conference organiser, Educational Computer Centre, Broxhill Road, Romford, Essex RM4 1XN.Tel: 01708 773987.

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