By Ashley Helm
According to some reports, over $12 billion is spent on educational technologies and training annually in the US. This has the potential to transform the education experience for American students. However, it has also been suggested that a third of licences are never even activated. With that in mind, is all of this new technology actually worth it?
Budgets are never limitless and given the pace of change, schools and school districts should look at ways to stretch budgets and future proof technology in order to maximise the return on investment.
Ashley Helm explains how to make sure you get ROI from your Edtech.
• Ensure new tech is compatible with your existing technologies. Look for devices that are system agnostic.
• Check out the software and apps that come as standard. Apps and software can revolutionise the way teachers engage with their students. They can set and track homework, create engaging lessons in minutes and save time planning.
• Choose products that have perpetual licences on all software and app. You don’t want to be faced with costly annual subscriptions for embedded software.
• Introduce handling protocols to safeguard technology. Devices should be kept in a sleeve, have a screen protector and be locked away securely at the end of each day. And look for a robust multi-touch front-of-class display screen that’s constructed from toughened glass and will endure a few tough knocks.
• Avoid engraving or branding the hardware. This immediately devalues the technology and makes it difficult to trade in. Instead, invest in technologies that allows users personalise their screen.
• Make sure the technology is easy to manage by IT. Look out for devices and screens that uses a Mobile Device Management system, which enables your help desk or IT department to manage all screens from a single computer.
• Go for a solution that can be updated instantly using over-the-air technology. This will ensure that your device will automatically receive all the latest software versions, firmware and bug fixes to keep it running in peak condition.
• Check out the vendor guarantee. Make sure it gives you a no quibble, fix-on-site or replacement guarantee. No teacher wants to be left any longer than necessary without their classroom edtech.
• Finally, arrange training. Many touchscreens are intuitive but a whole world can be opened up with the right training. This could be a useful staff training session to really ensure the whole school gets ROI of their edtech.