The BoardShare team previously wrote a blog about how to strategically budget for education technology. We offered some different pieces of advice based on information from our customers, and friends in the education field. With many currently working on completing their budgets, we decided to compile a list of other great budgeting articles.
- 1. “Where to Find Money for Your School’s Edtech Purchases” by Mary Jo Madda – EdSurge
This article is a great overview of different strategies districts and schools can implement to purchase education technology. Whether a school needs to replace a group of broken iPads, or a district wants to pay for technology remodeling school spaces, there are a few resources they can utilize.
Our favorite insight? If you are in need of a large amount of money ($10,000+), the Entertainment Software Association Foundation can supply grants that extend upward of $50,000.
- 2. “4 Ways to Maximize Your Edtech Dollars This Budget Season” by Karl Rectanus – LearnPlatform
While many budgeting blogs focus on applying for grants and highlight where to get money for technology, this article takes a slightly different approach. A former teacher and administrator, Rectanus provides some interesting insights into using data and feedback to better understand if certain items are worth continued investment.
Our favorite insight? Analyze product utilization! According to the data gathered by LearnPlatforn, “37%-65% of paid student licenses go completely UNUSED.” As Rectanus points out, that’s a lot of budget dollars! Consider the possibility that you don’t need to provide licenses for every student.
- 3. “Better Edtech Budgeting: How Yuma Elementary District Makes The Most of Its Money” by Mary Jo Madda – EdSurge
Another fantastic budget article by Madda, this takes an in-depth look at how one district met their students’ needs by purchasing technology. The Yuma Elementary District serves a great deal of low-income students, and many of these students struggle with math and reading. After discovering the district had $850,000 in Title 1 funding, they needed to create a plan for what to use these funds on; once the money was used, they also needed ways to generate more budget dollars.
Our favorite insight? Invest time in people, instead of spending money on new hires. The Yuma Elementary District was moving towards a one-to-one model, but not every teacher was familiar or comfortable with using the technology. The district invested time in training sessions with digital content providers; the cost of these was often bundled with software the district had already purchased. Teachers were paid to attend said sessions.
- 4. “Stretching Your Technology Dollar” by Doug Johnson – ASCD
Johnson, a district technology director and former teacher, shares some of his favorite strategies for keeping up with ever-increasing technology demands.
Our favorite insight? Consider purchasing reconditioned equipment. Reconditioned computers with a 5-year warranty cost half the price of new computers. However, it is very important to make sure that you are purchasing these items from a reputable vendor that will give you a fair price.
- 5. “High Costs Block Broadband Inside and Outside of Schools” by Davis Hutchins – EdTech Magazine
With schools investing in so many different types of devices, digital content, and online assessments, it’s important to understand the cost of keeping up with all of this. This is especially true when it comes to internet bandwidth. According to the article, only 15% of schools meet “the FCC’s long-term broadband goal of 1 gigabit per second per 1,000 students.” A main reason for this is the heightened cost.
Our favorite insight? Hutchins recommends that district IT leaders “consider deploying a proxy server or WAN acceleration, or tapping into a group buying consortium that can negotiate more attractive rates for broadband."
Do you have a favorite budgeting article that’s not on this list? Let us know!