Tips on How to Build and Sustain Technology in Schools

 

With the world developing due to industrialization, education systems are turning to the application of technology to help improve students' performance. New knowledge and skills facilitated by technology are becoming key factors in the ways we learn nowadays. While incorporating new technology into an educational institution may seem straightforward, determining the right type of hardware to purchase has become a challenge. The initial acquisition of the new technology will rely on the accessibility of the equipment and skills required to use it. Buying new technology is no walk in the park, and several guidelines are essential to ensure success.

Planned Purchase of School Technology

To provide students with the right education to thrive in a globally connected world, we must find the right channels to design, fund, acquire and maintain the infrastructure that will make connectivity a reality for every teacher and student. The cost is a key factor in considering initial purchasing, maintenance and updating the technology to adapt to changes. Important points to consider when buying equipment include:

  • Reflect on buying less expensive refurbished equipment which although priced lower than the original; they will have a similar warranty.
  • Purchase enough equipment to meet your objectives to prevent future shortages and ensure the material to person ratio is adequate.
  • Lease the equipment to enable cost spread over a period and enable implementation of a "refresh" program during the course.
  • Purchase your equipment through the government pricing scheme which lowers the initial cost of buying or will provide partial or full financing.
  • The cost of professional development (PD) is based on initially purchasing your equipment or updating what you already have.
  • Enhancing Professional Development

Professional development is a term for a continuum process of learning and support activities that are designed to prepare an individual for work with young children, as well as ongoing experiences to enhance their careers.

A 2015 survey layered with Odyssey character analysis revealed that 95% of the respondents consider improving the quality of teachers as the best way to improve schools. However, the professional development of teachers is often ignored and is the first item whose budget is cut or reduced. Fortunately, professional development receives priority in the technology package since without it the implementation of the new technology would be a failure.

Covering Overhead Costs

Lack of funds is the most common element of most school budgets. However, there are ingenious ways to maximize resources by bringing together the community around you.

  • Engage local colleges and research institutions for volunteers or grants
  • Contact foundations and non-profit organizations to lend a helping hand.
  • Hire a grant writer to write professional grant proposals.
  • Share your ideas and plans with local companies and industries who may be compelled to help with regards to corporate social responsibility.
  • Sustaining Technology in The Schools

Sustainability will entail ways in which schools with the help of other stakeholders will successfully maintain and nourish the programs and equipment over time. Some of the programs that are part of sustainability include:

  • Online digital open courseware which is an open-source online curriculum.
  • Distance learning programs to facilitate students in far-away areas access online classes.
  • Use of Math Cast software program to allow input of equations and mathematical concepts digitally by students.
  • The Odyssey Characters by CourseHero- which is a platform for students to access millions of study notes, tutors and homework help.
  • Use of touch boards instead of the typical chalk boards to teach using power slides.

 

Also, utilization and integration of technology into schools will only be successful if career development of teachers is allowed precedence. Training of the teachers on the new equipment will bear enable easier understanding by the students also. Develop the human skill first, then the technology hardware.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremy loves writing on all things self-improvement, and avidly strives to learn more about all thing finances, education, and tech.