School budgets and demands for fund allocation tend to place technology behind other priorities when it should be completely the opposite. Education leaders are burdened with long to do lists and limited budgets. However, we know that the process of buying computers in bulk for school or entire school districts can be challenging because there is much to consider.
It is important to have a high-level discussion about technology in the classroom with the entire IT department and strategize ways to save money on purchasing large quantities of computers for schools. This guide is meant to help you get started in your mission to improve your school’s ability to use technology and maximize your budget to set up students for success.
Consider Major Benefits of Computers in the Classroom
Technology Increases Engagement and Retention
The National Science Board’s 2018 Report on technology and K-12 education refers to a meta-analysis that found that one-to-one laptop programs had a modest effect on overall academic achievement in mathematics and science.
Math teachers believe that note taking, seeing examples on the whiteboard and practicing problems both on the board and on a student’s notebook is the best way to learn. According to this research on 1-to-1 computer programs shared on Edutopia, “a piece of technology is a resource and how that technology is embraced and utilized by the teachers themselves is the ultimate variable of success.” However, there is no technology that will serve as a silver bullet to solve the learning process at any school.
Turning to higher education, one six year study at RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology found that working in a technology-rich environment not only increases engagement, but also increases class retention rates. This shows the importance of looking at all levels of education when considering the usefulness of technology to overcome specific challenges.
Computers Cater to Different Learning Styles
Teachers inherently understand that incorporating different sensory elements into the learning process helps students to be more engaged with the subject material. Computers help students by serving auditory learners, visual learners and tactile learners who need to learn by doing.
As a caveat, the teacher should also be aware that relying on some forms of technology can actually be less engaging, and genuine human interaction can be the best sensory element for certain tasks like practicing listening and speaking in a foreign language. Yet social media and other applications can enhance teacher and student collaboration since a community can then take place in and outside of the classroom.
Training for Future Careers
Computer use is likely going to be a daily part of life in all kinds of job settings. Basic computer skills developed now will become valuable assets for many jobs in the future. Classes directly related to technology covering subjects such as coding and robotics can utilize a Google Classroom that helps students become fluent in using G Suite tools at an early age.
Innovation moves at light speed and schools can embrace the changing trends to equip students for a technology driven culture. Why not prepare students with practical skills to better their future careers?
Align Priorities and Get a Consultant
Beyond a preliminary cost-benefit analysis, it is important to research and get professional consultation on best classroom technology for your students. Computer purchasing programs must accomplish the overall mission of the institution. There are many factors in the design and implementation that conversations with professional consultants need to happen early in the process for the K-12 or higher education space. For example, schools deciding on a 1-to-1 laptop program should not only consider statistical research but take in account your school’s unique set of student demographics.
Reach out to companies like Hanover Research and receive insight into how to maximize resources and allocate budget for your school’s goals. A 3rd party asset allocation assessment helps schools recognize blind spots with clear objective and unbiased recommendations.
However, research doesn’t necessarily have to be comprehensive. It can be done through interviews with teachers and students either formally administered or through surveys. The principle is to have a good business case with the students’ learning process in mind.
Decide Which Purchasing Option Provides the Most Value
Three general ways to purchase computers are as follows:
- Purchase Units from Various Retailers by Going Online or In-Store.
This is a traditional approach that works for some instances. It’s a quick way to shop around in local retailers if one classroom size of computers is all you need. However, retailers have seasonal deals and over stock options that come around during the year. This method will take planning and working ahead to maximize efforts.
- Purchase Units or Bulk from Resellers on Amazon or eBay.
This is a popular way for individual buyers to fulfill orders for a personal business. However, this process lacks a personal approach and long term partnerships are difficult to establish. You might be able to get a great deal on immediate items, but not the best support after the purchase is made.
- Purchase in Bulk from Wholesalers.
Wholesale purchasing is another great way to get aggressive pricing. It might make sense for your IT department to look at pricing from various channels. However, large school districts should work with companies that have experience and can provide a repurchasing program or tech support. This method saves money and time for end users.
General Tips for IT Asset Purchasing:
- Create a Workable Budget for Your School’s Technology.
Is your IT department relevant with technology and sees the total picture? In most cases, buying bulk computers for schools calls for a precise budget. IT departments must be aware of costs for both assets and implementation.
On the other hand, IT departments must be aware of brands and computer models to buy efficiently. Computers vary from specs and models. However, you can buy a great functional classroom computer for a great price. IT Directors must consider all options to avoid leaving loose items and compromise on quality.
- Research To Determine Best Purchasing Option.
Invest time to research what purchasing method is best for your needs. We mentioned several but there’s many more options. It’s highly encouraged for your team to use trusted sites and conferences to get feedback. Location is also important in addition to price.
We hear of product distributors selling many International models in the US market with no warranty for less the cost. These products end up being refurbished with second hand parts and no manufacturer’s warranty.
- Call and Screen Your Provider.
Screen your provider and interview them to see if they have experience working with schools. This step is sometimes overlooked, but buying computers in bulk for school use without any reference can be a costly mistake.
E-Tech Galaxy has been growing its business through strong partnerships and the best technology practices for 18 years. We are a team of seasoned sourcing experts for wholesale computers.
If your school is in search of quality and affordable classroom technology, you can call us to schedule a free consultation. Our consultants will assess your school project and provide qualitative feedback. Education is an important part of our society and students should be presented with the best technology possible. E-Tech is here to make technology acquisition a great experience for schools, teachers and most important – your students.
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