With half of the school year completed, schools are getting ready to plan their technology programs for 2018.
The key to a successful technology program and meeting your objectives is all about the planning. Whether it is around a change in current strategies or technology, more efficient deployment options or indicative pricing to help you budget, the earlier you get started, the more informed decisions you will be able to make.
Here are some key considerations to help you get started with planning for the next school year:
1. Strategy: Many schools have sophisticated technology programs and have spent much time strategically planning and setting clear objectives. CR’s biggest recommendation is to ensure that your decisions for all of the below considerations are based on the objectives you would like to achieve. Cost is the biggest reason that the wrong solution is chosen. Have clear objectives and work towards them, talk to CR about what you want to achieve and we can make suggestions so you can make informed decisions.
2. Student and Teacher Technology: Are the current devices being used at your school fit for purpose? Do you have the right software and infrastructure to support the devices? Technology changes at a rapid speed and sometimes existing devices no longer meet your needs. If you are looking to implement new technology CR can guide you through the process with product and after-sales support information, available demo programs and expert advice from a specialist.
3. Professional Development (PD): Once decided on the technology for your school, it’s best to access what PD teachers need to be ready to use the technology to the fullest potential in the classroom. From many of the surveys conducted by CR, teachers’ biggest complaint is not enough PD and, in some cases, this results in the technology not being used for what it was intended for. The schools PD program around technology will result in empowered and confident teachers and better returns on the substantial financial investment you have made. If you don’t have the in-house resources, CR works with accredited partners to deliver PD around iOS and windows.
4. Deployment: Schools with mature technology programs will have experienced some of the issues that arise during deployment. Setting up devices inefficiently can mean hours or days of your time. Once you decide on the device you start to think about the deployment, so you can have a clear picture of total cost if you need to outsource certain areas or sign up to free programs available through vendors.
5. Ongoing Management: Maintaining a small fleet without a management tool may not take too much time but once it gets to a certain size, it will become a huge job. If you are not using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool, now is the time to do a 30 day free trial and decide what’s right for you. A MDM tool can help you keep inventory of devices and warranties, manage settings, security policies, software updates and make deployment much easier.
6. Obsolete Technology: If you have had a 1:1 program for a few years and next year’s technology is just a refresh of old devices you will also need to consider the removal and decommissioning of these devices. CR can provide a professional and secure service and depending on the condition of the devices, schools can potentially get cash back to reduce the cost of new technology.
7. Budgeting: Start early and let CR assist with indicative pricing. Hardware is just one aspect of your technology program, decide on what you need and plan your budget based on the full solution needed to meet your objectives.
* Bonus recommendation! Schools should order early to ensure stock arrives in time.
Thousands of schools are all ordering over a period of a few months and even though requirements may differ slightly, most will order the same popular education models. CR can help our suppliers forecast and secure stock for upcoming orders, that ensures your items are delivered when you need them. We recommend to order at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance in this busy period, so if your items need to be shipped from overseas they will make it by your deadline.
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