What to Consider When Sourcing Technology for Your School

Technology has become an integral part of the education system, and schools are increasingly looking for innovative ways to incorporate new technologies into their classrooms. 

If you’re in charge of sourcing technology for your school, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. This blog post will discuss some important factors to consider when choosing technology for your school.

1. Student Achievement Goals

Regarding technology and schools, the bottom line is always student achievement. Any decisions about what technology to source for your school should be based on how that technology can help improve student achievement.

For example, you could get iPad & laptop charging trolleys from TechXpress to keep student devices charged and ready for use. This could help improve student achievement by ensuring students have access to technology when needed.

2. Sustainability

When it comes to technology and the environment, there are two key considerations – the embodied energy in the products and their life cycle. The former is the total energy required to make, use and dispose of a product, while the life cycle includes all the stages from raw materials to manufacture, distribution, use and finally, disposal.

When deciding which technology products to source for your school, it is important to consider both the embodied energy and the life cycle of the products. There are many ways to do this, but one approach is to use the EPEAT system.

EPEAT is a tool that helps purchasers compare the environmental attributes of similar products. It rates products on a scale from Bronze to Gold based on many factors, including energy use, materials selection, recyclability and product longevity.

Products rated Bronze meet the minimum requirements for energy use and materials selection, while those rated Gold go above and beyond in these areas. In a nutshell, look for products with a high EPEAT rating when sourcing technology for your school. This will help ensure that the products you purchase have a minimal environmental impact.

3. Budget Considerations

When sourcing technology for your school, it is important to consider your available budget. Factors in future ownership costs, such as maintenance, repairs, and upgrades, are also important.

One way to save money is to purchase used or refurbished equipment. However, you must ensure that the equipment is compatible with your school’s network and software. Another way to save money is to lease equipment instead of purchasing it outright.

This can be a good option if you expect to need the equipment for a limited time or anticipate future upgrades. You should also consider whether your school’s budget will allow ongoing support and training costs.

4. Powerful Feature Set

When considering a school-specific technology solution, it is important to ensure that the provider can offer a robust and complete feature set. This will allow you to take full advantage of the potential benefits on offer and avoid any disappointment further down the line.

Some of the key features to look out for include the following:

  • Fully integrated software package
  • Compatibility with existing hardware and software
  • Ability to support a high number of users
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Regular updates and security patches

By taking the time to assess the feature set on offer, you can be sure that you are choosing the best possible solution for your school.

5. Intuitive UI

When considering which technology to source for your school, it is important to consider how user-friendly the interface is. You want to be sure that the technology is easy for your staff and students to use, so they can get the most out of it. A user-friendly interface will help to increase productivity and engagement in the classroom.

Some factors to consider when assessing the user-friendliness of a technology’s interface include:

  • How easy is it to navigate?
  • Is the layout logical and intuitive?
  • Are there helpful tutorials or resources available?
  • How responsive is the customer support team?

By taking the time to assess these factors, you can be sure that you are sourcing technology that is easy to use and will help to support teaching and learning in your school.

6. Integrations and Customizations

When it comes to technology, one size does not fit all. Schools have different needs and therefore require different solutions. It is important to consider your school’s specific needs when sourcing technology. For example, a school specialising in STEM education will have different technology needs than a school specialising in the arts.

You may also need to know whether the technology integrates with your school’s existing systems. For example, if you use a learning management system (LMS), does the technology you are considering integrate with it? If not, it may not be the right solution for your school.

Finally, you will need to consider whether the technology can be customized to meet your school’s specific needs. Some technologies are very flexible and can be customized greatly, while others are more limited. It is important to ensure that your chosen technology can be customized to meet your school’s specific needs.

7. Training And Support

When considering any technology for your school, it is important to consider the training and support available for staff and students. Will there be face-to-face training available? What about online resources? Is there a user forum where you can access help and advice from other users?

It is also worth considering the long-term support that will be available for the technology. Will the company continue to provide updates and security patches? Are there plans to discontinue the product or service in the near future?

By taking the time to consider these factors, you can be sure that you are sourcing the best possible technology for your school.

8. The Security

When it comes to technology, security should be one of your top priorities. With the rise of cyber-attacks and data breaches, you must ensure that your school’s technology is secure. Here are a few things to consider when sourcing technology for your school:

  • Make sure that the technology vendor has a robust security protocol in place.
  • Choose technology that has been tested and proven to be secure.
  • Work with a reputable technology partner who can help you secure your school’s technology infrastructure.
  • Educate your staff and students on cybersecurity best practices.

Concluding thoughts… 

When making decisions about technology for your school, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best approach is to start by evaluating your school’s specific needs and then researching the options that will best meet those needs.

It is also important to consider each option’s costs and benefits and get input from all stakeholders before making a final decision. With careful planning and consideration, you can ensure that your chosen technology will be a valuable asset to your school.

Will Fastiggi
Will Fastiggi

Originally from England, Will is an Upper Primary Coordinator now living in Brazil. He is passionate about making the most of technology to enrich the education of students.

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