With the unknown economic impact of schools closing, it's more important than ever to invest in solutions that will enhance student learning outcomes, give a positive return on investment and increase efficiency. If your school has a strict "use it or lose it" policy, whereby all budgetary funds must be used by the last day of school, here are a few ideas for smart investments that will make the best use of limited resources.
1. Future Proof Technology
Most technology in schools is replaced every 3-5 years. Thinking bigger upfront can have a significant impact on technology budgets and employees' time in the future. Take a lesson from the 88% of schools that added unnecessary costs to their mobile device deployment by purchasing charging solutions that were not future-proof. Instead, invest in charging solutions that combine universal charging, open-concept designs and durable products.
"Future-proof" doesn't mean something will last forever, but that it will not quickly become obsolete. Imagine the costs and time your district would save if you don't need to replace your charging solutions every time you roll out new mobile devices. Save significant time and money with a product that has continued value in the distant future because it will not need to be updated as mobile technology advances.
2. Low-Cost Solutions for Modernisation
iPads and laptops enhance student learning, but millions of classroom devices are losing their charge throughout schools every day. The obvious solution is to plug those devices into an outlet when they're in need of recharging. However, it's not likely that there's an available outlet for each student, not to mention one for teachers, aides, and other support staff. In addition to outlets being hard to come by, they don't protect against breakage or theft.
Consider investing in technologies that modernise your school's infrastructure without costly facility upgrades. For example, the Putnam 18-C base charging station eliminates the need for the added expense of installing new outlets. With the optional pedestal for the Putnam 18-C Tower, you can charge, store and secure up to 36 Chromebook, small laptop or tablet devices in two stacked charging stations with one single outlet plug.
3. Security Improvements
Did you know that every lost mobile device can cost your organisation €44,000 in lost productivity, downtime, support and management? A smart end-of-year budget investment is one that protects against data security breaches, costly device deployment setbacks and inefficient employee downtime.
Implementing durable, secure charging stations will protect devices and the data that's on them. Not to mention decrease costs. A centralised point of secure charging helps schools provide a repository for tablets and laptops, reducing breakage and loss as well as provide protection for data, so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
4. Time-Saving Tools
Whether you're talking textbooks or technology, chances are if you don't have a plan for distribution, your investment will sit unused and wasted. With limited educational resources, a smart investment also includes a strategy to deliver and disperse valuable tools and resources to the people who need them most. Ideally, your plan for distribution should support teachers by saving them valuable classroom time.
One cabinet-style cart can gobble up an additional 70+ hours of class time per year, simply in passing out and collecting devices. Our unique and innovative basket designs reduce the time spent by teachers in distributing devices, as well as the time spent by children queuing up to put them away. This means teaching can happen faster — saving over two weeks of instructional time per cart each year!
5. Teacher Training
Less than 17% of teachers believe that they receive adequate training and support when it comes to educational technologies.[i] Setting aside a portion of your budget for educating the educators is vital to ensure your edtech investments are worthwhile. Without training, your new technology initiative will fall short and not reach its full potential. The best support for teachers demonstrates tools which allow them to perform aspects of their jobs more effectively with technology than without it.
In these uncertain times, we're here to help. Our team remains committed to assisting you in minimising disruption and maximising your budget. We are fully stocked and ready to ship. If you're in the UK, you can now buy directly from Amazon, check out our selection of products. Outside of the UK, contact us for more information.
 The State of Technology in Education – Promethean