Monday, November 22nd, 2010 | technology
Technology vendors are not charity organizations – they have a profit motive. The fact that they take money from your school – or from you – does not make them your enemies. In fact, they can become your best friends!
How can you use the client-supplier relationship between you and vendors to your advantage? Think about it this way:
When a vendor sells you a piece of technology – it can be a device like a computer or a data projector or an interactive whiteboard or it can be a software program – and it is not working, it reflects unfavourably on the vendor.
Many people – teachers, principals, school governing body members and even education department officials – are not yet convinced of the value of technology as teaching and learning tools. They question whether an investment in it will yield a positive return.
Vendors know that future sales depend on successful operation of their technology. When the equipment or program is not working because you – the teacher – don’t know how to use it, onlookers seldom understand the real reason for this. They only see expensive technology that is not working. Vendors need their products to be successful in your classroom and it is therefore in their own interest to give you all the training and support you need.
It is also in your own interest to make use of whatever training vendors offer you!
Not all vendors provide proper training and so it is important that you select reputable dealers – those who are not mere box-droppers and interested in a quick sale. Good vendors understand that, after selling technology to you, they can’t simply walk away and hope for the best. The service they render must include initial training, as well as ongoing support.
This situation is clearly beneficial to you. If you form a close partnership with your vendor you stand to benefit from:
- initial orientation and training
- advice on how to integrate the product into classroom practice
- user communities – both face-to-face seminars and online networks.
A mutually beneficial relationship can exist between you and your technology suppliers when you prove that their products work and they give you valuable training.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.