How can I keep the initial cost of technology down?

Monday, December 6th, 2010 | Sustainability, technology

The initial cost of technology is the up-front cost of the item you’re purchasing.  This could be a computer, an interactive whiteboard, a data projector or any other device you’re contemplating for your classroom.

A sizable portion of the total cost of classroom technology is taken up by its initial cost.  For this reason you must think carefully how, when and where you buy it.

A few factors influence the price tag of a technology device: 

  • the brand name
  • the model
  • the vendor.

You must look at these factors before you make a decision.

Some brands of technology have a good reputation of reliability.  It is also true that some popular brands are more expensive than others.  You can keep the initial cost of classroom technology down by not insisting too strongly on a particular brand, unless you have a good reason for doing so.

The models of devices differ with regards to capacity and special features.  You can easily be dazzled by these things when you shop around only to discover later that they are never used at all.  A specific model may sport a big capacity or a special feature – but the question is whether you really need it.

Vendors often offer the same item at different prices.  It pays to shop around before you buy.  Some vendors may give a special discount on their products for educational use – be sure to ask for it.

Never buy a piece of technology on impulse – this rule applies to computers, other classroom technologies and educational software.  When you attend a demonstration or a trade fair, resist the temptation to sign an order on the spot.  First consider your needs: capacity requirements; the need for compatibility; your dependence for support on existing vendor partners.

The cheapest price of an item does not always translate to the lowest cost.  You can keep the initial cost of classroom technology down by matching your purchases to your needs.  And remember: the initial cost is only part of the total cost of ownership.  Other factors may dictate that a higher initial cost may result in a lower overall cost.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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