What additional costs can be expected when I bring technology into my classroom?

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 | technology

In most cases a single piece of technology is not adequate for classroom use – you’ll need a combination of different pieces of hardware and software.

For example, a laptop on its own has little value – you’ll need software products to satisfy the requirements of your class, and you will likely need other devices to make the information visible to the entire class, such as a data projector.

Similarly, you may be impressed by what an interactive whiteboard can do for you – but don’t forget that you’ll need a data projector and a computer to make it work.  The combined cost of the data projector and the computer may exceed the cost of the interactive whiteboard, and if you’ve only budgeted for the latter, you will end up with a piece of equipment that you can’t use.

When you think about using technology to enhance the classroom experience, you must consider what other pieces of technology will be needed.  The basis for most classroom technologies is a computer – either a personal computer or a laptop.  The first thing you must consider is whether a computer is available for use in your classroom – if it is not, you must budget for this additional cost.

Peripherals – such as printers and scanners – are often overlooked.  In many cases the real value of technology is experienced only if you have these peripherals.

If your classroom was built more than ten years ago it is unlikely that it was designed with technology in mind.  Additional costs may be incurred to provide a suitable infrastructure for your new devices.  You need an expert to advise you about the modifications you have to make to your classroom to ensure the successful functioning of technology.

Some technologies can simply be plugged into a computer, but others need special installation.  For example, a data projector operates best if it is installed in a fixed position, suspended from the ceiling.  Make sure that you consider this additional cost when you contemplate technology for your classroom.

When you choose the purchase of technology as a teaching tool, don’t forget to add the likely additional costs to the initial cost of the item.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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