How much do I have to budget for classroom technology consumables?

Monday, December 13th, 2010 | technology

One of the recurring costs of technology is consumables.  What is a consumable?  It is something that is depleted or worn out by use.  Cars consume oil and petrol – but also tyres and other parts that must be replaced owing to wear and tear.

Classroom technology devices also use consumables.  Unlike a car, not many parts inside the equipment need to be replaced as a result of being worn out.  An exception is the bulb of a data projector, which has a limited lifespan, and is costly to replace.

Other consumables are those things that you use while working with technology.  Here are few examples.

A printer uses toner or ink cartridges for printing.  The cost of these items can be contained by limiting the amount of printing you do.  Don’t forget that paper is also a consumable for which you have to budget.

A computer does not use any consumables, unless you want to transfer information from one computer to another.  Secondary storage devices, such as data or memory sticks, CDs and DVDs are used for this purpose.  You can cut down on the cost of these items by using re-usable ones.

Many technology devices require batteries, particularly those operated by means of remote control and wireless devices.

How much should you budget for consumables?  This question is the same as asking, “How much should you budget for petrol for you car?” It all depends on what model car you are driving, how much driving you do, and what the current price of petrol is.

The same is true of technology consumables.  The cost depends on three factors: 

  • the type of equipment you choose to use
  • the extent to which the equipment is used
  • the place where you purchase the consumables.

To a large extent you are in control of the consumables you use.  The potential need for them is certainly something you must bear in mind before you purchase technology for your classroom.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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2 Comments to How much do I have to budget for classroom technology consumables?

Monday, 13 December, 2010

I also count headphones and mice as consumables. Many schools forget to budget for some of these each year in their Khanya computer lab.

Kobus van Wyk
Monday, 13 December, 2010

Good point, Kathy. Thanks for mentioning those important consumables.

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