News

New guide offers ed-tech purchasing insight

By Laura Devaney
October 15th, 2015

Free resource for K-12 school, district administrators aims to help them navigate the procurement process

purchasing-insightLearnBop, a web-based interactive K-12 math learning system, has released a free eBook, The Administrator’s Guide to EdTech Purchasing, created in partnership with Superintendent John Carver of the Howard-Winneshiek district in Cresco, Iowa.

Billions are spent every year on purchasing education technology, but agreed-upon best practices and processes around procurement vary.

This eBook is meant to set out a clear process, and also to provide tips, resources, and follow-up links to other quality information to help administrators go through the three main steps of procurement—identifying the problem to be solved; identifying technology to solve the problem; and then vetting and implementing that technology.

“Administrators are constantly bombarded with budgeting and other decisions, which can make it difficult to navigate edtech procurement in a clear, consistent manner,” says LearnBop’s School Services Coordinator Zacc Dukowitz, who helped write the eBook. “As a mathematics education technology company, we think its crucial that purchasers have all of the information they need to make a decision that’s right for the needs of their community. That’s why we created this resource in partnership with Superintendent Carver, to provide a framework administrators can follow when it comes to edtech procurement.”

Superintendent Carver was one of the first signers of the Office of Education Technology’s Future Ready Pledge, which was created to help move education into the 21st century. Additionally, he was one of 100 superintendents from around the US invited to the White House as part of the Future Ready initiative. His district, Howard-Winneshiek, was named “25 District Worth Visiting” by Tom Vander Ark, CEO of “Getting Smart.” Superintendent Carver’s writing on edtech procurement has appeared in eSchool News, and those same writings appear as subsections in this new eBook.

“Because they’re so busy, when it comes to procuring education technology administrators can often end up going after the shiniest object instead of the one that will best serve their students,” says Superintendent Carver. “This isn’t because they don’t care, but simply because they’re overwhelmed with decisions to make and don’t have established best practices. This eBook is a big step toward correcting that.”

LearnBop became involved in the project, ultimately creating The Administrator’s Guide to EdTech Purchasing eBook, after speaking to a number of superintendents and other administrators who shared the feeling that there was not enough information and established best practices widely available around the entire purchasing process.

“Every day we’re trying to provide valuable resources and information for educators and administrators,” says LearnBop founder and CEO Bharani Rajakumar. “Usually our resources are focused on mathematics, because that is our specialty, but in this case, we saw a real need and wanted to create a resource that could help K-12 administrators all over the country. Partnering with Superintendent Carver, we knew we’d be able to create something that would really be helpful.”

To learn more, or to download the eBook, you can go to The Administrator’s Guide to EdTech Purchasing website now.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura