The West Virginia-based Appalachia Educational Laboratory (AEL) and Integration Technology Education Group have unveiled an enhanced version of AEL’s “K12 TCO Calculator,” which helps K-12 school leaders estimate the multiyear costs of implementing and maintaining technology systems. The enhanced version of this free online tool includes more extensive reporting capabilities and greater flexibility in inputting data. “Since its release in 2002, the K12 TCO Calculator has helped school leaders make critical decisions about technology purchases and estimate the long-range impact of these purchases on their budgets,” said John Ross, director of AEL’s Institute for the Advancement of Emerging Technologies in Education. “Based on input from users, we’ve revised the calculator so that users can now generate a district summary report for all schools in a district.” Other revisions include the ability to incorporate estimated professional development costs and revised figures for school building construction, based on updated regional profiles. The upgraded TCO Calculator also makes allowances for inputting the length of planning periods and the costs for disposal of hardware. In addition, in response to high levels of internet connectivity and greater use of wireless technologies, the calculator has revised configurations for networking. Development of the K12 TCO Calculator was funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

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