As warmer weather approaches, students start looking to spring break with excitement as a sign that the end of the school year is near. Not so for school IT directors, who are trying to determine how they will accomplish all of their summer projects in the absence of students and staff. These projects likely include planning their summer edtech refreshes and wondering how they are going to purchase everything they need with limited resources.
Finding the budget and time to do large technology refreshes will always be stressful, but there are a few ways IT directors can lessen the burden and get more for available dollars.
1. Use current technology to buy down the new fleet.
When it’s time to refresh devices, first look to your current technology fleet to determine its value. By making smart technology purchases and timing refreshes right, schools can use the residual value of their current devices to reduce the cost of purchasing the next fleet. I have found that there is enough equity in some devices after the second year to pay off the third and final year’s lease payment. This allows school districts to purchase more current hardware and software to ensure that educational goals for digital learning are met. Conversely, keeping devices too long can be a costly practice because schools miss out on the ability to leverage the optimal residual value of devices to offset the cost of the next purchase.