Tips on Choosing Technology Devices for Your Classroom


Tips on Choosing Technology Devices for Your Classroom

Over the recent months I’ve been evaluating different technology devices in order to provide more personalized solutions. Many of us have been making purchases on an annual basis solely based on past practice as a one size fits all solution.

With so many devices on the market and capabilities ranging from device to device as well as cost, it’s often difficult to determine what fits where and if there truly is a solution that can suit all needs and budgets. I’ve recently began looking at Chromebooks due to the continued adoption I’m seeing.

Well, whose Chromebook then is best?  Get demos from everyone willing and find out. Each have price points and construction qualities that are of consideration. What type of warranty can they each provide and what is the cost of it. I’m finding out that I can see some adoption of Chromebooks, but not as a district wide solution. Rather, an offset of higher expenditures where more computer power isn’t needed. I’m waiting on a HP Stream which I see as a new competitor to Chromebooks in the personal cloud computing space.  Can HP and Microsoft pull it off?  The jury is out and I will reserve any remark until I get it in hand.  Once examined, it will be a decision moving into future years with either Chromebooks or MS offerings of similar devices.  I’ve examined devices from our current manufacturer and also sought out demo units from others.

Manufacturer’s quality, offerings, and pricing is constantly changing in this competitive marketplace. There is something to be said for relationships that are made over years of business, however, it should not put blinders on you to other new/existing manufacturers that are out there. It’s a little more effort to seek these new connections out, but I have stumbled upon great products I didn’t expect from manufacturers I may have dismissed previously. The Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga being one of them.  Kudos to them for making a solid product!  Keep in mind, we are not a Lenovo shop in general, but this product fit a need that I could not get with anyone else at an acceptable price point. Rather than give up, I looked deeper and found what I needed. Tablets to notebooks to everything in between I’ve had my eye on and my thought is that there is truly no perfect device for all.

We must consider a mix of devices and tailor each device to its designated use. Why pay more for a device to do A-Z when really it only will be used to do A-M?  Balancing a budget and increasing technology is an ongoing battle and learning experience that you must not become complacent with. The market is constantly changing and it can become difficult to stay on top of it. Just as in social networking, get connected with all the vendors out there and build relationships whether you actively use them or not, you might have an ACE in your pocket in the future!

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About the Author
Author: Joe Kuzo
Joe has worked in Quakertown Community School District since 2001 and has recently been appointed to the Director of Technology for the district. Our district serves about 5500 students and supports roughly 7000 district owned devices. This does not include our BYOD initiative devices. Quakertown Comm. School District has been noted by such publications and websites as Forbes, District Administration, Tech & Learning, Digital Learning Day, EdTechReview, and THE Journal for their excellent cyber and blended learning models. We are also one of few districts who are part of “Project Red” http://www.projectred.org

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