Acquiring technology for your classroom
Do you have interest in acquiring a new piece of technology for your classroom?
General process for technology acquisition
While every building works differently, your conversation should start with your building principal (or delegate). Your principal is likely the one with responsibility for paying for technology. Take your request to him or her, describing what technology you would like to add to your classroom and how you plan to use that technology to enhance the educational environment. Each building has a fixed budget for general operations as well as an annual technology budget for refreshing aging computers and putting new technology in place.
These rough steps will help you start good conversations with the leaders in your building:
- Identify the technology you would like to have.
- Think about how you would like to use this technology - you'll need to justify your request with your principal, so give this some good thought.
- Check to make sure the technology you are interested in is listed in the standing quotes in "TeacherItems" - this is also where you can find the price. Your building Teacher Technology Trainer or lead secretary can help you find the quotes. (See below if the technology you want isn't listed there)
- With the price and your justification in hand, talk with your principal and describe why this is the right use of technology or general budget dollars.
- Your principal may have you work directly with the building technology committee. This committee works with the principal to determine responsible spending of technology budget for the building.
- Don't be discouraged if your principal doesn't have the money to fuel your request - there are grants available for innovation, so make sure to apply!
If you want a lower-cost item (like a digital camera), please consult with Susan Quinn or Tom Hering for a recommended model. These items change in price and availability so rapidly that it is difficult to keep standing quotes.
If you want to buy a new type of technology that has never been used in the district before...you may be an innovator! We are excited that you want to add new technology to your classroom, but it is very important that the technology added can be supported.
Please contact Susan Quinn and/or Tom Hering to discuss the technology in question. The Information and Instructional Technology Division is constantly researching new technologies to add to the ecosystem (technology is an ever-evolving beast!). If you find a new piece of technology you'd like to add, let us know and we can form a discovery committee (to which you can definitely be a member). Technology discovery committees are responsible for looking at a "classification" of technology and helping the district understand supportability, sustainability and importance of the new technology.
What about "refurbs"? What are they? How do I get one?
Refurbished computers (or "refurbs") are used computers that have been cleaned, qualified and warranted by a vendor. They can offer significant savings over new computers while maintaining the peace of mind of a warranty. If you are interested in a small number of refurbs, please check the tech warehouse. For larger numbers of refurbs, please contact tom_hering [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us for a quote. Refurbs cost $250 / machine and include MS Office. Monitors can be purchased for an additional $100.
I want some Kindles or Nooks or other E-Reader
E-Readers comprise a classification of technology that is currently being researched by a technology discovery committee. Once that committee has made it's pedagogical and management recommendations, we will make final decisions around what make and model of E-Reader the district will support. At that point we will add vendor information to the standing quote as well as provide information on acquiring e-books and other necessary technologies or accessories.
I want some iPads or iPods in my classroom
We are currently prototyping several classrooms with iPod technology. The Striving Readers grant-winning schools will also be adding iPad technology to their classrooms (as an extension of the federal grant requirements).
Currently, ONLY STRIVING READERS schools can add iPad and iPod technology to their classrooms. This is to restrict general fund and technology fund budget utilization while the district becomes familiar with this new technology. As (and if) this technology proves itself educationally valuable, it will be opened up for acquisition to all buildings.