for Technology Use
The startup costs for a
computer area can be high. In addition to the original purchase of
the computers and other equipment, continuing costs also need to be
taken into account. Ongoing support and maintenance must be budgeted
and planned for.
- Internet access requires
a telephone line, a modem, and Internet service provider.
- Security, additional
insurance, and locks for doors may need to be included in the
budget; the value of the machines increases the possibility of
theft and vandalism.
- Upgrading older buildings
for wiring and structural improvements can be costly. See Technical
- Initial and ongoing
staff trainingthe Office of Technology Assessment suggests
that at least a third of the resources in technology budgets be
devoted to training and support. See Staff
- For more information
on expenses installing and maintaining computers go to Total
Cost of Ownership on the Consortium for School Networking
What can you do if
you want to have a computer area but lack the resources?
- Some programs begin
by actively seeking donations from local businesses.
- In some communities
businesses have created partnerships with schools.
- Some schools and care
centers seek donations of used machines from businesses. This
eliminates the cost of purchase, but there may be large additional
costs associated with donated machines.
provides low-cost, volunteer-based computer assistance to schools
and nonprofit organizations. Their Web site contains information
on mentoring projects, a software redistribution program and staff-based
consulting services. They also have a Resource Center for helpful
information and advice.
Staff need training before
they can be expected to use computers meaningfully with students.
Support & Maintenance
Technical support needs
to be on-site and user-oriented. Waiting for repairs makes technology
more of a problem than a benefit and discourages use.