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
- 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 teacher 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 Web
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.
Teachers need training
before they can be expected to use computers meaningfully with students.
- Staff need ready access
to equipment and lots of time to practice.
- Good training is ongoing.
- Teachers need support
in their efforts to integrate technology into their teaching.
- Training and hands-on
experience lets staff understand how these tools can be of use to
- For technology to play
an active role in classrooms, staff should be actively involved
in technology-related decisions.
- Using technology effectively
in a classroom may require a shift in methods and philosophyallow
time for change to occur.
Support & Maintenance
needs to be on-site and teacher-oriented. Waiting for repairs makes
technology more of a problem than a benefit in a classroom and discourages