Trends

Putting in a Solid IT Infrastructure Top Category for District Spending

A company that sells technology into the school environment, along with other segments, has declared IT infrastructure the number one budget area for schools in the coming "annual buying season." Insight, which provides hardware, software and services into business and government clients, recently announced that spending on IT architecture — particularly the network, both wired and wireless — will dominate conversations for technology leaders in districts across the country.

Next is replacement of the traditional computer lab with technology that works inside the classroom, including the use of mobile device carts.

The third area that's top of mind is the replacement of printed textbooks with digital ones. "Schools are adopting budgets to address e-book demands in the classroom and finding that e-books save money in the long run," the company said in a statement. Even with having to provide devices to read e-books, Insight noted, schools are weighing whether it's cheaper to go that route than to buy printed books.

The adoption of digital assessments comes in at number four, especially as an approach that can quickly show student progress, identify trends and provide immediate feedback to students.

Last on the list is the use of "clickers" in the classroom to allow the teacher to poll students and find out where learning gaps are in the lesson.

"Tech has arrived in schools, but the coming year also brings potential for costly failures as districts make the jump and increase students' usage of a wide range of devices," said Dave Cristal, vice president and general manager of Insight Public Sector. "Whether it's laptops, tablets, smartphones or desktops, teachers and students are using devices more than ever before, and it is vital that school districts prepare their infrastructure for what lies ahead."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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