Long before the days of the Internet or 1:1 devices, technology has been present in education. From Magic Lanterns (some of the earliest slide projectors) in 1659 and the first chalkboards in 1801 to Chromebooks in 2011 and the arrival of AI, tech has always been at the
forefront of learning.
And transformative technology is here to stay. Experts predict the K-12 education technology spending market will grow at a
compound annual growth rate of 25.2%, increasing from a 2023 market worth of $14.8 billion to $132.4 billion globally by 2032. Market.us, a market research organization, attributes this anticipated growth to the heightened demand for digital learning tools that personalize student learning and enhance educational outcomes.
Budgeting for tech spending comes with serious pressures, but with planning and organization, you’ll be well prepared. Check out these edtech budgeting tips to find funds and stay on top of critical deadlines.
See the big picture: visualize your education technology budget
A technology budget can include multiple line items, from document cameras and student iPads to Internet safety monitors and
game-based math interventions. Understand the scope of your edtech budget and the exact areas you’re responsible for allocating dollars. Review previous technology budgets from past seasons to examine what worked, what didn’t, and where opportunities lie for the upcoming budgeting cycle.
How to find funding for new school technology
Since funding varies at the local and state levels, it’s important to stay up-to-date on your specific sources of cash flow. Read your state’s news, keep in contact with leaders in your region, and join professional learning communities to be aware of new funding, grants, and additional opportunities for extra money. Here are resources to explore at each funding level.
These national funds include
Title funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds, and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) money.
Research what new legislation your state has passed that includes funding for education. Investigate grade and subject-level initiatives (for example, STEM or math interventions) for your state. Read up on state-related funding and research your state’s Department of Education.
Did your district pass a bond? Did your PTA or PTO raise funds for new technology? Are any local businesses interested in sponsoring a classroom or school initiative? You can also investigate grants (such as the Reflex Grant for math fact fluency and the Frax Grant for fractions mastery) to experience new tech programs firsthand before purchasing. Try a product with students and teachers to gauge student interest, feedback, and effectiveness.
What should I consider when examining new education technology?
Once you know how much money is available for technology, consider which existing products you want to keep. Be wise with planning and research to use your funds most effectively. Talk to your staff and learn about the daily tech tools they use that make a difference.
What products reduce their workload and increase learning?
What solutions or platforms are students enjoying while showing serious academic growth? Be ever-aware of your users before making technology-based decisions that will impact them.
Determine where you can allocate dollars to new products. Does your campus need new smart boards or Internet connectivity? What about software, learning management systems, or STEM curriculum?
Examine your scores at a school and grade level. Where do students need to improve? What subject areas require academic recovery and interventions?
Would you like to set aside funds to create a new instructional technology or learning coach position? Budget money to target those subject areas specifically. A goal-oriented budget approach can help you take the proper steps to achieve learning milestones.
Who is involved in the education technology review process?
No two schools or districts are the same, but specific individuals are typically involved in the
school technology selection, review, and budget process. This might include committees of teachers, instructional coaches, instructional technology coordinators, curriculum coordinators, school or district technology specialists, principals, assistant principals, IT directors, technology department heads, and the school board.
Meet with teams at your school or district to determine who is involved in the necessary approval processes. Take note of key school, state, and federal deadlines. Be aware of critical dates for new funding, grant spending, and cut-off periods to acquire bids and proposals for edtech tools. Clearly communicate all dates to teammates who will help take the budget to the finish line.
Lean on mentors and colleagues from other schools to help weigh the value and potential impact of new instructional technology. Attend webinars, conferences, and demos to learn about possible new technology solutions for your staff and students.
The ExploreLearning team is here to help as you prepare and finalize budgets this spring. Want to learn more about our
K-12 math and science solutions? Our team can answer any questions and walk through product features in real time with you as you consider new education technology.