It’s the home stretch of budgeting season. You’re juggling applications, deadlines, and dollars to secure funds and lock in plans for your students and staff.
That’s why we created a three-part technology funding series with strategies for planning and purchasing. In
part one, we covered how to find funds and budget wisely. Part two was all about how to spend those tech funds more effectively. Have three minutes for part three? Read on for tips on where to snag last-minute funds and how to maximize edtech investments after purchasing.
Where can I find additional funds for edtech purchases?
Are you hoping to track down additional funds for new technology or instructional support positions? Try these options to uncover hidden dollars.
State initiatives: Did your state pass new legislation with funding for a certain impact area of education? Dig into the details to see what funds can be spent on and where technology falls into the picture. For example, Michigan recently passed a bill that provides twenty-five million dollars to support math teaching and learning, covering the broad scope of high-quality instructional materials and math recovery specialists.
Local opportunities: Champion your teachers to seek out additional funds for their classroom and other edtech requests. Collaborate with school leaders or team leads to be mindful of teachers’ top funding requests.
Connect with technology solution providers
If budgets are tight, don’t give up on implementing effective educational technology. Communicate with product suppliers you’re evaluating and discuss potential options. Perhaps it means you purchase an edtech tool for one grade level and expand coverage over the years. Or maybe you start small with one set of tablets before budgets allow you to commit to a whole computer lab overhaul.
Whether it’s smart boards, laptop carts, curriculum, or a new salaried position on campus, it’s crucial to ensure you're getting the most return on your investment.
Start by determining your goals and how you’ll measure success. For example, if you invested in new Internet routers or cloud storage, connect with your IT team to outline clear metrics that will showcase the effectiveness of the latest solutions. If you purchased a
math intervention tool, get specific about what student growth benchmarks you expect to see and by when. If funds create new instructional technology positions, pinpoint the individual goals and anticipated employee outcomes per quarter.
Increase educational technology usage with professional development
Training is key when it comes to maximizing student and staff success. Earnestly commit to PD for increased user confidence and product effectiveness. Ensure school and classroom connectivity measures are in place for a seamless kick-start of new products.
Provide classroom coverage to
train teachers to use new edtech during the school day. If you’re implementing a new tech-based curriculum, be sure teachers know how and where to monitor student growth on the platform. Connect with solution providers to define and outline what fidelity usage looks like, and help your staff create benchmarks to achieve that usage level over time in their classrooms.
For the greatest ROI, seek out tools that provide ongoing PD and support for educators. Even the most outstanding teachers can inadvertently
misuse edtech without proper training. ExploreLearning provides frequent live and on-demand PD for educators to help them on their K-12 STEM journey.
Are you looking for additional budgeting tools? Explore the other articles in this funding series.