Technology budgets are sometimes hard to come by. And when you have them, you have to decide where you allocate funds for new technology as well as updates to existing technology. Here are a few ways you can make the most of your technology budget next year.
Assess what you have right now
Now’s the time to start looking at the existing technology in your school or district. What are you using and what has fallen by the wayside? There might be some digital tools that aren’t getting much use, which means you won’t need to renew those subscriptions. It’s also good to identify which technology is doing well, so you know where it makes sense to invest your dollars next year.
Understand where all your dollars are going
Get a clear understanding of your entire budget. Don’t just look at what you’re spending on technology. Take a look at how your peers are spending dollars in other areas for your school or district. Especially when it comes to student online safety, there’s likely plenty of opportunities to combine budgets to assure that your students are safe.
Consult with your stakeholders
Be careful not to make decisions without talking to everyone from administrators to your teachers. You can even check in with parents and students. Get a good idea of what their needs are so you make technology decisions that make sense for everyone involved. Find out what hasn’t been working for them and try to understand why, so you can keep everything in mind when spending next year’s dollars.
Research grants and other funding opportunities
Your technology needs (or wish list) just might be a little bigger than your technology budget. If that’s the case, don’t cut back on what you need without first applying for funding. There are a variety of opportunities for schools. Investigate the opportunities available at the state and federal level. You might start with DonorsChoose.org and AdoptAClassoom.org.
Although we haven’t made it to next school year just yet, it isn’t a bad idea to start looking for ways to maximize your budget for next year. Take a look at what you’ve done this year. Where did you have successes and what should be adjusted? Pay close attention to these tips and make sure to apply for funding for an extra bump.