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Technology and Education

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Costs of Tech/ Budgeting and Funding

The Real Costs of Technology

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          When looking at just a portion of what technology costs to have in schools, how are the schools able to pay for these new technologies? It takes funding from the state in order to do this. The Illinois state budget funds Education, Health and Human Services, Public Protection and Justice, Transportation, Environment and Natural Resources, and Public Aid. In 2004, total state appropriations were estimated at $52.6 billion, including $23.1 billion for the General Funds. Out of the states entire budget, about 25% of it is spent on education. More than $8.5 billion is appropriated for elementary and secondary education. The higher education appropriations totaled at about $3 billion (Illinois State Budget 2004). With these numbers it seems as though Illinois is putting a lot of money into funding education. We see that schools are advancing in the technological area but are some, especially higher education, are still costly to attend. That is a separate issue but the budget definitely reflects that education is important.

Technology is ever growing and the integration of new technology into the classrooms is growing as well. With all this new technology and equipment, what sorts of costs are involved? To determine this, let us look at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) which is a methodology for determining the costs of implementing and maintaining computers and networks. These costs include:

 

-Hardware and Software costs

-Classroom and Lab Renovations

-Hardware and Software Upgrades

-Facilities for Training and Support

of the Users (Teachers and Students)

-Personnel Support (Installation, Repairs, Maintenance)

           

In order for education leaders to manage their technology infrastructure the best way they can, they must use TCO analysis to determine overall technology costs.  This will help them budget more wisely and manage their networks for the long term. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires that school districts demonstrate that technology improvements have an affect on academic achievement. The TCO tool can help school leaders prove that money being spent on technology is being well spent.