Regularly, decisions are made to cut funding for schools. According to a recent study, Kentucky has cut at least 11.4 percent between 2008 and 2015 school years, but it isn’t the worst state. Oklahoma has cut investments on education by as much as 24 percent per student. We are a country of innovation and recovery, but declines in education funding are a disturbing trend. Is there a compromise? Schools are tasked with cutting budgets and reducing costs, so many new technologies have emerged to support school districts with saving money, without compromising educational quality. Schools are embracing technology in many ways to accommodate cash-strapped budgets.
1. Virtualization support
Many schools have embraced the concept of virtualization—access to all from a single, remote location. Virtualization delivers maintenance and interactive services for a low monthly rate. Schools are benefitting from remote support that has the ability to service and maintain multiple platforms, in many buildings, and used by multiple users. The complete IT infrastructure within the school can be managed from a remote location, without requiring individual tech teams to travel from room to room or school to school, installing multiple versions of software or having or evaluate a single device.
2. Encouraging device use
Many more schools are embracing the various devices available on the market: smart phones, mobile devices, laptops. Institutions are expanding beyond the traditional desktop and encouraging all users, including administrators, teachers, parents and support staff, to keep in touch with their own devices. For a successful virtual interaction, users need a smooth, safe and secure experience. Educational IT solutions provide IT staff with controls and school-specific platforms to make the school-wide interaction online easier and stress-free. The security system permits approved users and blocks access to unauthorized outsiders.
3. Embracing VoIP solutions
Everyone in the district needs to stay in touch, but comprehensive communication systems can be expensive. The alternative is installing a VoIP system where a broadband connection is available. VoIP maximizes communication, safety and efficiency, school- and district-wide.
4. Reducing paper and printing
Schools are embracing cloud services in an effort to increase communication and productivity, while reducing what needs to be printed and copied. Schools rely on paper, but many paper and printing expenses can be reduced with cloud technology. If the school suffers a loss or it needs to track down a paper trail, a cloud system ensures easy access and swift data recovery. It also encourages students, teachers and administrators to collaborate and communicate more effectively.
5. Installing interactive software
Educational apps are allowing students, parents and teachers to access educational materials from school or home, and while on the road. As long as there is internet service, teacher productivity and student learning can continue outside of the classroom walls. With the nationwide implementation of Common Core standards, interactive digital software, apps and cloud services is giving users a platform to discuss, collaborate, learn, and comply with all things Common Core.