Not so long ago, technology at school meant weekly IT lessons, held in suites full of desktop computers. Today, this is almost a thing of the past. Technology isn’t just a single lesson – it’s a tool to support learning and engagement across all subjects, from science to French.
Educational institutions need a fleet of capable, light mobile devices that support students throughout their day. But with technology innovation moving faster than ever, schools face the challenge of providing students and staff with up-to-date technology on continually strained budgets.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is an increasingly popular scheme in schools, allowing children to have access to more up to date tech, regardless of tight budgets. Typically, parents will contribute towards a device when a student starts secondary school, with the pupil then using the device at home and at school. The technology vendor will then provide insurance, support and warranty for the scheme.
But it’s important to consider the security implications of having devices running outside the school network, at home, where there’s unlikely to be similarly robust network and web security. Many schools look to devices with in-built security capabilities which can allow IT administrators to ensure robust security standards and observability outside of the school’s firewalls.
Sweating technology assets
A few years ago, most schools refreshed their IT estates every two to three years, purchasing from the cheapest devices available to keep initial outlay low, while still ensuring students had access to now essential technology. The approach appeals at the point of purchase but often results in higher total cost of ownership (TCO) due to poor reliability and excessive performance overhead. The entry level specifications and poor durability often force schools to replace these devices after just a couple of years.
Today, many schools are adopting a more forward-looking strategy. By buying higher-spec, more reliable and capable computers, they’re able to go four to five years between refresh cycles. Performance jumps between CPU and SSD generations have lessened over the past few years, making forking out for high-end devices more appealing, while the reduced device turnover and failure rates also bring environmental benefits.
Cloud > product specs
Cloud computing is set to disrupt this current transition to more capable devices. In the next 18 months, we’ll likely see the cloud-first strategy employed by many businesses start to trickle down to the education space.
With reduced demand on local hardware, there will no longer be a need for high-spec, expensive computers. Schools will eventually divert their budget away from on-premises devices towards the cloud-based subscription services that will host their learning activities.
An education in agility
The emerging trend from entry-level to high-end devices and back again, highlights the need for schools to be agile in their approach to their purchasing decisions and IT strategies.
Just as the best approach five years ago hasn’t stood the test of time, the next few years will see another change in schools’ tech investment strategies.
However, schools can guard against rapid technology change by selecting a partner who can adjust as they do, staying one step ahead of market needs to ensure budget is invested as smartly as possible – in what’s needed both today and tomorrow.
dynabook offers a range of partner schemes and devices to fit every school’s needs, supporting their access to the latest technology despite budget limitations. https://uk.dynabook.com/generic/education