Cost Saving Technology Recommendations for K-12 Schools
Ronald L. Abate
K-12 school districts should take advantage of the cost savings that current technology can provide. The following recommendations increase the probability of facilitating instruction while reducing the cost of K-12 education:
1. Provide low cost Chromebooks for all students for use at school and at home. Use of these online (internet based) devices will open avenues to the following efficiencies and economies:
Expensive textbooks can be replaced with Open Educational Resources (OER) which can provide free, online course content in all subjects. No more textbooks to carry.
Reduce the need for libraries as all information is attainable from the internet at any time from any place.
Many student assignments can be completed online reducing the need for paper.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses may be taken online, rather than in a physical classroom. Many of these courses are free with some being offered by colleges.
Provide online instruction to homebound students.
Remove the need for science labs by providing online, virtual experiments.
Institute personalized learning where instruction is provided according to the needs of each student.
2. Replace local school networks with cloud (internet) computing resources. Local networks are expensive to implement and maintain.
3. Use the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor and control energy usage in all school buildings. Lighting and heating will be adjusted automatically according to whether a room is occupied. IoT along with LED bulbs has reduced electricity usage by 84 percent in Cheshire, CT Public Schools. A savings of about $390,000.
4. Provide for online professional development for teachers. Minimize professional development onsite.
5. Minimize use of landline telephones; increase use of VOIP (internet based) telephones. (Note: All Chromebook laptops provide free VOIP phone service.)