Many school districts face deficits in the coming fiscal year, so districts, schools and educators are getting more creative in their efforts to fund technology in the classroom. From public and private grants, to ‘crowdfunding,’ business partnerships and ballot initiatives, it has become increasingly challenging to maintain technology investment.
Philadelphia’s school district recently reported an estimated $700 million deficit by 2020. Education funding in Iowa came under fire for not keeping pace with rising costs, forcing budget cuts that put STEM programs at risk. Reports like this are not isolated across the US, Canada or in the UK, as one report recently uncovered. Public funding and grants are being cut back, making it hard for school districts to find or protect the technology funding that support the edtech programs only recently introduced into our schools.
Within an increasingly competitive marketplace for funding, districts needs to ‘market’ themselves effectively to gain (and keep) funding. Whether it’s through a crowdfunding platform such as My Class Needs or DonorsChoose, or competing for a grant, educators need to “put their best foot forward,” to create a compelling argument for technology investment for procurement and maintenance - and back it up with facts. Edtech programs also require substantial ongoing costs which puts pressure on districts to demonstrate ROI on technology investments.
Proving effective technology utilization rates and measuring learning outcomes is a real roadblock, but also a tremendous opportunity when it comes to protecting funding sources. For a few years, Absolute has been working with school districts to provide quantitative information on device utilization rates to help prove that technology has had a meaningful impact on student outcomes to protect funding levels. Two of our schools won Safe, Smart and Secure Students Trailblazer Awards last week.
With the new release of the Absolute platform announced just this month, we’re extending this visibility with a new device analytics widget to make reporting on device utilization easier than ever. Easily access what devices are being utilized and drill down further to identify patterns and insights on technology ROI, giving your district a leg up on competing for increasingly scarce funding sources. Learn more here.