When it comes to considering the cost of 1:1, the questions are endless. What is the average cost of a device when purchasing at scale for every student? What are my peer school districts doing with their taxpayer dollars or grants? What about the infrastructure costs? What items are category 1 vs. 2 for E-Rate, and how do you know you will be reimbursed? How do you effectively communicate to non-technical decision makers the real needs around 1:1?
Most superintendents want a 1:1 program in their district. To help the superintendent with their vision, it’s important to discuss the defining factors of a successful 1:1 program and what components are necessary prior to buying thousands of devices. Ask the superintendent what their rough estimated cost is for this type of program. Clarity is key. Define the necessary components.
If you’re not sure what is specifically required, work with competing vendors to obtain component checklists and ask your neighboring districts for references. Once you know what you need, obtain the necessary quotes and present them to your superintendent. You may have to wait a year for funding, or roll it out by grade level. While some schools can roll 1:1 out in one fell swoop, most cannot and need a long-term strategic and implementation plan to be effective.
To start your consideration cost checklist, here are a few of the components you need to scale prior to rolling out 1:1:
As another insider tip regarding cost considerations, vendors don’t like when you share pricing among neighboring districts or on your listserv, but it ensures you get a fair price and keeps your vendors honest--the good vendors will be transparent. It’s true that VARs (value added resellers) don’t typically make more that 2-4% on selling endpoints, but they make that up in professional services and other products such as wireless and content filtering. Vendors should be a partner, not a used car salesman trying to make a one time sale.
For additional considerations, be sure to read our recent blog post entitled what does your district look like at capacity? Family Zone would be happy to discuss how we support 1:1 through our platform and provide transparent pricing!