The Surprising Way Schools are Saving Money on Ed Tech

Updated February 26, 2018 |
The Surprising Way Schools are Saving Money on Ed Tech
With technology advancing and changing faster than ever, how can educators and schools keep up? The answer: refurbished ed tech.
With technology advancing and changing faster than ever, how can educators and schools keep up? The answer: refurbished ed tech.
The Emergence of Refurbished Ed Tech
Teachers and administrators are turning to refurbished educational technology for better learning experiences on a reduced budget. Refurbished machines save time and money, and gives instructors a wider range of teaching options for students. We paneled some of the top minds in education to learn about the impact refurbished tech is making on education.
The Benefits of Refurbished Ed Tech: Savings
School systems across the nation run on tight budgets. While per-student spending remains at an adequate level in select districts, it can hardly cover the cost of new devices for every child, especially with rapid advances in digital media.
“Refurbished technology is a great way to get more devices into the hands of students at significant cost savings,” says Robert Baker, CEO and Co-Founder of certified ed tech provider Mac to School. Teachers need the proper tools to interact with their students in a technology-driven society.
Bob Nelson, Superintendent of the Chawanakee School District in California, notes the benefits of saving time as well as money. “What are the benefits of refurbished ed tech… identical machines, thus simplifying the 1:1 environment for purposes of training and support.”
His own experience of working with identical devices at the district level over the past six years has given him keen insights into the savings refurbished equipment provide.
How Ed Tech Has Changed: Access and Efficacy
In an age
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Updated December 02, 2017 |
How the Arts Benefit Your Children Academically and Behaviorally
Often underfunded in the past, the arts are gaining a resurgence in support as research shows benefits for children academically, along with improvements in behavior and attendance.
As far back as the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophers like Plato recognized the inherent value of studying the arts. Theatre, music, dance, and the visual arts were seen as integral to Greek society and are still an integral component of education in our country today.
But not that long ago, amid nationwide budget cuts and an increasing emphasis on instruction and testing in math, science, and language arts, many school districts were forced to reduce arts programming greatly, and in some cases, eliminate parts of their arts curriculum altogether. The arts suffered because school officials, students, parents, and the public in general perceived the arts to be nothing more than an extracurricular activity, despite the vast evidence to the contrary. Fortunately, however, this trend has reversed somewhat, and school districts are once again developing thriving fine and performing arts programs.
The trend towards expanding arts education is certainly a positive one, as the benefits that students reap from participation in the arts are many. In fact, research shows that the arts promote positive development in the academic, social, and emotional realms. So important are the arts to a comprehensive educational program, that Katy Independent School District in Texas proclaims, “The arts are what make us most human, most complete as people.”
Signs of Support
The arts are gaining more and more recognition as a central component of the public school curriculum rather than as an add-on that students elect to take in high school or participate in
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Updated March 29, 2015 |
Parents’ Guide to Special Education: Rights and Education Plans
Special education law is not easy to decipher, with several regulations that govern special education services for disabled students. In this article, learn about the core components of the laws, rights, and individual education plans that can help create the best public school environment for your child.
If you have a child with special needs, you are no doubt familiar with many of the services and accommodations provided to them by their school. You may also have a clear understanding of some of the laws that guarantee your child the appropriate support services in an educational setting. You are likely also familiar with the time, energy and red tape required to obtain services for your child. It is a complicated process indeed, with many legal underpinnings guiding the development and administration of programs for special needs kids.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
First passed in 1975 as the Education of Handicapped Children Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as it stands today, is the result of revisions in 1990, 1997 and 2004. Prior to 1975, children with disabilities were either placed in segregated classrooms in public schools or denied access to public education altogether.
Today’s iteration of IDEA includes four parts, including Part B, which outlines the service requirements for children from 3-21 years of age, and Part C, which governs the administration of services to children from birth to 2 years of age. IDEA, among other things, establishes that families have a right to:  
  • A Free and Appropriate Public Education for school-aged children.
  • An Individualized Education Plan for public school students.
  • A consultation with a school professional to determine the level of a disabled child’s needs.
  • Access to early intervention services for infants and toddlers.
  • An Individualized Family Service Plan for infants and toddlers.
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Updated March 29, 2015 |
5 Tips for Monitoring Screen Time for Kids
Many school districts have implemented technology initiatives that provide laptops or tablets to students. While these technologies open opportunities for learning outside of school, they also require parental oversight to ensure children aren’t spending too much time online.
It has been more than a decade since the first large-scale one-to-one technology initiative was launched in Maine. That program, which put laptops in the hands of every public school student in the state, represented a major shift in the manner in which students learn. Recognizing the growing value of technology, particularly the Internet as an educational tool, the program opened doors for students to learn that otherwise would not have been available. For the first time, students could easily expand their learning time beyond the boundaries of their classroom and regular school day.
Yet, as children learned to utilize technology for educational purposes, the non-educational aspects of technology began to become more prominent. Gone are the days when a laptop was used to type a report or to access an online encyclopedia for research. Now, children have thousands of online distractions from YouTube videos to games to apps that allow them to chat, text, and share pictures with their friends.
All this makes it more difficult for parents to manage what their children utilize their technology to do. However, there are steps parents can take to ensure their child utilizes technology for learning first and fun second.
Set Rules and Stick to Them
Establishing rules can go a long way in helping your child define the boundaries of their use of technology. One of your first rules should be that
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Updated February 16, 2018 |
9 Smart Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Academic Success
Turn your child into a stronger student by creating the right support structure and expectations. Use these nine tips to help maximize your child's academic success.
Your child’s success in school is dependent upon a wide variety of factors. Certainly, the quality of programming at your child’s school, the quality of your child’s teacher, and access to quality resources are all critical components of your child’s success. But the factor that is most important for your child’s academic achievement is your involvement in their educational process.
According to the Michigan Department of Education, parental involvement is twice as predictive of a child’s academic success than socioeconomic status. Yet, the same report also notes that a lack of parental involvement is the largest issue facing public schools today. There are likely many reasons for this gap, not the least of which is that some parents just don’t know how to help their children when they bring schoolwork home. However, involvement in your child’s education does not begin and end with struggling to help them with homework. There are many methods you can employ to help your child achieve his or her academic potential, and here are nine ways you can naturally incorporate into your child's academic support. 
Create a Routine and Stick to It
A major barrier that many parents face is simply finding the time in their schedules to sit down with their children to talk about school, review work, and provide assistance when needed. This has become even more difficult in recent years as children have become so involved with technologies like mobile phones, tablets, and social media that can occupy much
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