Three questions to consider when spending your remaining budget
20th April 2017
It’s getting to the time of year when you might have some budget remaining. With July fast approaching, you’ll need to start considering what you’re going to spend your surplus technology budget on. With so many options – laptops, printers, software, new programmes – it can be difficult to spend your remaining budget effectively. That’s why we’ve put together these three questions to ask yourself before dipping into this remaining budget.
1. Does it provide a benefit?
The internet provides a lot of temptation to buy things spontaneously with minimal consideration. Research by Bloomberg in 2015 shows that the people of America are spending more money on ‘non-essential items’ compared to ‘essential items’. But in order to make the most of your remaining budget, consider ‘does this item provide a benefit?’. And if so, how? Deciding which item is more beneficial in terms of learning and education is crucial. For example, you’ve got multiple school buildings and fixing IT issues across these building involves travel. Using remote control technology, the IT team would be able to fix the smallest or biggest of issues from the comfort of their office. However, would this be more beneficial than say classroom management features? That’s where the next two questions will help you decide further.
2. Is it necessary?
You might find yourself browsing the web looking for some inspiration, stumbling across some new technology that’s way out of your budget, discovering some bargains or even something you’ve never considered. However, the most important things to bear in mind when spending your remaining budget is not to just purchase on impulse. Unfortunately, in some cases, devices will remain untouched in their box or software not deployed across the network. Therefore, before purchasing, look for gaps in your current technology landscape and consider these areas – is it necessary? Consider this; do you have anything in place for print management to save paper? Do you have enough devices in the school or district? Ask yourself a series of questions; from there you can whittle down your purchasing urges to options that are actually necessary within the school or district.
3. Does it align with the school or district mission?
Now you’ve figured out which purchases are necessary in your school or district, you’ve got to use your surplus technology budget effectively and decide which of these to commit to. An easy way to consider this is in line with your school or districts mission. Although every school or district has a specific mission designed to them, there are consistent elements across all of them:
- Providing a safe environment to enhance student learning
- Create educated and noble citizens
- Provide students with the skills to further their careers
With that in mind, when using up your remaining budget, consider: how is this purchase going to contribute to one of these things? For example, a monitoring system would allow you to identify at-risk or vulnerable students and provide a safe environment online, as well as easily pinpoint which students are straying off task so you can keep them focused and provide them with the skills needed to excel now and in the future.
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