Understanding the value of education technology
Regardless of what you hear about the uses and benefits of education technology, its true value can only be measured in terms of its ability to cater to the specific needs of your institution. Investing in education technology can be costly and you need to be assured that it is worth it. The only way to establish the value of the devices and software you are looking to implement in your school is to get clear about your objectives and resources and then measure your chosen solutions against them. Let’s start by looking at some of the general benefits of education technology and then discuss how you can work out for yourself whether it’s worth making the investment.
Does technology help develop skills in students?
That’s the central question. If technology does not produce any tangible benefits in your students, then what value does it have? The adoption of education technology has been shown to have positive effects on students’ learning outcomes. According to Jisc, a British not-for-profit organisation focusing on digital services in the education sector, technology helps to develop students in five key ways:
- Increases learning and employability through authentic learning experiences
- Helps students engage with classmates and then employers and colleagues
- Develops lifelong learning and employability skills
- Helps develop targeted, career-specific skills
- Boosts digital literacy
The effective adoption of education technology helps to accomplish all these overarching educational goals. It should be stressed again, however, that its real value to you depends on your institution’s goals, your specific way of establishing and measuring the value of investment (VOI) of technology. Here are some tips to help you articulate and meet those goals.
How to know the investment is worth it
In reality, the VOI depends not only on the advertised benefits of the technology but also on your financial resources. Here’s how to balance the two and determine the VOI:
- Start with your budget: Before you can move forward, you need to know how much money you can actually afford to spend on technology. This will guide your further steps and ensure that you don’t overspend.
- Do a costs-vs-benefits analysis of your potential solutions: This is perhaps the most essential part of working out the value of technology. Look closely at what each product will give you and then check whether the cost is worth it – both the financial cost and the opportunity cost of choosing one solution over another.
- Assess the qualitative benefits: Look at the solutions in front of you and ask: “If cost were not a factor, which of these would offer the most benefits? Which of them would best solve my institution’s problems and improve my students’ and teachers’ lives?” This will very quickly help you put a value on the technology. You may not be able to afford the ideal solution, but you now have a way of measuring the worth of the solutions you can afford.
- Monitor and assess the solution based on the above steps.
Personalisation is one of the critical attributes of education technology, and this extends to how you can leverage the overall benefits of the tools for your specific needs. In this way, you can determine what is worth acquiring for your school and what price is worth paying. This careful consideration can also help make the right choice when committing to an education technology solution.
A great example of an HP Education solution that you can consider as you work out the value of education technology for your school is our HP ProBook x360 Education Edition. This rugged, yet sleek laptop is the perfect learning tool to be issued to students. With a flexible 360-degree hinge and a dual-mode camera, it is designed to enable students to type, touch, write, draw, read and view, as they engage with a plethora of educational content. Like all of HP’s education models, it is designed with four key attributes in mind: toughness and durability to withstand frequent handling by students; long battery life, because education needs to happen anytime, anywhere; optimal wireless connectivity to keep students online, and a range of pre-installed educational software, including HP Classroom Manager and HP Adaptive Learning.
Contact us for more information on HP education technology products.