Bill MacKenty

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A $400.00 lightbulb

Posted in Educational Tech Design on 17 - January 2008 at 07:05 PM (16 years ago). 196 views.

A $400.00 lightbulb - part 1

Is educational technology worth it?

Another interesting conversation has emerged at work.  Does the cost of technology equal it’s benefit?

In business, this idea is referred to as ROI (return on investment). We invest X dollars into technology, support, and infrastructure. Does that equal the educational return?

In keeping with my idea of 2 realms in educational technology (blog post series: part 1 , part 2 and part 3) I want to approach the idea of ROI remebering technology serves different roles in education.

Spending - hypothetical high school with ~ 1200 students and 70 teachers
Disclaimer: This is a very rough idea of the yearly costs associated with running a high school technology program. I will demonstrate in another post how quite a bit of money can be saved.


Network Administrator: $50,000
Computer teacher (faculty position): $50,000
Part time technician: $20,000
Programmer (the person who makes the schedule - might be a guidance counselor):$45,000

Bandwidth (T1 or greater) : $12,000

3 labs with 30 computers each: $40,000
3 laser printers - one for each lab: $2000

70 teachers with a computer each: $25,000
1 printer per department (5): $2500

1 laptop cart with 30 computers: $5,000
5 projectors on mobile carts (example)  : $5,000

Windows OS licensing: $20,000
Office licensing:  $20,000
Server licensing: $10,000
Student information system licensing: $5000
Router / switch licensing: $5000
Anti-virus licensing: $5000
Course management licensing: $5000
Help desk licensing: $1000
wireless licensing: $1000

Office staff desktop computers:
$15,000
Office staff printers: $1000

So this equals about $344,000 a year. Wow. Add in additional software costs (which I didn’t include here) and staff development and training, and our fictional high school is spending about $350,000 a year on technology.

Are we getting $350,000 worth of better education? As usual, the answer is: it depends

To be continued….