Considering the situation at Brickenburg, all students need access to technology and the current system isn’t really meeting their needs. My proposal is simple. In the technology world there are many choices when it comes to going with a 1:1 system. In my opinion the best option when it comes to this is the HP chromebook model 11 G5. It is a reliable device, simple, and easy to operate which makes it great for students at this grade level and it’s affordable for every student to get one with a budget of $200,000. They could even be used for each 3 years of their middle school career. Enough money will be provided to give each 600 students their own chromebook (chargers included). This leaves $80,000 for extra spending. I encourage the use of cases for each chromebook, as these laptops can be fragile especially in the hands of 600 middle schoolers. This will reduce the cost of random repairs for students. Cheaper cases range up to $20 and can be customizable with school colors/decals etc. This still leaves roughly $60,000 in the budget. A school wide wifi upgrade is also going to be needed if every student in the school plans on accessing the online features of the chromebooks which ultimately make the device so special. Another good thing about these chromebooks is that they feature an offline mode that let’s you download material and work on projects in case some students don’t have wifi access at home. Wifi at the school will be roughly $15,000 for fast web browsing for all students and teachers. Extra chromebooks, screens, cases, and licensing fees are going to be needed in a system this big which will run around $30,00. This now leaves $15,000 in the budget. Now a team of professionals would be highly recommended to manage and operate this system within the school. Now I know what you’re thinking, it would be a costly move to hire tech professionals in order to do this. My solution that would save the school a lot of money in the long run would be to have the students in charge. It would require a light amount of training, but it could be part of a student internship that would be run through a class in the school. It could even be instructed by the current technology supervisor so that no one risks losing their job or anyone needs to be hired. Even a so called “help desk” could be installed that students could manage in case if any technology issues were to arise. Each of the 3 buildings could all rely on one central area to come for tech help. A loaner chromebook system could also be installed in case of students forgetting to charge their chromebooks the previous night. Custom cases could be made for these. Students would learn the insides and out of the chromebooks and even how to do some simple repairs if anything went wrong with individual models. Maybe the 8th grade class could have this opportunity. Not only would this benefit the school, but it would benefit students pursuing careers in the technology field which is growing at a faster rate than ever. The leftover budget of $15,000 could be used to make any proper upgrades to the help desk. Now an issue financially that you might be thinking of is dealing with students paying back the cost of this program. I would recommend that the school offers a payment method of $70 each year in the middle school as long as payments are submitted by the end of each year. For a low income family, this may seem like a hefty payment. Special payment options should be offered for families that can’t afford them. Payments in this case will be divided quarter annually instead of all at once. This would ensure that the money your donor has provided will be made back, and can keep this system running for years to come. Now as for what to do with the current technology at Brickenburg, I would recommend keeping at least 2 of the computer labs, and removing the rest of the equipment excluding one of the 5 computer desktops for teacher use in each classroom. If these items were sold, the money gained could be donated for other school funds. Overall, the 1:1 program would be a great way to provide technology to all students and ensure they acquire all the necessary equipment and materials while on a budget of $200,000.
600 HP 11 G5 model chromebooks ($120,000)
chromebook cases ($20,000)
school wifi ($15,000)
extra materials and fees ($30,000)
help desk and upgrades ($15,000)
total: $200,000 (meets $200,000 budget)