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Stretching Your Budget: Technology in the Classroom 

 Jason Ledford  | Guest Contributor


Public education is one of the most expensive institutions funded by a state’s budget. Typically, state and local government dollars account for ninety percent of a school’s operating costs. Unfortunately, only ten percent comes from federal tax dollars. Therefore, educators statewide depend on school-level fundraising to fill budgetary gaps. Teachers commonly purchase school supplies with their own earnings to ensure that every student is given the resources they need to succeed. 

Did you know that it cost more than 600 Billion dollars per year to fund elementary and secondary education in the United States?

While not entirely pliable, school budgets do allow for and commonly encourage fundraising at the local level. When the school needs an updated mobile computer lab or the library is overdue for renovations, for example, the Parent-Teacher Association, otherwise known as the PTA, organizes and manages fundraising activities in hopes of achieving those financial goals. 

The extra-budgetary dollars are precious, hard-earned, and deserving of careful consideration. To find some elasticity in the budget, a committee might consider alternative ways to get equipment, such as negotiating with manufacturers for better bulk pricing or by pitting one supplier against another to see if you can find a budge on the price. Another consideration might be to purchase only what you truly need.

Applying the first rule of the three R’s to your technology budget

Consider a desktop computer. If you were to reduce the hardware and software to only what a student needs, a computer lab in every classroom or a laptop in every student’s backpack becomes a little more practical and affordable of an idea. 

If not properly shopped, technology becomes a cyclical money pit that most schools can ill-afford. With considerations given to software, upgrades, and maintenance, a computer lab, not unlike a garden, still needs a bit of tending. For example, while a school’s budget might allow for twenty new computers in a lab, the budget will likely not pay for an IT department to look after them. With that in mind, you’ll want to shop the cheapest, most self-reliable, most dependable, plug and play, model available. 

Introducing the Budget-Friendly line of CTL Chromeboxes

CTL's collection of best Chromeboxes feature a lightweight, portable, desktop unit weighing less than 2 pounds. Chromeboxes are small and compact, fitting perfectly to the back of any monitor for ease of use and simple storage. 

To accommodate any budget, there are a variety of Chromeboxes to choose from and is the ideal computer for any classroom, computer lab, or teacher’s desk. 

Check out the Renewed Chromebox CBX-1 for $199, Chromebox CBX1C for $249, or the CTL Chromebox CBX1-7 for $629. There is also a highly anticipated new Chromebox that will be available in early 2020, the CTL Chromebox CBX1-3 for $429 that can be pre-ordered now.

Chromeboxes are a mini-computer alternative to the large bulky desktop design combined with being minimal and energy-efficient. Out-of-the-box and ready to plug and play, Chromeboxes start up instantly, provides lightning-fast access to both the internet and your favorite apps while using the cloud for storage. With on-board virus and malware protection, 24-hour technical support, and automatic updates until 2024, the CTL Chromeboxes leave very little to maintain. 

For the Chromebox with multiple users, such as in a computer lab, individual sign-on, using your Google account, keeps your session private, your files secure in the cloud, and passwords under lock.

Where budget meets Technology

Technological advancements will continue to drive down costs, and the competition will help to do the same. Combine that with a thrifty mindset and you might find a way to work with just about any financial constraint. When it comes to technology in the classroom you want hardware that is autonomous, you want software that you and your students are already familiar with, you want full-time support, you want to be virus and malware-free, and you want it for a cost that is budget-friendly. Consider it done with our line of Chromeboxes to see which fits you best!

By Jason Ledford  | Guest Contributor
Jason Ledford is a freelance copywriter living in Olympia, Washington. He is a father of 3, a musician, and an avid baseball fan.


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