School tech director gives estimates for one-to-one device program costs

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By Deidre Wilson

Campbell County Board of Education Technology Supervisor Jack Cannon provided estimates on implementing a one-to-one tech program during a finance committee meeting on Feb. 21.

In a one-to-one tech program, every student has a laptop or tablet that they use in class.

Cannon was asked to see what it would cost to do this for the 4,026 students in grades 3 through 12

Cannon provided board members with estimates for what it would cost to lease the equipment as well as what it would cost for the district to purchase devices.

If the district leased the devices, it would cost $392,293.44 per year. The total cost would be around $1,600,000, Cannon said.

This includes charging carts the district would have to purchase to store the devices, which he said would be $151,740.

Wireless access points would be attached to each cart, and would also need to be purchased at a cost of $13,365 per year.

Then, he said the district would need to pay for protection software at a cost of $8,052.

At the end of three years, the district could choose to purchase the existing equipment, or it could enter into another three-year contract to lease equipment.

If it chose the latter option, it would trade in the devices for new ones.

To implement a program all at once would cost $1,917,288.

In addition to the other costs, Cannon said he also factored in $133,140 to cover the replacement of devices that were damaged beyond repair or stolen.

“Talking to all of the districts that have one-to-one, they have about a 10-percent loss,” Cannon said.

He also said that the district would need to replace the batteries in the devices it purchased, which he estimated would cost $181,170.

Cannon said these figures did not include the additional personnel that would be needed to keep all of these devices in service.

Currently, there are three employees in the technology department, which could not keep up with the 7,000 devices that would be in operation if this went into effect.

There is a person at each school currently designated as a point of contact for technology issues, but Campbell County Director of Schools Jennifer Fields said that those were teachers who could not leave during instructional time to repair devices.

Regardless of what path the district took to implement a program, Cannon said it needed to be sustainable.

“The products will be bad in a few years. That’s just the way technology is. There will be something bigger, better and greater in the future,” Cannon said.