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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

How to buy ed-tech without getting ripped off

Rob Waldron, an ed-tech CEO, offers school districts advice on how to get the most for their ed-tech dollars in Education Next. It’s billed as 10 tips to “avoid getting ripped off” by vendors, but it’s mostly common sense for buyers.

The first is “check the fridge before you go shopping.” In other words, “do an audit of current hardware, software, apps, and any established practices associated with these products. Calculate the ongoing license costs of current software and figure out what you can eliminate.”

Districts often have lots of tech they’re not using, writes Waldron. One district discovered it had 332 student assessments. “It turned out that district administrators preferred one set of tests, school administrators another, and teachers a third.”

He also suggests buying “off the rack” rather than paying a premium for customized products.

Also: Check vendors’ references, beware of free trials and get a money-back guarantee or take your business elsewhere.

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