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Summer Tech Checklist

June 24

By Carlos Garcia

Article from eSchool News

Use this checklist to help take stock of equipment and software

summer-itSummer might mean a long respite for students, but not for IT directors. When I was an ed-tech director for several California school districts, I was too busy responding to problems and meeting teachers’ instructional needs to do much IT planning and assessing during the school year. But summer brought a chance to take a deep breath, take stock of my ed-tech inventory, and prepare for the following year.

Here are some strategies for doing this effectively in your own schools.

Software licensing

Summer is a good time to re-evaluate your current software licenses to determine whether they’re still meeting your needs.

Do you have any pilot projects or free software trials that are ending? If so, how did these go—and is it worth subscribing to continue using the software?

Read more…

Transitioning From Consumer to Education

Article featured in EdNET Insight
By: Robert Baker, Co-Founder, Mac to School
May 22, 2015

With industry reports indicating that investment in ed tech companies hit $1.87 billion in 2014, it’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs and companies in the consumer sector are considering entering the education market or have already begun making inroads. What many of these business leaders quickly discern is that education is a unique industry and that it’s critical to understand the differences between these markets to be successful.

Read more…

Public School Review Article

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March 18, 2015

Article featured in Public School Review

The Surprising Way Schools are Saving Money on Ed Tech

With technology advancing and changing faster than ever, how can educators and schools keep up? The answer: Refurbished ed tech.

 

The Emergence of Refurbished Ed Tech
Teachers and administrators are turning to refurbished educational technology for better learning experiences on a reduced budget. Refurbished machines save time and money, and gives instructors a wider range of teaching options for students. We paneled some of the top minds in education to learn about the impact refurbished tech is making on education.

 

“Refurbished technology is a great way to get more devices into the hands of students at significant cost savings,” says Robert Baker, CEO and Co-Founder of certified ed tech provider Mac to School. Teachers need the proper tools to interact with their students in a technology-driven society.

Read more…

ICE 2015

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Mac to School exhibited at the 2015 ICE conference outside of Chicago. It was our first time exhibiting and we enjoyed meeting up with local customers and enjoying the snow. We’ll be back for 2016.

5 Essential Tech Checks for 2015

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January 15, 2015
By Carlos A. Garcia

Is your tech ready to rock in the New Year? Follow this simple checklist and find out

checlist-techIt’s hard to believe, but 2015 is already upon us. For technology directors and IT personnel, that means a whole new year of fires to put out, devices to fix and networks to repair.

Amid all the chaos, it can be easy to let general maintenance slip under your radar. But in my years as a tech director for districts around California, I realized that staying on top of the small things helped me be more prepared to handle big issues as they arose.

So I came up with five essential “tech checks” to complete at the beginning of each calendar year, and I hope they’ll be as helpful to you as they were to me.

Read more…

Mac to School Ramps up Tech Buyback Program

November 3, 2014

Article featured in THE Journal:

Mac to School, a company that sells refurbished and recertified Apple devices to schools, is beefing up its buyback program, aiming to purchase $10 million worth of used technology from schools in 2015.

“Mac to School frequently works with districts that are looking to make room in their budgets to purchase newer ed tech — for example, selling iPad 2s to finance the purchase of iPad Airs,” according to a news release. “By selling the older assets back to Mac to School, districts can lessen the financial impact of a big ed tech purchase.”

Devices that the company decides are too old to resell are given to schools through its Give Mac program.

“Our mission is to provide a high-quality, low cost recertified Apple device option for districts across the country,” said Robert Baker, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Mac to School, in a prepared statement. In order to do that, we partner with schools and districts to purchase their older devices, providing them with additional funds to use as they see fit. It is a priority to keep these devices in education. Once purchased, they are recertified and offered to those looking for more Apple devices at a lower cost.”

Click here for the original article

Top 10 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Tech Budget

 

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September 9, 2014

By: Robert Baker Featured in Getting Smart

Picture this: You just invested in the “latest and greatest” EdTech for your schools. It’s a big purchase, but surely you can find ways to cut back in other areas, right? One month later, there’s something “later and greater” on the market, and now you don’t have the budget to afford the things you really need.

Thankfully, with a little creative financing and some strategic planning, you don’t have to blow your budget to get the best EdTech available. Here are 10 tips to help educators and administrators get the most bang for their buck.

 

  1. Put cases on everything. This may seem simple, but by putting a case on every tablet and laptop in your school, you’ll protect them from the nicks and scratches that will decrease their resale value.
  2. Buy recertified devices with good warranties. Do your students really need a brand-new iPad Air? Recertified devices often accomplish the same educational goals at a fraction of the cost. When you’re comparing your options, make sure you’re getting a solid one-year warranty with the ability to extend.
  3. Use DeployStudio or other imaging solutions to make imaging and machine management faster and easier.Installing operating systems and applications across hundreds of devices takes a lot of time. Free, open source solutions like DeployStudio can simplify the process and make software management across devices much faster.
  4. Get quotes to sell your old equipment before you purchase new devices. Would you accept the first offer a buyer made on your house just to be done with the headache? Of course not, so avoid that mistake with your old equipment. Shop around until you find the retailer who will give you the best deal.
  5. Sell at the right time. Rather than trying to sell your old devices at the end of the summer in a frantic scramble for extra funds, be strategic. If you sell your devices during winter or spring, you’ll likely get a better deal because there are fewer districts looking for resale vendors at that time.
  6. Never buy new carts if you can help it. There isn’t really much of a market for laptop/tablet carts outside of education. This means that used carts can be had for a fraction of the cost of new ones. Functionality is similar across brands, and reliability is generally pretty high.
  7. Use stickers as asset tags. While it’s important to have a good tracking system for all of your EdTech devices, permanent markers and engravings severely diminish the value of the devices when you sell them.
  8. Keep track of keyboards, mice and power adapters. These accessories are expensive to replace and will impact the resale value. You could even label each accessory with stickers that match the machine they belong to.
  9. Use a diverse mix of devices. Using a mixture of tablets, desktops and laptops will not only keep digital natives more engaged; it could also save you a few extra dollars.
  10. Leave extra room in your budget for training. A well-trained educator with good support is a much more valuable teaching tool than a higher end device in the hands of an unprepared educator

See the entire article here:

http://gettingsmart.com/2014/09/top-10-simple-ways-save-money-tech-budget

 

Mac to School featured in the Fifty from ISTE

July 8, 2014

Mac to School was featured in the “Fifty from ISTE” ed-tech services from eSchool news!

“Mac to School said all of its refurbished MacBooks meet the standards for taking Common Core assessments—and the devices offer a cost-effective way to get technology into the hands of students as schools prepare for the exams.

For instance, California’s Academy of Arts and Sciences recently saved $245,000 by working with Mac to School rather than buying new technology directly from Apple, the company said.”

Check out the entire list here:

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