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Future-Proofing Education Technology
We were delighted to be asked to contribute to this month’s lead article in Education Technology. The piece was called “Future-proof”. It was a collection of expert views on how to reconcile restricted budgets with the seemingly relentless need for IT upgrades, whilst keeping a weather eye on the need to have an environmentally responsible attitude towards procurement. Since addressing these concerns has been part of Techbuyer’s DNA since 2005, it was a topic we were happy to comment on.
At Techbuyer we’ve worked with hundreds of educational institutions ranging from primary schools right up to the University of Cambridge. Even schools on the smaller scale have multiple servers, whilst larger institutions have whole data centres made up of stacks of racks to facilitate information storage and access. The turnover on this equipment can be both environmentally and financially expensive unless institutions take a smart approach that involves reuse and reassignment at component level.
Topics of interest
We were sent the questions a few weeks ago, and the found the topic incredibly interesting. There was a lot to talk about in terms of energy usage and lifespan of equipment, which is a real area of focus for us. As a company we spend a lot of time researching which products last the longest as well as helping customers choose the exact components for the particular environment they are entering and workloads they are running. These side additional issues were too involved to fit in the main article, but you can read about them in the first of the magazine’s series on sustainable edtech, Future Proofing and Sustainability.
Other expert views
One great thing about participating in the main article was the chance it gave to hear from other industry experts. It was really interesting to read what peers – senior management representatives from Epsom, Think IT, Schools Broadband and Stone Group – had to say from their perspective on IT developments. Even more interesting was the fact that across hardware and software, servers, networking and printers, the same themes are picked up again and again.
The breakneck pace of change was something highlighted by all contributors, and the common theme in dealing with this was to think about how to use hardware in a smart way. Whether this is identifying which components to upgrade or ensuring that staff are properly trained in how to get best use of new technology, the key is to think of IT systems as a tool kit rather than an end in themselves. As an IT professional with long years of experience, this is a message we love to reinforce and so it was great to hear what experts with other specialisms thought.
Where to learn more
It was great to learn so much from an article we had contributed to, especially when it was in such a prestigious magazine. The range of questions on this was wide. Topics included the general rules and guidelines for future-proofing investments; energy usage of different forms of educational technology (edtech); refurbished equipment; classroom teaching for sustainable edtech use and which systems need the least updating. To find out our answers and those of other specialists see the full article here on pages 39-44 of Issue 40.
Techbuyer is a global specialist in the buying, refurbishment and selling of servers, storage and networking equipment. Read Rich Kenny's interview 'Future proofing and sustainbility: Rich Kenny' and Techbuyer's article in the latest edition of Education Technology magazine, 'Boost Budgets with Smart use of Hardware'.