For the purposes of this guidance, NYSED defines devices as computer hardware capable of running the latest version of an operating system (e.g., Mac, Windows, Chrome, and Linux). Devices with a 1 GHz or faster processor, 1 GB RAM or greater memory, 9.5-inch (10-inch class) or larger screen size, and 1024 x 768 or better screen resolution are recommended. The device must be able to connect to the Internet via either wired or wireless networking. Examples of devices include desktops, laptops, netbooks, thin client, and tablets (e.g., iPad, Windows, and Android). Tablets should be capable of using an external keyboard.
Technology Guidelines for PARCC Assessments--Version 3.0 (September 2013) outline detailed security requirements for devices to be used in computer-based testing.
All hardware choices should consider the instructional needs of schools and students. Districts should rely on local expert judgments and discussions with appropriate authorities to determine the hardware that is most appropriate to deliver quality instruction, and to support all students, including (but not limited to) gifted students, students with disabilities, and English language learners. A focus on issues of accessibility and accommodations for all students must be ongoing throughout the device acquisition process.
Districts should also consider green purchasing when feasible. For more information on green technology purchases, please see:
- http://www.epa.gov/epp - A Web site that allows users to find and evaluate green products, services, tools, and related links, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- http://yosemite1.epa.gov/oppt/eppstand2.nsf - A database of tools to facilitate the purchase of products and services with reduced environmental impacts, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- https://greencleaning.ny.gov/Entry.asp - A Web site that describes a green cleaning program and lists approved products to clean school facilities, from the New York State Office of General Services (OGS).
Efficient and effective purchasing of appropriate technology, and the best use of district resources, are critically important. Districts must strive to maximize available State aids, their own local funds, and any other sources of funding, mindful of State law governing purchasing and their own purchasing policies.
School districts may be able to use district resources effectively to obtain technology through cooperative purchasing, lease-purchases, and purchasing through New York State contracts administered by the Office of General Services (OGS).
- Hardware Aid – Aid for eligible expenses including various computer hardware and technology equipment, technology repair, and staff development, for instructional purposes. Examples include, computers, laptops, netbooks, thin client, and tablets.
- Software Aid – Aid for eligible expenses of software purchases, for instructional purposes.
Districts may also be able to obtain funding for technology through one or more of the following:
- State grants: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/
- Federal grants and aid, including the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
- Gifts and donations
- BOCES Aid
For more information on State aid or BOCES aid, please see Funding Sources.