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) students with disabilities, English language learners and at-risk student populations. A focus on issues of accessibility and accommodations for all students must be ongoing throughout the device acquisition process.
Efficient and effective purchasing of appropriate technology is 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