Spotlight

Additional Resources

Total Cost of Ownership and Value of Investment methodologies are relatively complex and require attention to detail. Several organizations provide tools and support to apply the process.

• The Consortium for School Networking (www.cosn.org), a Washington D.C., nonprofit organization, teamed with Gartner, a technology analyst firm, to develop a TCO tool specifically for K-12 education. A key objective in the development of this tool, available at www.classroomtco.org, was to state inputs and results in K-12 terms and to simplify 1,900 input data points from the Gartner model to a manageable number while retaining a valid model that schools can use without excessive time and outside help.

• The Consortium for School Networking, supported by corporate sponsors, recently developed a methodology for determining the value of investment in K-12 terms at a dedicated website, www.edtechvoi.org. The site includes an extensive online project cost estimator and a spreadsheet that offers a categorized list of potential project benefits.

• The Institute for the Advancement of Emerging Technologies in Education at Edvantia has developed a project cost estimator called the TCO Calculator. This online tool (http://129.71.174.252/tcov2) helps to identify projected costs of a technology plan, including new or refurbished buildings. It also provides an estimate of the multiyear costs of implementing and maintaining technology systems in an existing school. While it does not include the indirect labor cost component, it is a quick and easy way of estimating initial and ongoing budgeted costs, plugging in default values for several costs such as training.