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It's time to think about our refresh cycle. This will determine the sustainability of the 1:1 program.
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We have decided that any device will work for our 1:1 program and everyone in the district are part of the program. It's time to think about our refresh cycle.
The refresh cycle will determine the sustainability of the 1:1 program.
A refresh cycle is how often and in what quantity you will be buying devices. Every device has a useful lifetime. A finite amount of time the device will work in the classroom. This can be anywhere from 1 to 10 years. You need to answer the question, how long will this device be useful to the person using it before we need to give them a new device?
The traditional way to do this in education is to create a 10-year plan. It is a long, formal document detailing when to buy or add equipment, refresh equipment, and the impact on learning over the next 10 years.
It takes a long time to do and is rarely followed. It's nearly impossible to create an accurate 10 year plan. There are too many variables and you can't predict the future.
You don't have a guaranteed budget. Budgets are based on taxes, town priorities, and the school committee. You hope there isn't unforeseen expenses or departments over spending and draining the pot.
The cost of technology changes constantly. The great deal you had on windows desktops last year, isn't available 2 years later.
The types of technology changes. When you started your plan Windows was the way to go. Now your district wants to flip to Apple because the school committee thinks they are better. You bought all HP products because they were the right price. HP got bought out by IBM and they no longer make desktops. Amazon entered the education market with a device you can't pass up, but wasn't anywhere in your ten year plan.
These situations and variables may seem far fetched, but they all happen.
The refresh cycle in a CYOD Program is flexible and based on a single year. Each year you know the grade levels that needs new device and the price point for those devices.
Let's walk through a CYOD 1:1 Program in grades 5-12 with students spread across three schools. We are going to use a 4 year useful life for the device (refresh cycle). So each device will be in circulation for 4 years. You can use the 5th and 6th year of the devices as loaners and spares if needed.
Middle School is grades 5-6
Junior High is grades 7-8
High School is grades 9-12
For students, each year we will need to purchase devices for 2 grades. Grades 5 and 9 will get new devices each year. These students will then carry that device with them for 4 years.
Teachers are cycled by the school. So year 1 of the program all Middle School teachers will get a device. Year 2, all teachers at the Junior High will get new device. Year 3, all teachers of grades 9-10 will get device. Year 4, all teachers of grades 11-12 will get device. Then repeat the pattern.
With this refresh cycle, we know that each year we will be buying device for 2 full grades of students and 2 grades of teachers. We don't need to know 10 years into the future, only what the next year will hold for budget and device availability.
After the 4-year device life cycle, you can use the 5th and 6th years of the device as loaners and spares. Giving you a set number of devices purchased each year, and a set number of spares available in inventory.
Each year, you know what your budget is and divide that by the number of device. Giving you the price point for the new devices. This keeps the program consistent and within budget each year. All while making sure you provide devices where they are most needed.