Evaluation Hardware and Software

416 words | 2 page(s)

In order to evaluate hardware for classroom or instructional use, a number of factors need to be considered. The following list of factors to consider is based on the assumption that the school has a technology department that can offer technical support, a network and Internet connection, and at least one computer in every classroom in addition to accessible labs suitable for student use.

Need: Will the hardware fulfill a need for the particular classroom(s) using it? How much use will the hardware see? Is this particular piece of hardware vital for the purposes it fulfills, or can substitutions be made?
Reputation: Is the hardware manufacturer reputable? Will the hardware last more than one school year?
Compatibility: Before purchasing hardware, operating system requirements need to be researched. What OS works with this hardware? What OS version is minimally required? Are the computers able to connect with the hardware? How frequent will upgrades be necessary?
Training: Are users familiar with the hardware, or familiar enough with technology that they will not need training? Will training require additional finances?
Cost: Is the purchase cost effective? Will each classroom require the hardware? If so, is the purchase economically feasible? Are there grants or subsidies available?

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Software Evaluation
The assumptions listed above are also being made in developing practices for exploring software. In order to evaluate software for classroom use, the same considerations must be made: need, reputation, compatibility, training, and cost. However, software requires other considerations as well. For example, will the software be installed on one particular device? Must additional user or licensing options be purchased if other educators wish to use the software? Will the software work with different versions of the same OS? Is the software proprietary only?

Additionally, will new versions of the software be created as hardware requirements change? Is the software newly released, or has it been time-tested by other educators? Is it reliable? Will it be for teacher use, or will all students be using it as well? In either case, is it user-friendly, or will training be required? When and where can the software be used, and do those times and locations suit the educational purposes for the software? Are there comparable programs in different price ranges and with differing reputations? Is the software available from reputable sources who offer competitive pricing? All of these considerations must be explored before a purchase is made, particularly if the software is to be used in multiple classrooms with both teachers and students.

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