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Guide: Procurement

Key considerations when buying EdTech devices


This paper offers a framework for EdTech purchasing by offering practical advice to guide key decisions, sharing lessons learned from districts that have already made the digital shift, discussing the implications for blended learning, and providing examples of best practices in education policy that support smart procurement. Advice is provided in several key areas.

A. 12 "keys" to smart EdTech procurement

  1. Take Inventory
  2. Determine the Educational Priorities
  3. Exercise Caution on Customization
  4. Pursue Collaborative Investigation and Purchases
  5. Demand Guarantees & Assurances
  6. Make Real Comparisons
  7. Conduct a Pilot
  8. Prioritize Data Sharing & Interoperability
  9. Remember that Service Matters
  10. Consider Total Cost of Ownership
  11. Close the Deal
  12. Implement, Implement, Implement

B. Hardware Considerations

These impact cost and benefit and describes common themes in the discussion of software purchasing, such as aligning purchases to educational goals, managing implementation and evaluating performance.

C. Strategic Purchasing

Issues such as vendor strategies, working in networks, and buying in bundles all require planning.

D. Procurement Policy

The role of procurement policy, acknowledging three "greatest challenges with the current system" (buyers are not the users, the process is lengthy and cumbersome, and policies and regulations hinder discussion), and recommend six ways to modernize procurement policy.

These recommendations include:

  1. Develop Waivers
  2. Create Space for Exploring Users
  3. Needs and Supplier Capabilities
  4. Modernize Conflict of Interest
  5. IP Policies
  6. Make More Use of Prizes
  7. Consider Piggyback Clauses
  8. Explore Cooperative Purchasing

Strategy Resources

TLA Blended Learning Snapshot: EdTech Procurement in Houston

This TLA snapshot highlights Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) success with purchasing EdTech and is... Learn More

CRPE's Blueprint for Effective and Adaptable School District Procurement

This 2015 whitepaper outlines why school district procurement needs reform, promising approaches to procurement reform... Learn More