Online tool helps measure value of investment

Consortium of School Networking offers Web-based tool to measure impact on students of technology buys.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor
The Consortium for School Networking has launched a free online program to help technology leaders make the best purchasing decisions.

The Value of Investment website is "one of the most important things" the organization has done, Consortium CEO Keith Krueger said. The program is intended to assure stakeholders that they "are getting some kind of return for what [schools] invest in technology," eSchoolNews reported.

The initiative is based on the business world's return on investment metric. But since schools are ultimately measured by student success not profit, the metric is what value does the acquisition deliver. The tool outlines a five-step approach for determining the VOI:

  1. Estimate project costs;
  2. Assess risk;
  3. Calculate anticipated savings and revenues;
  4. Measure qualitative benefits; and
  5. Evaluate results.
"The K-12 tool set should help the educational system answer the calls for greater accountability" in educational technology, said Eileen Lento, education strategist for Intel Corp., one of four corporate sponsors for the project. The others are computer maker Gateway Inc. and educational software providers SAS inSchool and SchoolNet.
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