Here are five technologies which your school should consider carefully:
1. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol Telephony
VoIP has dramatically lowered the cost of residential and institutional phone service. It makes use of your existing network and adds dozens of new features inexpensively. So why are you paying all that money to one of Ma Bell's offspring? Read Integrating Voice Into the School Network: Benefits of Wireless VoIP
2. Digital Photography
Digital cameras and videocams have made professional photographic results achievable by all of us. As the number of units sold increases, the cost decreases. The uses for digital photography in a school setting are virtually limitless. I particularly like digital yearbooks as they can be finished up just weeks before graduation as opposed to the paper yearbooks which require months of production lead time. Photo galleries personalize and enrich your teaching. Digital photography makes all this possible inexpensively and, most importantly these days, instantly.
3. DVD and CD Burners and Duplicators
Don't violate copyright laws with these incredible tools. Use them to duplicate digital yearbooks, presentations and catalogs for your school. Combine the duplicating hardware with Photo Editing and Web Design Software and produce most of your advertising and promotional materials 'in house'. Your students will quickly assimilate the skills required for these 'new age' graphics and communications arts subjects and save your school money.
4. Wireless Technologies
Wireless networks and cell phones have dramatically increased technology's mobility and flexibility while at the same time dramatically cutting the costs. Wireless is ideal for most instructional settings: auditoria, classrooms, the outdoors - you name it. Wireless can work for you. It's cheap and easy to install compared to traditional wired networking. The latest iteration of wireless networking is mesh networking. Essentially wireless mesh networking makes your campus into one giant hotspot.
5. Offsite Data Backup
While this sounds like 'geek speak', offsite data backup using the internet keeps your data safe and secure at remarkably low cost. You saw what happened to data in those New Orleans schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Don't let that happen to you. For $50-$100 a month you can backup your data automatically on a schedule you predetermine. Best of all you won't have any more backup tapes to 'forget' to take to the bank or some other secure location. (You are doing that, aren't you?)