Transform EdTech Barriers into Success Stories with the Right Partner

Transform EdTech Barriers into Success Stories with the Right Partner
February 16, 2024 5 min read

"How can you as the provider solve a problem; solve a need? Can you find a pain point and solve it for me?"

Ryan Cox–Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology in St. Cloud, MN–posed the question during a panel of K-12 technology leaders. The simple question captured what K-12 IT professionals are looking for in an EdTech partner in 2024: one that understands the challenges that educators and tech teams face, offering solutions that genuinely make an impact. 

Addressing the Challenges of Tech Integration

A lot goes into school technology. For many tech directors, “blood, sweat, and tears'' is not an overstatement. Schools invest time, money, brainpower, and man-hours into bringing digital tools to students and staff. That’s only the beginning. 

During the same panel mentioned earlier, all panelists discussed the specific challenges they are dealing with this year. 

Ryan Cox continued, “[tech directors are] focusing more on sustainability now than ever before. In the past, it was easy to request additional devices and get them quickly, but now we're being told to be more strategic. We need to plan for the long term and ensure we can maintain our technology fleet, especially since our teachers are adamant about not going back to a time without adequate devices." 

Paul Helberg, a Principal in Lakeville MN, addressed concerns surrounding meaningful technology use with the opening of a new elementary building. “We need to show parents how technology is used meaningfully. Some of them worry about excessive screen time for their kids, so we must ensure it's productive.” 

Among other things, K-12 IT teams are continuously working to keep technology fresh and functioning, juggle budgets and timelines, and maximize the impact of tech tools in the classroom.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the multitude of challenges and concerns held by tech decision-makers, there is one thing that can make it all a lot more manageable: a reliable technology partner. Having a tech partner, like Trafera, can ease the workload of burdened technology teams, act as a trusted counselor during the decision-making process, and provide support tailored to schools’ specific goals. 

Partnerships Beyond Products

The difference between a vendor and a partner becomes clear when considering long-term success. While a school’s relationship with a vendor remains transactional, one with a partner looks much different. A true partner will work hand-in-hand with a district, understanding their unique challenges and goals. They stick with the school throughout the life of technology, ensuring that it’s functioning properly and being used to the fullest.

In another example from Ryan Cox, he discussed his strategic tech plan to be implemented over the next few years. As he looked at his plan, he knew any old vendor wouldn’t fit the bill. He needed a partner who could understand and contribute to his vision. 

When Ryan reached out to Tara Johnson, a Trafera representative who works closely with him, their discussion wasn't limited to immediate needs. It covered device refresh plans, creative financing, and how to align current inventory with strategic goals, showcasing a partnership that goes beyond products and purchasing.

"Other vendors always seem to be selling me something, trying to one-up each other. But not Tara. She asks questions and works with me to find what's best for us, even if it means suggesting a cheaper option. It's not just about what's good for her or Trafera; it's about what works for us. That's why we keep this relationship going."

Paul Helberg shared a similar story about Kevin, a Trafera representative who showed up personally to address an issue, demonstrating the value of being present and committed to solving problems together. 

"When there were issues, Kevin really stepped up. I remember coming out of my office and there he was, right in our main office. It wasn't about selling us something; it was about providing service. He just showed up, ready to fix whatever was wrong, proving he's the kind of person I want to keep doing business with. Known him for over 20 years now, and it's that willingness to collaborate that makes the difference."

This level of service and dedication is what distinguishes a partner from other vendors. It's about understanding the district's needs and always being there to support the educational mission.

Top EdTech Pain Points in 2024 and Their Solutions

So, What's Next? With funding drying up and devices coming to the end of their useful life, it's a pivotal moment for K-12 tech decision-makers to find an edtech partner who cares. Trafera offers a variety of creative solutions tailored to alleviate tech team’s workloads and directly address their pain points:

Facing the Funding Cliff:

  • Device-as-a-Service (DaaS): Wrap tech hardware, setup, and support into one cost-effective package.
  • Warranty Options: Extend your investment and make sure your investments are secure.
  • Buy Back Programs: Boost your budget and clear space for new tech, while responsibly recycling old equipment for an eco-friendly solution.

Too Much To Do, Too Little Human Resources:

Elevating Tech Adoption and Optimization:

…And so much more! If you'd like to learn more about how Trafera can help your tech teams ease their workloads, contact us and let's get started!

Let's continue the conversation. What strategies has your school employed to tackle tech challenges? 
How have partnerships made a difference in your approach to technology in education? 
Share your experiences and let's learn from each other.

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