The use of technology in the classroom has significantly expanded what educational institutions have to offer. As new technology permeates society, industries like education — which thrive on the interconnectedness of their staff and student body — have reaped the benefits of integrating computer technology with their daily processes. According to the U.S. Department of Education, such benefits include the expansion of course offerings and learning materials, improved accessibility, increased student engagement, and improved instruction models that accelerate learning.

With computers advancing quickly in the world of learning, and gaining traction in settings as early as elementary school, there’s no doubt that the future of education and computer technology go hand-in-hand. Anywhere technology has gained a foothold, however, it is expected that the need for IT departments, maintenance budgets, and enhanced cybersecurity measures will also need to keep up. It’s important that — as educational establishments adopt computer tech — they turn to reliable, secure, and long-lasting technology. This is why enterprise computers, favored for their robust features, are taking off in the education sector.

Enterprise Computers Offer the Best Return On Investment

Technology is not simply persevering, it’s thriving in institutions of education. Unfortunately, a major sticking point when it comes to deploying computers throughout a school is the return on investment (ROI). Will the computers be worth the price tag or will the maintenance and replacement expenses be more trouble than it’s all worth? This is a legitimate concern when introducing new technology to any institution.

Evaluating Your ROI

Some key items to consider when selecting computers include the life cycle of the products you’re considering and the total cost of ownership. The average lifespan of a consumer-grade computer is about 4.6 years when it is in use under 50% of the time. Take into account the initial purchase price, software upgrades, and IT costs, and a single well-managed PC can run costs up to $3,400 per year while a poorly-managed PC can cost up to $5,800 per year. On top of that, standard computer manufacturers who update their models every 10-18 months leave their consumers no choice but to upgrade their hardware more frequently. When you need to work within a budget, you can’t afford to be upgrading and replacing computers constantly. 

Because all-in-one enterprise PCs are built to last, their average lifespan is about 5.7 years when under continuous use. Under less day-to-day strain, it makes more sense to measure their lifetime in hours, around 50,000 to be more precise. Already, the repair and replacement costs are dramatically lowered because their components are intentionally durable. In addition to that, these PCs also exhibit waterproof casings, ID verification attachments, secure VESA wall mounts, and other useful features that are perfect for bustling school settings. 

Well-Built Parts Mean Fewer Breakdowns 

Imagine any trade school where learning is meant to be hands-on. Computers are likely to be exposed to varying degrees of dust, unreliable room temperatures, and are also more susceptible to unaware students and wayward tools. It’s certainly worth noting that, in addition to their longer life cycle, enterprise computers are built with industrial-grade components.

Features like the chemically-hardened touch glass protect the screen from impacts that would destroy a consumer-grade PC. They are also rated for temperatures as low as 32℉ (0℃) and as high as 110℉ (40℃). Fanless designs are another major advantage. Computers that use a fan as their cooling mechanism inevitably pull dust, debris, and other particulates from the workspace which clog up the inner workings of the PC. This has been the relentless source of equipment failures in learning environments that mix heavy machinery and computers. In a hands-on space, enterprise computers are the natural choice.

In-Person Learning Demands Disinfection Protocols

Schools across the country have been incorporating computer learning into their teaching methods for years. While some schools have adopted a fully online education model, most retain in-person learning. It’s well known that germs spread quickly and easily in highly populated settings like schools, so commonly used surfaces need to be cleaned regularly to quell the spread of illness. 

There is a considerable advantage to schools that adopt enterprise computers because of technical certifications like Ingress Protection (IP) which protects tech from the entrance of dust or water to some degree. Enterprise PCs have an IP65 rating which offers complete protection to the device and all its parts. For schools, this means protection from accidental spills, worry-free disinfecting, and a layer of assurance should fire sprinklers ever deploy over the computer lab.

Authenticating Computer-Based Student Testing

In-person learning is no longer a strictly pen and paper experience. For years, educational institutions have been gradually integrating computer-based and web-based learning and testing. In some ways it has been to gauge the effect on test scores and in others it has been to simplify the exam submission and grading process. 

As with any form of testing, there must always be some precaution against cheating. Ideally, computers should have a privacy screen which restricts the view of the screen to the user directly in front of it. Additional tools like student ID card readers can also be used to authenticate a student’s identity before they begin their exam. Fortunately, business PCs are customizable in all the right ways for a use-case such as this. Privacy screens can be built right in and each unit features numerous ports for add-ons like Magnetic Strip Readers, RFID scanners, or Smart Card readers. 

Redesigning High-Tech Classrooms

One of the biggest issues with school computer labs or classrooms with integrated computer technology has always been the room layout. Most layouts are fixed and are nearly impossible to rearrange for better space usability or for dynamic group exercises. The more we know about how students learn and which teaching methods are most effective, the more we discover that diverse education methods are key to academic success. The ability to use the classroom to its full potential should remain a possibility regardless of the tech installations within the space.

All-in-one VESA Mount Computers are quickly eliminating the need for computer towers and restoring lost desktop space thanks to their slim design and articulating wall-mount solutions. Imagine a tech integrated classroom with traditional desks and adjustable wall-mounted PCs. Alternatively, imagine a safer computer lab without the clutter of computer towers and unnecessary cables. Customizability is a realistic option if you’re looking for equipment that is designed to be as versatile as possible. 

Closing Thoughts

With the use of computer technology growing by leaps and bounds over increasingly smaller spans of time, it is important to anticipate the future of education and the role technology will play. 

We’ve seen that enterprise computers are not just for office space, they are a logical choice for busy and unpredictable environments like schools. Take into account the durability of their hardware, their long life cycle, and the space recovery afforded by VESA wall mounts, and it’s easy to see how cost effective such an investment would be.

Adopting the right technology in your school is crucial for establishing a strong foundation and minimizing your total cost of ownership. If you’d like to learn more about enterprise computers and discover ways to implement them in your classrooms, contact a Cybernet expert today.