14 Jun 2021

Tip Sheet: Adapting to Limited Supply of Student Devices

Navigating the sea of supply and demand can be treacherous during bad conditions. And, the current backlog of laptops and Chromebooks is not clearing up anytime soon.  

Here are 6 tips to help you avoid running aground while still sailing toward your destination.


1. 
Ignore False Promises
No reseller or vendor has access to a secret stash of computers. Every device being received is tied to an existing customer order. Some schools are placing orders based on verbal assurances from some resellers that devices can be delivered in 6-8 weeks. Given current demand and production, a more honest and practical timeline is 10-12 weeks. Have an honest conversation with your vendor to set expectations before you place an order so you can plan accordingly.


2.
 Stay in Line
If you have already placed an order, stick with it. The allure of shaving a couple of weeks off your delivery date is enticing; however, you will just end up at the back of someone else’s line.


3. 
Beware of Price Gouging
Desperate times bring the rats out of the bilge. Some companies are offering gray market and used devices at 200% of the going rate. Schools desperate for devices might see this as a viable short-term solution, but long-term it will cost even more money and create many headaches.


4. Consider Alternatives to Laptops
Desktop computers and Chromebox desktops are still available. For non-hybrid learning environments like in-school classes or 100% distance learning, these devices can save the day.


5. Re-evaluate Who Needs Computers
Free up hundreds or thousands of devices for redeployment to other grades or schools. Instead of implementing a 1:1 take-home program across a district, reach out to families and identify children that can use an existing home computer.


6. Bring New Life to Older Machines

Supplement your current Chromebooks with converted computers. Many schools that switched to Chromebooks have older PCs that are not being used. Neverware software allows any desktop or laptop to begin a new journey as a Chrome device.