Much like a number of my suggestions, schools really need to stop thinking like individual little fiefdoms and harness the idea of grouping together to get better value for products. Technology is another such area.
I have often said that in terms of technology, schools are like snowflakes in that no two schools have the same ICT infrastructure. To me, this reeks of a failure of strategy that dates all the way back to 1997 when technology was first put on the agenda by the government. Several road maps later, we are no nearer to a solution.
However, one solution is to start thinking about a centralised ordering system for any hardware. It seems senseless for my school to order an Interactive Whiteboard from a company in Dublin and a school up the road to be ordering the same brand from a company in Cork. Really, we should be ordering through our local education centre and they would tender out who would be the preferred supplier for a region.
Not only would this make things cheaper for schools, there are great possibilities that many schools would start having similar set ups and begin to be able to work more collaboratively with each other.