Yesterday’s post concerned time: today’s post is all about…you guessed it…money.
And boy oh boy is this a touchy subject.
Let’s let go of the trope that teachers get summers’ off and don’t make enough and-and-and…I’m just looking at the nickel-and-dime new microtransaction model of economics. “What’s a ‘microtransaction‘?”, You innocently ask. You know those times you’re playing Candy Crush, and to unlock the next level you need to spend .99, easily done from your PayPal account to the finer purveyors of CC, and voila! Your level is unlocked. Or, instead of simply spending $99 to buy Microsoft Office, and then upgrade every few years, it’s on a subscription fee basis, so you end up spending a little every month, but much, much more over the life of the software.
- Prezi: $20/month, $240 year
- Animoto $200
- VideoScribe subscription: $144
- WordPress subscription for fan-fiction blog: $99
- Screencast-O-Matic upgrade: $96
- Thinglink subscription: $120
- Evernote subscription $50 (personal sanity)
- Edublog upgrades for class blogs:
- Doughnuts for class prizes spent this year so far: $120
- Supplies for projects: $100
- Special prizes for writing contest $200
- New classroom books: $400
- Graphics Fairy subscription $72 year
- Misc. apps $50
- Teachers Pay Teachers misc: $60
- Subtotal for doughnuts and art: $1002
I hope my husband doesn’t read this.
As much as I enjoyed Leslie Fisher’s gadget roadshow at the NCCE, many of the things she discussed cost cold, hard cash.There was one gadget, a wireless document camera, and that was ‘on sale’ for $154. Yeah, not going to happen.
This is quite a revelation to myself, and I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not the only one who does this, one who loves the ‘new shiny first-adapter’ feeling, that ‘new tech’ smell that comes from the promise and hope of new, engaging means of delivering instruction. And that doesn’t take into account the time to learn the software, collect sprites,* storyboard, edit, etc. I have no idea what the costs are for Comcast, printer ink, web hosting, etc. I can rationalize most of these purchases, and therein lies the rub. I am masterful at rationalization and need to flip this skill with penny-pinching miserly ways. Somehow other teachers muddle through without Animoto or VideoScribe presentations.
So now that I know the numbers, what’s my plan? What am I going to jettison off this money boat to keep it afloat? Probably VideoScribe and Animoto, and will not renew those subscriptions. I have one year, and then if I don’t see amazing results or enjoy using them, they’re gone. Prezi is too damn expensive for teachers, but I’ll probably keep that one. Thinglink is super fun, and I’ve just begun to tap into those possibilities.
As I look at my grey hairs and neglected haircut, my shabby couch and dingy bathroom, and unpurchased plane tickets to destinations of home and love, it’s time to seriously rethink how I spend our money. And word to these educator tech companies: please stop trying to make money off of teachers. I’m spent.
And no more doughnuts.
*I’m calling anything that is collected or curated a sprite from now on.