TechRent Model is Student Savior, Improves Access to Education Technology

June 1st, 2011

Technology has the power to change the way we teach and learn, but only when students and teachers are given access. We've talked previously about iPads in Elementary schools and Chromebooks challenging tablets for a slice of the education technology pie, but the challenge of funding new technology products and services for both schools and individual students remains a significant roadblock. Fortunately, one California University has created a program that gives students and professors the option of renting the latest educational tech gadgets and gear to coincide with specific course work. Students who may need an expensive HD camera, software or some other device for a class are no longer forced to shell out full price for educational technology items they may only use temporarily. With astronomical tuition prices, the “TechRent” program is being welcomed for the financial reprieve it provides. An article on explains the Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) TechRent program more fully here, You Can Rent It:
More than a traditional equipment check-out service, TechRent is an innovative program that makes technology affordable for CSUMB's 4,800 students. TechRent offers flexible terms that let students keep devices for a day, week, month or semester. Students may even choose to purchase a rented device by applying their rental fees toward the item's cost.
Aside from simply making educational technology more affordable to students, the article highlights several other benefits that the TechRent program provides.
  • Allows professors to be more experimental knowing the technology will be available
  • Better gear to work with means better quality work from students and higher expectations from faculty
  • Brings awareness of new technologies to a greater population
  • Source of ongoing revenue for the university ($14,295 since it started)
  • Saved students a total of $66,575 vs. buying the technology new
  • Manufacturers got involved by loaning products and offering trainings
  • One of the TechRent offerings is the IOGEAR Phaser Presenter (clearly, they know quality)
Many students work multiple jobs or accept mountains of debt for the opportunity to receive a college education. While most colleges and universities take some effort to keep student expenses in check, few initiatives actually inspire students to try new coursework or professors to explore more advanced materials. As for the future of TechRent, Cal State Monterey Bay wants to make the service as ubiquitous as the school library, newspaper and student activity center, growing it into the school's culture. It's even considering an expansion to include other locations near area schools to bring education technology rentals to non-Otters (CSUMB mascot). We'd definitely be interested in expanding our involvement in this program, but curious what educators and students see as valuable classroom technology items? With greater understanding, KVM products could become a great resource as the demand for content sharing and access increases and new limits are pushed. We've included a KVM Switch along with some additional suggestions below, please chime in with your favorite or suggest your own in the comments. Please join the community and offer suggestions on our Facebook wall or via Twitter as well.

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.