New education standards are going into effect this fall as part of the Common Core initiative. The push is centered around math, language arts and literacy and is aimed to ensure that students are better prepared for higher education and life beyond elementary and high school classes.
To remain in step with the new standards, a number of institutions have contemplated upgrades to their technology infrastructures, including providing classroom computers and other connected systems for educator and student use. However, the first step for many administrators and teachers on this road is obtaining the proper financial resources to support such a project. To help in these efforts, here a few tips to securing funding for classroom technology:
1) Know where to look
There are a number of sources that educators and administrators can look to in order to provide capital for classroom technology, including programs for donations and grants. One such resource is the Children’s Internet Protection Act, which enables schools to benefit from connectivity financial support with the installation of network monitoring to ensure young users are prevented from accessing inappropriate online content. Another initiative is the Technology Donors Program, which connects teachers and administrators with potential donors. Other sources to look into include Computers for Learning, Computers Recycling Center, Digital Wish Grants, the Corning Incorporated Foundation and the Funding Factory.
2) Apply for grants
Once those included in the funding project have discovered possible sources of funding, it’s time to apply for the capital and show the donors or grant organization the school’s interest. However, grant applications can be somewhat of a difficult process, and must include certain content to ensure they stand out from the pile. Experts suggest including a plan for the project with a set of goals the institution hopes to reach and the steps decision makers will take to achieve these objectives. In addition, those applying should also cite as much information and statistics as possible. For example, note the number of students that will receive classroom computers and what activities they will utilize them for. Lastly, educators should not get discouraged if they don’t hear back immediately. Administrators should be patient and apply to as many grants as possible while they wait for responses.
3) Establish a website
In addition to approaching possible sources for funding, schools can also create their own website to help donors find them and publicize the page throughout the community and on social media. The site should include a clear explanation of what the institution is seeking, as well as what the new technology will be used for. Experts also suggest that educators think up a catchy title for the project to make the page more attractive. A photo of the students that will benefit from the classroom computers or other systems can help spur donations as well.
Furthermore, it’s always advantageous to start off on the right foot. Templates are available to help teachers establish the site, and many include a graphic illustrating the amount of funding achieved. Administrators and educators should come together and be the first group to make a contribution to the site, which will show potential donors a commitment to the project.