Dreaming of new devices or tools for your students, but your school doesn't have the budget? You're not alone. Even with edtech spending in most schools increasing, it's not always easy to secure the funds you need for your individual classroom needs. Here are three tips to help you find additional funding for edtech.
1. Apply for project support on sites like Donors Choose and Digital Wish. The application process is typically straightforward and not all that time-consuming. It's a bit like writing a lesson plan: Start with your goals and then outline your strategies for reaching them. We've put together an example that just so happens to be focused on our new Digital Citizenship iBooks Textbooks, which are free to download until September 30, 2016, and then available for purchase.
Once you've submitted your project, be sure to share it with your students' families. While many families will not be able to support the project due to their own limited finances, it never hurts to ask! (So long as you make it clear that giving is voluntary, that is.)
2. If you have more time, you can search for grant opportunities that align with your needs. Start with your school or district's foundation, if you have one. You can also look online. One site that caters to teachers is Teachers Count. For a great list of grant-writing how-tos for educators and other sites that offer a clearinghouse of both private and government grants, click here.
3. This may be an obvious one, but don't assume that your school budget is tapped out, even if you've been told that "the school has no money." Especially if your project budget isn't too high, your principal may be able to find the funds through school-based efforts (bake sales!) to support your project. You just have to make the case. Like writing up a project for Donors Choose, share your needs and goals with your principal and IT director.
If you have other ideas, share them in the comments!