Many teachers would love to have iPads/iPods in their classroom. All the teachers I know would love to have happy, engaged students every day. When asked what the greatest obstacle to having these devices in the hands of students, many teachers will say the expense of acquiring the tools stands in their way. Mrs. Garrett has received iPods through the process of winning grants through Donors Choose!
I asked Shelley how she was able to win these grants and employ the iPods in her classroom. She said she started with small grants with Donors Choose. She loves art and in giving her students the ability to create. She proposed a $280 grant for tools during one summer. People she didn’t know donated and she was able to get the materials before school started. It was by writing several small grants through Donors Choose that she was able to build enough points to request an iPad this year through the Chevron Fuel Your School Grant. The rest of her team requested iPod Touches and won as well! Many of her grant projects were funded through strangers. The key is attracting those Donors by having a specialized goal for the materials in a specific area, for example STEM, PE, or the Arts.
Today, the students use the iOS devices to practice the week’s spelling words and enrich their understanding of the Common Core through other “apptivities”. Mrs. Garrett writes the apps to be used in the center for the day on the board and the students make sure and spend their time in the learning station using those apps. She can also use these learning games as an incentive for students who finish their work or need a different approach to differentiate their learning. She has found apps for free using the app “Apps Gone Free” Some of the Apps that Shelley Garrett is using with her class include:
· Sakura Quick Math
· McGraw-Hill Apps
· Word Bingo
· Math Bingo
Our district has PD courses that teach how to use the iOS in Teaching and Learning. The ProLearning website also offers some great resources on grant writing and current available grants. Remember, if you want to make technology happen in your classroom and would like help preparing a grant proposal, be sure to contact your Ed Tech! We'd love to help!