teachers-access-to-technology

Educational Technology Grants for Teachers

The Comprehensive 2016 Resource to Teacher and Classroom Technology Grants.

Effects of Disparities in Technology Access on Classroom Instruction
What teachers say about the educational technology they need in their classrooms to meet learner challenges in both low-poverty and high-poverty schools.

What are technology grants for teachers and why are they needed?

Simply put, education technology grants help put more hardware and software into classrooms to increase access, equity, and engagement. Why do we need them? If our children are to excel in a fast-changing, global society, we must harness the technology resources they need to function in a digital age. As former NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said, “If our children are to excel in a fast-changing, global society, we must harness the technology resources they need to function in a digital age. We must remember our commitment to their future as we set priorities and establish policies on their behalf.”

How does educational technology benefit students? An increasing amount of data suggests edtech makes instruction in diverse classrooms more effective and efficient. In a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of online and blended learning, SRI International found that it does raise achievement. One of the most significant benefits of technology in the classroom is that it brings lessons to life and increases engagement by bringing relevance, personalization, collaboration, and connected learning experiences to the learner. For disadvantaged learners, digital learning can be a much-needed bridge to equity. For at-risk learners, a 2014 report by the Stanford Center for Policy in Education (SCOPE) that reviewed 70 studies found that technology-based strategies can provide the support needed to help learners stay in school and succeed.

What do teachers say about educational technology in the classroom? A PBS Learning Media national survey of preK–12 teachers found that 91percent of teachers surveyed reported having access to computers in their classrooms, but only about one-in-five (22 percent) said they have the right level of technology.

Teachers Access to Technology
While teachers do have access to personal computers, the lack of the right amount of educational technology tools in classrooms is a concern. Source:PBS 2011

Why do teachers need technology grants? Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of teachers in the PBS study cited budget as the biggest barrier to accessing tech in the classroom. As much as teachers want and need educational technology in the classroom, lack of funding is the barrier. In low-income communities, this is an even greater challenge as 70 percent of teachers reported it as the greatest obstacle. This is the reason teachers are looking for funding outside school systems.

Helpful Resources and Where to Find Educational Technology Grants

Technology grants can be government-based and funded to support specific education laws, or privately funded by non-profits or business entities, like those that Apple sponsors. The way grants are structured, the amounts available, the specific deadlines, the time it takes to be notified of an award after application, and the number of people on grant application review committees vary widely, which is why it’s important to explore many different sources and to apply to multiple agencies.

Helpful Technology Grant Resources

As you begin your search, these free resources can provide the information you need to successfully find and apply for grants:

  • eSchool News online: An online monthly newspaper that contains an updated grants section.
  • GrantSAT—The Grant Proposal Self Assessment Tool: An instrument for evaluating the quality of proposals. It provides a number of assessment criteria for nine different aspects of a proposal (e.g., problem statement, budget, evaluation).
  • Instructional Technology Council: Searchable glossary of grant programs from the federal government funding programs and foundations that provide funding for distance learning.
  • Technology Grant News: Receive an electronic copy of Technology Grant News with live website links and the “Technology Resource News E-Bulletin” and a free Grant Index of your choice.
  • Twitter: Follow @winmoregrants

Specific Technology Grant Descriptions and Links

Databases

There are many easy-to-use databases to help you search for specific types of grants, or grants in your area:

Grants.gov

  • What is it: A unified site for interaction between grant applicants and the U.S. Federal agencies that manage grant funds.
  • Who needs it: For individuals or organizations who are looking for funding, including many for professional development. There are also links to non-federal grant programs on the site.
  • Why it works: One-stop site for government grants, large and small.
  • How to get it: Every grant has different criteria, so check listings for details.

GrantSelect

  • What is it: An online database of funding opportunities such as awards, fellowships, and grants (for programs, professional development, projects, planning, start-up costs, endowments, technical assistance, facilities and equipment, etc.).
  • Who needs it: The site has grant information for schools and school districts, non-profits, libraries, colleges and community colleges, and researchers.
  • Why it works: Provides links to government and private funders for a wide variety of projects. Funding opportunities range from pure research grants to arts programs, biomedical and health care research, community service programs, children and youth programs, K–12 education funding, international programs, and operating grants for non-profit organizations.
  • How to get it: Every grant has different criteria, so check listings for details.

GrantWatch

  • What is it: Search engine identifies grants for: universities, hospitals, government agencies, schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, research institutions, and some small businesses and individuals.
  • Who needs it: Any individual or entity looking for a highly detailed source.
  • Why it works: Easy to navigate with links by category in an easy-to-understand pick list.
  • How to get it: As with most other aggregated sites, check each grant for specific details.

GrantWrangler

  • What is it: Lists grants for teachers, school grants, and money for arts, history, mathematics, science, technology, literacy, and more.
  • Who needs it: Geared to funding for K–12 teachers and schools; makes it easier for educators, school libraries, and parents to find school funding.
  • Why it works: Good professional development listings and up-to-date information. Helps education foundations, community foundations, corporate foundations, and other grant-giving organizations more effectively promote funding to teachers and schools.
  • How to get it: Every grant has different criteria, so check listings for details.

Teachers Count

  • What is it: A wide variety of school and teacher grants are listed on this website. These grants award grants from $200 up to $10,000.
  • Who needs it: Educators looking to improve their lesson plans, gain new insight and ideas, or supply their students with new programs and technology should consider these grants.
  • Why it works: Teachers Count works as an education resource that aims to provide teachers with a list of grants that will suit their academic needs, so the list of grants available is diverse and frequently updated.
  • How to get it: Check each listing for application details and deadlines.

Single Foundation and Other Grant Sources

Best Buy

  • What is it: Best Buy provides various opportunities to give teens opportunities to develop tech skills. While they don’t directly provide technology in the classroom, they provide other opportunities worth exploring:
  • National Partnerships—Best Buy awards funding to strategic national non-profit partners that help further the goal of providing teens with the benefits of technology
  • Best Buy Teen Tech Centers—Best Buy provides teens a safe place to explore, collaborate, and play with technology to develop skills for future success.
  • Geek Squad Academy—Best Buy runs hands-on, interactive camps that help kids ages 10 to 18 understand the inner workings of technology.
  • Everyone On—Best Buy and Geek Squad partner with Everyone On to offer in-person digital literacy training in underserved communities nationwide, as well as free online digital literacy training.
  • Who needs it: Best Buy Teen Tech Centers in communities throughout the U.S. augment teens’ in-school experiences by providing them with access to technology and skill-building opportunities during their time outside of the classroom.
  • Why it works: Close-to-home opportunities for teens to obtain hands-on tech skills, and some programs provide money for purchase of Best Buy products.
  • How to get it: Program opportunities and deadlines vary; review the FAQ page for more detailed information and links.

Digital Wish

  • What is it: A way to win as many as 50 different grants for hardware and software.
  • Who needs it: Digital Wish is a public charity designed to help educators locate much-needed funding for technology.
  • Why it works: Regardless of whether you win one of these grants, your technology wish list will be posted publicly so that donors can make a contribution to your classroom. It’s basically a wedding registry for technology products! There’s a searchable library of grants, and a myriad of ideas for fundraising.
  • How to get it: Register your classroom and create a lesson plan to qualify to win. The deadline is ongoing, and grants are awarded on the 15th of every calendar month after the grant application deadline.

Computers for Learning

  • What is it: Computers For Learning gives classrooms computers and facilitates the transferring of computers from government agencies and the private sector to schools and educational non-profits.
  • Who needs it: In order to be eligible to receive computers, a school must be a K-12 public, private, home school, or parochial school.
  • Why it works: Provides equipment for those who need it and is a valuable recycling program.
  • How to get it: Deadline is rolling. See the site for applications and details or ask questions by email Computers.Learning@gsa.gov.

Corning Incorporated Foundation

  • What is it: The foundation supports grants for instructional technology for the classroom among a variety of other grants.
  • Who needs it: Corning Incorporated Foundation grants for local education programs reflect a strong commitment to ensuring an informed citizenry and a skilled workforce. To that end, Foundation funding tends to target innovative and collaborative projects that enhance the teaching and learning of science and math curricula with the goal of improving student outcomes.
  • Why it works: Corning Incorporated Foundation proactively acts as a champion for communities where the company has a business presence. In recent years, Corning Incorporated Foundation has made 150 grants annually, exclusive of the Employee Matching Gifts Program, which represents approximately $4.8 million awarded each year.
  • How to get it: Check out the website for full details, or ask questions by email: huthjm@corning.com.

Dollar General Grants

  • Back to School Grants: The Dollar General Back-to-School Grants provide funding to assist schools in meeting some of the financial challenges they face in implementing new programs, or purchasing new equipment, materials, or software for their school library or media center. Maximum grant amount is $5,000.
  • Deadline: May of each year to be announced August of each year
  • Youth Literacy Grants: The Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and non-profit organizations to help with the implementation or expansion of literacy programs for students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Maximum grant amount is $3,000.
  • Deadline: May of each year to be announced August of each year

Donors Choose

  • What is it: Donors Choose is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.
  • Who needs it: Teachers who need additional resources.
  • Why it works: These ideas become classroom realities when concerned individuals, called Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.
  • How to get it: Donors Choose is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. Deadlines are ongoing.

The Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED) 

  • What is it: Individual grants from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Who needs it: FRED programs are designated for rural communities, residents, and organizations in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Why it works: Provides needed funds for rural programs:$75,000+in college scholarships, $40,000 in grants to support rural schools, and $15,000 in grants for community development projects are provided every year.
  • How to get it: Program years run from October 1 to September 30. Check website for latest submission dates.

Intel Community Grants

  • What is it: Intel vigorously supports education through donations and grants for programs that advance science, math, and technology education, particularly for women and underserved populations.
  • Who needs it: Intel has a strong interest in supporting K–12 and higher education, and community programs that deliver the kind of educational opportunities that all students need to prepare themselves to succeed in the 21st century.
  • Why it works: Intel provides a variety of programs to support local schools, non-profits, and education. Intel also provides strategic grant support to initiatives that advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in communities where the company has a significant presence.
  • How to get it: Deadlines are ongoing and programs vary. Visit the site for details.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants

  • What is it: Awards from$2,000 to $5,000 for school and community groups to provide tools of all kinds to help educators and parent groups through challenging times while providing the greatest impact.
  • Who needs it: Schools and community groups are struggling to support the basic needs of their communities.
  • Why it works: Now in its tenth year of helping build better schools and communities, the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program has provided over $42 million to more than 9,600 schools across the country.
  • How to get it: The Spring 2016 cycle is now open. If 1,500 applications are received, Lowe’s reserves the right to close the cycle. If that happens, the “Apply Now” button will no longer appear on the website. You can see a sample successful grant application here.

Get Even More Information About Grants! And Don’t Forget To Share Resources.

Check out the 2016 Grants Guide: How and where to secure funding for STEM, EdTech, and Professional Development. The Guide includes tips on how to write a winning grant. Be sure to comment on this blog post, and add to our list of tips to help teachers so we can keep updating resources to support educators in growing professionally this year and every year.

Dr. Gregory Firn

Dr. Gregory Firn

Dr. Gregory Firn served as Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, and in several other educational leadership roles in Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington state, Nevada, and overseas. Grounded in the school effects research, Dr. Firn’s leadership resulted in school system improvement as measured by student achievement and performance results, increased parent, community, and school engagement, increased graduation rates and decreased student suspensions. A pioneer in digital conversion, he twice led system-wide digital transformation initiatives, including the design and implementation of robust human capital development programs. Dr. Firn earned his doctorate from Seattle Pacific University, where his research focused on learner-centered education.
Dr. Gregory Firn

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