Use Technology Every Day - 10 Tips

Increase the use of technology in daily classroom instruction. This means reviewing current technology available in your building and may mean adding more. Here are  10 practical approaches to consider:

1. Take a look at your current building budget for instruction. Consider buying devices so that you can replace textbooks with e-books.

Example

Lorain City Schools used general funds to update the computer labs and classroom computers.


2. Pursue local foundation or grant money to fund technology

Advice

Identify three technology efforts for the next two years for the district. Gather research to support any requests and write a rationale for why these are needed.

Writing the first grant proposal will take time. After that, it will take significantly less time to revise the proposal for other grant opportunities.

In some districts, IT or an assigned staff person writes, submits and monitors grants. In others, the PTA/PTO or community volunteers may do grant work. If your district doesn’t have a paid or volunteer grant writer, approach your mayor or non-profit leader with the creative idea to share a grant writer.

Examples

Forest Hills Foundation for Education funds extended hours in middle and high schools to use school technology.

Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation is comprised of local community members and business owners who hold various events, such as an annual “Evening of Excellence” dinner with silent auctions to raise money for various special projects.  The events are often focused on increasing technology in the schools. One year, there was a “Fund a Need” focus on tablet computers.

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools actively pursues partnerships such as with the City of Gahanna to utilize their existing fiber optic network to connect school buildings at a fraction of the cost of typical “leased fiber” yet still increase the connection 1000 times the original capacity.


3. Approach local business and professional groups to request donations for technology or to provide price discounts on devices.

Here are a few links that help direct you to your local chapters.

Kiwanis Ohio

Ohio Chamber of Commerce


4. Reach out to individual community professionals, such as engineers who may or may not have school-age students. Ask for contributions to purchase technology or a donation of time to help teachers use technology in classroom instruction.

Ohio Society of Professional Engineers

Ohio Association of Realtors

Contact also local businesses in these professions for donations to support school technology. Offer recognition for their contributions. Parents in your schools might be in these professions as well.


5. Develop policies to allow children to “bring your own device” (BYOD) supplied by families.

Examples

Lancaster High School

Pickerington High School

Reynoldsburg City Schools


6. Fund raise

PTA/PTO organizations raise significant dollars to buy things that the school budget cannot. Those contributing to school fund raising efforts want to see tangible ways that students will benefit directly from money raised. The sale of products means more when family and friends come into the school and see the results - technology in classrooms.

Web fund raising opportunities, such as Digital Wish, provide a ready platform to fund raise online.


7. Partner with local computer businesses or other businesses to provide refurbished laptops and reduced-price service plans.

Example

Oak Hills School District – Computer for Kids

Ohio EPA list.

http://www.connect2compete.org/

http://www.goodpc.com   This is a division of Redemtech, a Hilliard, Ohio-based company: 

http://www.redemtech.com/

Microsoft has a site of authorized refurbishers:

http://www.microsoft.com/refurbishedpcs/buy.aspx

Apple has a site with refurbished products:

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals


8. Use the federal E-Rate program to provide affordable access to modern communications and information services.

All K-12 schools and public libraries are eligible for E-Rate for affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services. Visit this website to apply for annual discounts ranging from 20 to 90 percent on services and equipment. To ensure you receive the most up-to-date E-Rate information, subscribe to the E-Rate Announcement List by sending an email to join-erate@list.em.ohio.gov.

Example

Lorain City Schools used E-Rate to offset the fiber ring and wireless saturation projects.


9. Extend the time your school building is open and/or identify other community locations where students without technology at home can use technology for homework and other learning.

Forest Hills School District - Nagel Middle School and Anderson and Turpin High Schools offers a 24/7 program that extends access to technology two days a week for students. Teacher support and student transportation is provided.
 
Local libraries offer computer rooms with library staff to assist students in using technology.

10. Recruit technology savvy students in your building to help teachers, students and parents use technology. They can help find creative, new technology to use in classroom. Call them your e-learning consultants.

Examples

National Trail Local Schools turned a traditional computer class into an A+ Hardware class and increased inventory from 150 PCs to 700 PCs by building them from parts in class as well as refurbishing through a Wright Patterson program. Students maintain all PCs, projectors, printers and digital whiteboards through class projects, blended learning videos and peer leading.
 
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools capitalized on a high school technology class that covered computer repair and basic networking. The top students in that class were offered the opportunity to skip study halls to work as technology support staff, responding to basic helpdesk tickets. Those particularly skilled also were offered paid positions during the summer to support all the summer technology implementation and support projects.
 
Reynoldsburg High School offers an internship program. Students learn to reprogram computers, take eqiupment inventory and connect laptops to the districts's network. They toubleshoot computer problems during the school year.
 
New Albany students help build computers, create websites and established a job-ticket system for data requests.
 
Upper Arlington School district also pays high school students to set up computers over the summer.

Last Modified: 8/7/2013 1:56:11 PM