Regardless of your specific position in education, you may find it necessary at one point in your career to pursue funding for educational technology. While education technology is primarily funded at the state and federal level, there are multitudes of local grants you can apply for as well. You should carefully consider all possible funding sources when searching for money to pay for your newest classroom innovation.
FCC e-Rate Program– The e-Rate Program is offered by the FCC and provides discounted telecommunications and Internet services to school districts. Schools can receive up to ninety percent off regular fees, depending on the school’s level of poverty. If you’re a school administrator or influential decision maker when it comes to technology, this is the first resource you should examine in your quest for funding.
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers– This partnership provides additional grants that are designed to fund digital learning strategically. Available programs include the State Grant for Assistive Technology and several other specific, needs-based offerings.
Your state– Many states, including Maine, Delaware, and Idaho, have made sizeable commitments to boost connectivity in their school districts. As a result, state funding is available for many schools and individual educators. This funding can be used for devices as well as for professional development related to digital learning. It may not be offered in your state, but it’s worth checking as the application processes are usually relatively transparent.
Local organizations– Check with local organizations, such as investment firms, start-ups, and other technology-focused industries to see if they offer grants for educational technology. While these may be smaller than federal or state grants, they often provide a necessary jumpstart to the fundraising process.
Project-specific grants– You’re looking for broad-based funding for educational technology needs, this might not be the first place to go. However, if you are looking to finance a particular project, consider searching for direct funding. Several organizations host technology or device-specific grants, ostensibly to help promote the use of that technology. For example, the Formlabs Education Grant funds 3D printers in schools, while the Possibility Grant funds STEM-related equipment or technology.-
Databases– Numerous databases are available that will allow you to hone your search for specific terms. This is especially useful if you are looking for funding for a particular project, or want to narrow your search to a specific geographic area. GetEdFunding, GrantSelect, and Teachers Connect are all popular resources, hosting thousands of education, classroom, and teacher grants. These databases pull from federal, state, regional, and community sources, making them one-stop-shops fo grant writers.
Institute of Education Sciences– This independent research organization frequently funds research in education that addresses pressing classroom needs. Often, they finance projects that involve the development and integration of new educational technology at the K-12 level.
STEM grants– Most states are pushing to increase STEM education in local districts. As a result, there has been a drastic increase in the number of grants offered to foster STEM education. Check out the Toshiba America Foundation grant or EcoTech grants. These are especially significant if you plan on using your technology to influence cross-curricular learning in science or mathematics.
Industry partnerships– Multiple large corporations have launched grant initiatives to help advance technology in the classroom. Lockheed Martin, Google, Toshiba, and Siemens are just a few frontrunners in the race to advance classroom technology.
Charitable foundations– There are multiple charitable foundations and organizations whose sole purpose is to contribute to the spread of educational technology. Common organizations include Donors Choose, Class Wish, Adopt-a-Classroom, and The Barbara Bush Foundation.
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