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Back to School Grant Winners!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 10:05:56 AM Fri 10/10/2014

Congratulations to our latest grant winners!  Thank you all for your wonderful lesson plan contributions!

If you are interested in winning a grant through Digital Wish please submit an original lesson plan to our website.  The content of your lesson plan should be relevant to the grant award you are seeking - Elementary Science, Mobile Devices in the Classroom, Digital Technology and Cyber Safety and more.  Please see our grant opportunities here

Lindsay Foster Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety - September 09/30/2014
Maryann Kelly Digital Media in the Classroom - September 09/30/2014
Tina Burton-Crunk Digital Media in the Classroom - September 09/30/2014
Rosa Rodriguez Early Reading with Phonics 09/30/2014
Lynn Toumi Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety - August 08/31/2014


Hottest Digital Wish Programs!
Posted by Heather Chirtea at 02:07:29 PM Fri 10/03/2014

Here's a list of the most popular deals and programs running through Digital Wish right now. Feel free to circulate these around your school districts!

Trending Products:

  • New! Tablet Stage Stands for iPads and tablets - Turn your tablet into an interactive classroom! Use your tablet to deliver interactive presentations to your classroom. Adjustable tabs hold your tablet securely above the staging area, while a rotating arm allows you to position the tablet vertically or horizontally. Portable style also available starting at $89.
  • New HoverCam Solo 8 Document Camera $50 grants - At $349, the Solo 8 is the world's first SuperSpeed USB 3.0 document camera with 8MP resolution $50 Grants per camera are available.
  • Mobile Beacon 4G wireless device donations and low $10/month service. Get unlimited, high-speed 4G mobile broadband service and a choice of user-friendly devices that can support and expand your school's broadband access.
  • Blackmagic Cinema Camera comes with Donated SD Card - The Pocket Cinema Camera is one of the hottest-selling Super 16 digital cameras for professional level filmmaking. Now until November 15th, Digital Wish will donate a high speed SanDisk 32 GB memory card ($79 value) for each Cinema Camera you order.
  • HP color printer BOGO - Buy one, get one for $100! Choose from these three models, with two having Print from Anywhere wireless capability. These super fast printers are 50% more economical than laser printers.
  • Beginner's Yearbook and Photography Digital Camera Lab for $1,379. Save money and outfit your clubs with Tool Factory's Yearbook and Photography Digital Camera Lab. Get 6 Power Pro GE x400 bridge digital cameras for use in a wide range of photography settings.

Trending Programs:

  • Free Technology Adviser - We can often find discounts that schools can't get directly. If you are trying to find the best way to spend your budget to maximize your equipment, then let our nonprofit adviser help you. Give us a call at (866) 344-7758 or email info@digitalwish.org
  • Fundraisers for Classroom Technology - Starting a fundraiser on Digital Wish. Our fundraising tool helps you to organize a grassroots campaign locally and brings your needs to a wider audience. Even if you don't reach your goal, you'll still keep funds to put toward the items you need.
  • Lesson Plan Library - One of our most popular destinations on Digital Wish! Educators are always looking for great new lesson plan ideas and submitting their own to win grants. Over 4,000 teacher created plans.
  • Schools get 3X Equipment Up-Front with Leasing - Digital Wish now has leasing options available on classroom technology. Give us a call at (866) 344-7758 or email info@digitalwish.org to see a leasing option can help you secure your technology needs.
  • 24 no cost business and entrepreneurship courses from the HP LIFE Foundation. Course topics include finance, operations, marketing, communications, IT skills and social networking in seven languages. Earn certificates of completion, explore business issues. Students sign up here.
  • Finding Grants - Submit a lesson plan to qualify for 8 technology products next month and search for other grants that may fit your needs. Get more information here. See the list of current grant winners.
  • Recycle Forward - Get funds by recycling used ink cartridges and small tech equipment through the Recycle Forward and Cartridges for Kids program. Sign up and start collecting here.

HP LIFE - Free Courses!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 10:10:19 AM Fri 09/19/2014

Help your budding entrepreneurs get started with their small business dreams, thanks to the HP LIFE Foundation.

24 Business and Entrepreneurship courses - No cost, just sign up. Sign up for business and entrepreneurship training courses compliments of the HP LIFE Initiative. Students sign up and select from 24 one-hour courses in finance, operations,marketing, communications and social networking, in seven languages. Earn Certificates of completion, explore business issues, and join the global online community of more than 330,000 learners from 200 countries. Students sign up here

Course overview






Special topics


Basics of finance


Social media marketing


Maximizing capacity


Your target audience


Profit and loss


Unique value proposition


Managing contact information


Effective presentations


Finding funding


Selling online


Customer relationship management (CRM)


Business email


Cash flow


Setting prices


Hiring staff


Presenting data


Sales forecasting


Marketing benefits vs. features


Inventory management


Effective business websites




IT for business success



Social entrepreneurship


Energy efficiency: Do more for less


Effective leadership


Strategic planning

Download the HP Life Courses Flyer here.

Congratulations July Grant Winners!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 12:04:15 PM Fri 08/08/2014

Congratulations Grant Winners!  Here are the recipients of our July Grants:

Brynn Pendrak Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety - July 07/31/2014
Catherine Canter Elementary STEM Skills 07/31/2014
Cheri Lovett Digital Photography 07/31/2014


HoverCam and Digital Wish Award the Solo5 Document Camera
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 11:18:24 AM Fri 07/18/2014

Congratulations to Tonya Parham of Marion Middle School in Marion, Arkansas! Digital Wish and HoverCam are pleased to present Ms. Parham with a HoverCam Solo5 Document Camera http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=510DC. Tonya's lesson plan 'Cow Eye Dissection' is a wonderful addition to our lesson plan library.  Her lesson plan is a shining example of how to incorporate the use of technology into the classroom.  Please view the lesson plan at http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/disp_plan?id=7466

June Grant Recipients Announced
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 04:01:08 PM Thu 07/17/2014

Congratulations!  Thank you for your lesson plan submissions.  Digital Wish is looking forward to another great school year - keep creating those lesson plans cool

Ami Wicks Vocabulary and Humor for High School Students - June 06/30/2014
John Pruett Let's Get Podcasting with Video! Grant BONUS! B10 Camcorder & Podcasting Software 06/30/2014


May Grant Winners
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 03:55:44 PM Thu 07/17/2014

Congratulations!  Thank you all for your lesson plan submissions.  We hope everyone is enjoying their Summer break (though we're sure you're busy working on plans for the upcoming year) smiley  Here are our end of year grant winners!

Denise DeJuliannie Mobile Devices in the Classroom - May 05/31/2014
Sandy Melillo Vocabulary and Humor for High School Students - May 05/31/2014
Dani Hassforth Let's Get Podcasting! Grant - May 05/31/2014
Jaimie Crane 'Elements of Style' - Composition and Form 05/31/2014
Tonya Parham Document Camera Lesson Plan Ideas - 1 05/31/2014
Vivian Maguire Vocabulary and Humor for High School Students - May 05/31/2014

Visit our Grants Calendar now to view upcoming grant opportunities and deadlines http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/dw_grant_calendar

Leasing: Same Budget, More Equipment Up-Front
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 03:52:40 PM Thu 05/22/2014

Trying to figure out how to go 1:1 on scarce budgets? Try Leasing.
Digital Wish put one-to-one computing in 30 schools and experimented with every imaginable funding mechanism.  The biggest strides towards increasing technology came to those schools who adopted a leasing strategy. They were able to get as much as three times the equipment upfront, using their same annual budgets. How did they do it? Let’s break it down into simplest terms.

When a Lease Makes Sense
Technology is becoming an increasingly large budget item and many schools are avoiding huge upfront costs and adopting a leasing strategy. This allows schools to spread out the technology expenditure across the useful life of the equipment, making better use of limited budgets, and refreshing their equipment before it becomes obsolete.

When trying to decide whether to lease, consider how long your technology is expected to last. For non-1:1 schools, desktop devices can often last longer than the lease period and afterwards they can still be handed down to other grade levels. However, if you are working towards a 1:1 environment, remember that the devices will wear out much faster than stationary desktops, which means your equipment will need to be replaced faster.  There is often no hand-me-down value for 1:1 devices, because the equipment is largely worn out by the time the students finish with it. This means once the technology runs its life cycle in the 1:1 program, it will probably need to be disposed of, regardless of whether it still holds value on the fair market.

There are 2 types of leases, a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease and a $1 Buyout lease.

The $1 Buyout Lease
With a $1 Buyout lease you pay for the entire cost of the hardware over the lease term, and you own the equipment at the end of term.

Example: When financing a $300 device, with a 3-year $1 Buyout Lease you’ll spread the cost of that device out over 3 years via an annual or monthly payment schedule.

Now compare a $1 Buyout lease, versus an outright purchase of equipment.  With the lease, you can equip three times as many students with devices in the very first year, and spread the cost out over the 3-year term. This alone, may be enough for your school to tackle a 1:1 initiative now, instead of later.  

Decoding the Fair Market Value (FMV) Lease

With a FMV lease the school doesn't pay for the ownership of the device but only use of the equipment.

Example: That same $300 device will lose approximately $100 of equity each year.  If you are on a 2-year FMV lease you will only have paid about $200 for the device before you send it back. There are not disposal costs on worn out equipment.

A FMV lease can save a lot of money for a 1:1 program.  Since there is probably no hand-me-down value for 1:1 devices, a FMV lease provides an option to get rid of worn out equipment before problems arise.  It also means you can shorten the replacement cycle to 2-3 years, allowing you to replace the devices before they wear out. Then you can implement a Tech Refresh program and get new equipment again.

Add Software, PD and Installation to the Lease
Few schools are aware that you can add software, peripherals, telecom equipment, installation costs, warranties, freight, and even professional development into a single lease together with tablets and computers.  This allows schools to set up a single and predictable annual payment for most of their technology needs to match the school’s annual budget.

Options to Consider
Most terms are negotiable with a lease, so here are some options you will want to consider:

  • Term: Select a 2, 3, or 4-year term.  The longer the term, the lower the annual payment, and the more equipment you can get upfront with your same annual budget.

  • Tech Refresh: Consider the useful life of the equipment and how soon you want to replace it.  At the end of a lease, you can do a Tech Refresh and replace your equipment (often) at the same annual payment. 

  • Payment Plan: Many schools set up a one-time annual payment to simplify accounting, but a lease can be monthly, or any term to match the budget cycle.

  • Deferred Payments – Some lease options allow for the equipment to be delivered to your school well before your new fiscal budget starts, allowing schools to get the equipment ready prior to the next budget cycle.

  • End of Lease Options: At the end of the lease, you can upgrade your equipment, allow students to keep the equipment, or pass it down to lower grade levels. Some leases allow you to decide which equipment to keep and which to send back – so make sure to select options that best match your school’s technology plan.

  • $1 Buyout Option: This is ideal for high schools that lease devices for their 9th graders, and then gift the devices to the students upon graduation.  Not only will this save on disposal costs, but it also reduces breakage rates because students take better care of equipment that they know will be theirs. It’s also a fantastic graduation present!

School Hurdles
Leasing requires schools to step outside of their comfort zone of outright purchasing and consider an alternative financing strategy. We discovered it was common to find someone in the school administration who was against leasing “on principle”, so be prepared to ask hard questions like:

  • Why do you want to own technology that will be obsolete in 3 years?

  • Leasing IT equipment is a common practice in the business world, so why shouldn’t schools take advantage of the same benefits by spreading costs over multiple budget years, and upgrading equipment regularly.

  • Schools borrow money to buy busses and replace roofs, why not 1:1 equipment too?

  • Schools may already be leasing copiers and other large ticket items.  Is that working well for the school and taxpayers?

At the end of the day, it makes no material difference to students and teachers whether a device was leased or purchased.  They will still treat classroom technology as the school’s own. Leasing is not a panacea, but for many schools it can shorten the march towards 1:1 computing by even years.

If you need help sorting out the leasing options, the nonprofit Digital Wish has staff with hard-won expertise in 1:1 computing and can help answer your questions.

Contact us: info@digitalwish.org or (866) 344-7758.

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