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Another Successful Year in Nashua, NH for Digital Wish and Dell Powering the Possible
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 06:26:06 AM Wed 09/17/2014

Manchester Center, VT – September 15, 2014 - For the past six years, Digital Wish has been implementing one-computer-per-child programs in Vermont and New Hampshire schools, as well as teaching a turnkey Digital Citizenship program across the country.  As a non-profit on a mission to bring technology to American classrooms, the team just completed their 2013-2014 implementation in Nashua, NH, thanks to a grant from Dell’s Powering the Possible program. Trainers spent the past year delivering computers, weekly educator and student trainings, a complete IT curriculum, an after-school program, and support to another school in the Nashua, NH school district.  In addition, the Digital Citizenship training reached a major milestone by working with over 50 schools spanning Vermont, New Hampshire, California, and New Jersey. 

In the 1:1 programs, Digital Wish’s trainers modeled the entire process of technology adoption, and progressively reduced the initiative planning time from 18 months to just 4 weeks, saving schools tremendous amounts of time and money.  Both teachers and students report a wide range of gains including increased IT skills, collaboration, engagement in learning, technological proficiency, computer access, and dramatic improvements in the understanding of Internet safety issues.

Over the course of the 2013-2014 school year, Digital Wish trained 127 students and 15 educators, teaching a different element of IT integration including digital citizenship, digital presentation, and reliable research.  Students participated in a cyber-safety poster contest and created projects around the relevant curriculum topics.  An after-school game coding class further engaged students every week.

“It is truly incredible to see the advancements of students and educators when technology can be used as a tool to teach the curriculum,” said Eric Bird, Project Director for Digital Wish.  “We have entire classrooms of engaged, entertained, and motivated students, solving their own problems, thinking critically, and working collaboratively toward common goals.  They are receiving relevant 21st century skills that will help their future careers and the community as a whole.”

Digital Wish closed out the school year with a field trip to Nashua Dell to conduct employee interviews, participate in hands-on technology projects, and hear about career opportunities in the IT industry.  Major impact in this underserved school included 625 hours of educator training and 5,335 student hours spent learning from weekly technology lessons.

 

2013-2014 Nashua Data
113 students took this survey, both before and after Digital Wish's year-long computing program.  Participants were about half 4th graders and half 5th graders; and about half girls and half boys.  Technology training classes were taught in classes each week for 7 months. A trainer worked with the students and teachers once a week to teach Digital Wish’s IT curriculum. The curriculum covered six unique units on technology usage and practical implementation. You can download the complete report here.

 

Here are just a few gains from the survey:

  • Increased Usage - After the program, students used a computer every day in the classroom 30 times more than before.  Students who reported participating in 10 or more technology projects that required them to solve a problem, gather information, or draw a conclusion rose from 12% to 86%.
  • Increased Safe Usage - After the program, students rated themselves an average of 9 (on a scale of 1-10) or higher when they rated how well they could protect their personal information on the internet, treat other people with respect on the internet, and safely use the internet.  After the program, students rated themselves 8.5 or higher when asked how much they knew about what they legally can and cannot do on the internet, their rights on the internet, and their responsibilities on the internet.
  • Increasing IT Skills - Students rated themselves higher in every single technology skill after the program, and more than doubled their self-rating on how well they can use spreadsheets or Excel.  The percentage of students who said they were beginners on computers decreased from 11% to 4%, a near 300% drop.  The number of students who can figure out almost anything on their own while using a computer rose from 29% to 35.4%.
  • Increased Collaboration – Students collaborating with adults at least once a week while using technology rose from 46% to 94%.  The number of students who collaborated with other students at least once a week while using technology more than tripled.

 

Anecdotal Gains

In addition to the measurable improvements above, teachers and students provided anecdotes on their experiences:

Students were asked to share the most interesting or exciting thing they have done with a computer.

  • “I learned a new skill and that is researching faster than I did before and to do it correctly.”
  • “My favorite thing was that I could teach my parents to be safe on the internet.”

Students were challenged to tell their school principal anything about having technology in school.  Here are some direct quotes:

  • “School is absolutely nothing without the internet and technology.  It makes school work easier so you don't fail.  You can learn something new with the computer.”
  • “I would tell her that it’s better because it will be easy to do school work and every one would be happy.”
  • “Technology is great in school because it will prepare us for the future and we can now do special tests on the computer which means that we do not need to use papers and pencil as much and that means the environment is getting help.”

 

About Digital Wish

Learn more about Digital Wish's research and download more reports here:

At Digital Wish, teachers make technology wishes, and donors make those wishes come true with contributions, bringing technology to needy classrooms in all 50 states. Since August 2009, Digital Wish has granted over 30,000 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 64,000 teachers, and delivered over $14 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students. In research, Digital Wish secured over $1.6 million in funding to put computing programs into 50 schools, reducing the planning time for technology adoption from 18 months to just 4 weeks, and achieving measured gains in student engagement and 21st century skills. Read our research.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

24 Business and Entrepreneurship Courses - Free, just sign up
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 07:46:51 AM Sat 09/13/2014

Manchester, VT - September 12, 2014 - Whether you're a students, aspiring business owners, or small business, there are 24 free 1-hour courses in the HP Life series covering finance, operations, marketing, communications and social networking, in seven languages. Earn certificates of completion, get advice, and join the global online community of more than 330,000 learners from 200 countries. These 1-hour courses are ideal for after-school clubs, or to support curriculum.  In addition, any small business or entrepreneur can get start-up support, simply by signing up.

Sign up here: http://www.life-global.org/go/digitalwish

Print a Flyer: http://www.digitalwish.com/docs/HP_LIFE_flyer_Digital_Wish.pdf

Digital Wish has partnered in the HP LIFE e-Learning Campaign to help spread the word about the HP Life free training courses during this back-to-school season. For each person who signs up at this link, through October 31, HP will donate $1 to Digital Wish to support more free technology programs for schools!  Please have students sign up, and circulate to your network.

Contact Us:  Amanda Stevens, program coordinator, amanda@digitalwish.org, (802)375-6721.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Winners Announced for the Epic Yearbook Photo Contest
Posted by Heather Chirtea at 11:57:21 AM Fri 06/13/2014

Manchester, VT - June 13, 2014 - Digital Wish teamed up with Olympus, and Picaboo Yearbooks, to give away three Olympus digital yearbook cameras, as well as an iPad The winning school also received a class set of 30 free yearbooks. There were over 120 entries. Check out all the winners at this link.

Grand Prize: An iPad and an Olympus TOUGH TG-830 Digital Camera

HM- 8929_original-Smaller.jpg

 

Jaiden, Age 7, from LaCrescenta, CA

"Just after striking out her 3 batter, her teammates rushed her. You can just feel the emotion in this picture. Its a memory that will last forever, caught on film!"



2nd Place:  Free printed yearbooks for all yearbook club members (limit 30) and an Olympus TOUGH TG-830 Digital Camera

retrieve12.jpg

Dedication Delivers

Gina Shook, from Carlyle, IL

"Working both before and after school, this group of sophomores and seniors take their sport seriously. These high school cheerleaders have a combined experience of 36 years."

 

3rd Place:  An Olympus TOUGH TG-830 Digital Camera
retrieve3.jpg

Fall Sunset

Jackson, Age 14, from Manchester Center, VT

"Equinox red fire sunset."



Top honorable mention photos also received a Digital Camera Basics book.  Check out all the winners here: http://bit.ly/T8wc4E

About Digital Wish

At Digital Wish, teachers make technology wishes, and donors make those wishes come true with contributions, bringing technology to needy classrooms in all 50 states. Since August 2009, Digital Wish has granted over 30,000 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 62,000 teachers, and delivered over $13 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students. In research, Digital Wish secured over $1.2 million in stimulus funding to put 1:1 computing into 30 towns, reducing the planning time for technology adoption from 18 months to just 4 weeks, and achieving measured gains in student engagement and 21st century skills.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Win Olympus Digital Cameras and an iPad in the Epic Yearbook Photo Contest - Students and Teachers Can Enter
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 06:38:28 AM Thu 02/06/2014

Manchester, VT - February 6, 2014 - Digital Wish is running a yearbook photo contest and entries are due May 5, 2014, on Cinco de Mayo.  We’ve teamed up with Olympus, Picaboo Yearbooks, and a talented photographer from USA Today to give away three Olympus digital yearbook cameras, as well as an iPad. We are also giving one of the winners a class set of 30 free yearbooks. Just simply enter the contest by uploading your photo to our photo contest website. This contest marks the launch of a new partnership between Digital Wish and Picaboo Yearbooks to equip schools with the tools they need to design and print yearbooks for less. You design the yearbook, we print it, and any money you earn goes directly towards funding new classroom technology.  Sign up and get started.


Build Your Yearbook Online for Less

The setup is easy, the printing is inexpensive, and its a great way to fund for technology in the classroom. Yearbooks start at $8.49 dollars for the first 20 pages which also includes 4 free customizable pages per student and a free online version. The online editor uses simplified drag and drop technology, so even the youngest students can participate in capturing their memories. Its great for small rural schools because there is no minimum amount for orders, and there is only a 3-week printing turnaround.


Digital Wish’s blog has great primer on running a yearbook club in your school, as well as, tips for teaching graphic design. Its easy to stay ahead of the year-end rush with our step by step yearbook how-to guide.


“Our high school charges $55 for a yearbook and a lot of the students can’t even afford it. This is a fantastic way to save money, plus the students can learn about publishing and develop skills they will use later to find jobs.”


Contest Prizes

All prize winners will receive a special "Cinco de Mayo" surprise box.

  • Grand Prize: An iPad and an Olympus TOUGH TG-830 Digital Camera

  • 2nd Place: Free printed yearbooks for all yearbook club members (limit 30) and an Olympus TOUGH TG-830 Digital Camera

  • 3rd Place: An Olympus TOUGH TG-830 Digital Camera

  • Top Honorable Mention photos: A Digital Camera Basics book.


Enter the Contest

Please invite all your students and teachers to enter the Epic Yearbook Photo Contest here:

http://www.digitalwish.org/contest


Build Your Yearbook Online

Get started building your yearbook here:

http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/picaboo

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Free eBook Building Course - Get a free marketplace and deliver your lessons to iPads, Smartphones, and Tablets
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 05:38:38 PM Thu 11/14/2013

November 14, 2013, Manchester, VT - Join Digital Wish for our HP Catalyst Academy eBook Hack-a-thon course starting November 18, 2013 at 4 pm EST. Participants will attend a webinar on how to create an eBook with Digital Wish’s new software, eBuilder. Enroll in the HP Catalyst Academy course, qualify for badges, and receive a free eBuilder account. You’ll get a certificate of completion from HP Catalyst showing 8 hours of professional development training and a badge, upon completion. Participants will learn how easy it is to build an eBook and deliver it to any mobile tablet, iPad, or smart phone. Register for any or all of 4 different eBook building webinars, or watch the archives afterwards. Every enrollee receives a free eBuilder account.


The eBook Hack-a-thon course is comprised of four activities, and for each activity there is a scheduled webinar. The course takes about 8 hours to complete; however, if you don’t have the time, just sign up for any of the individual webinars here.  We’ll be archiving every webinar after it runs, so you can easily attend those webinars whenever your schedule allows, or catch the archive if you are too busy. Work at your own pace and collect your badge as soon as you complete each activity.


The Course

Each of the HP Catalyst Academy mini-courses are structured with 4 bite-sized activities.


Activity 1 - Build your first eBook - The live webinar is November 18 at 4pm EST, and it orients the participants on the basics of eBook building.


Activity 2 Outline your eBook - Attend the webinar on November 19th at 4pm EST. It really gets into the nuts and bolts of eBook building.Teachers should come prepared with a topic taken directly from the upcoming curriculum to use in building their first eBook. Together we’ll review the types of sources supported by the eBook tools, and target the most appropriate types of media and source documents to include.


Activities 3 and 4 - Collect & Construct, Manage Your Marketplace Join the webinar on November 22, 2013 at 4pm EST and participants will get advanced tips on eBook construction, as well as, inviting readers and writers to their marketplace.


Classroom Projects, Q & A - Anyone with extra questions can sign up for the webinar on November 25th at 4pm EST.  This will be an open forum on eBook building and we can review any topic.


Ease of Use

Don’t worry if you are a beginner computer user. The free eBook building software was built with novice computer users in mind. The Executive Director of Digital Wish, Heather Chirtea said, “Anybody can do this. its not just for the savvy teachers, we designed it for everyone. If you can drag-and-drop, you can build an eBook!”


Request Your Free eBook Software

Anyone can request a free teacher account by emailing Lauren Chaves at lauren@digitalwish.org.


Media Contact: Lauren Chaves, lauren@digitalwish.org

Digital Wish, PO Box 1072, Manchester Center, VT 05255

Telephone: (802) 375-6721

Website: http://www.digitalwish.org

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

iPads for iMusic Fundraiser Success!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 12:23:28 PM Tue 09/10/2013

Digital Wish Fundraiser Success Story


July 15th, 2013


Brian VandeWalle, Elementary Music Teacher, Texas 

Brian ran a technology fundraiser on Digital Wish and was able to meet 100% of his fundraising goal to purchase iPads for his music classroom. After 90 days and strong campaigning Brian was able to accomplish his objective and now we can share some tips from Brian that will help others also run a successful fundraiser. 

Identify Needs that will Enhance your Classroom.
After attending a teachers' conference where iPads were all the rage, Brian brought his own iPad into his music class to test it out with the kids. The students loved it. Brian realized that this new technology could get kids excited about learning. He saw that even kids who were normally disinterested in class became engaged when using the iPad. With the iPad he had access to many music education apps that motivated his students to explore music in exciting new ways. He also realized that the iPads were not just something that would be useful in the music room, but could be shared throughout other classrooms and subjects.


Digital Wish’s Fundraising Tool.
Brian’s school is classified as “high need” and he knew there was no money in the budget to buy iPads. After exploring some other fundraising websites he discovered that Digital Wish allowed him to raise money without any risk. If he failed to meet his goal he would still get whatever money he had been able to raise. This gave him the ability to set a high goal and obtain the money he needed for the iPads. With other sites he would have had to do a much smaller fundraiser because of the risk of not receiving any money if the goal was not met.

 

Spreading Awareness of the Fundraiser.
As soon as the fundraiser began Brian sent home letters to all the parents letting them know what he was trying to do. The key to running a successful fundraiser is constant communication with people to encourage them to donate. However, Brian noticed that only about 5% of the parents had participated. So, in order to drum up more participation, he explained to everyone at a PTA program night why he wanted the iPads and found out that part of the reason the participation was so low was that many parents were hesitant to use their credit cards online. After the program night, many parents donated money using checks or cash which Brian then donated for them.

 

Communicate Needs - Carefully and Often. Brian also realized after talking to his students, that many of the parents thought of the iPad as a gaming machine and were not interested in donating their money to purchasing them.  At another PTA program night, Brian gave a presentation showing a music video that the kids had made using an app on the iPad. He was able to show all the educational projects the students could tackle with the iPad, and many parents were able to see the device’s potential. His persistence in trying to get the message across to parents was key in being able to raise enough money to meet his goal. Without careful and constant communication potential donors were unable to understand the goal and they were reluctant to donate.


Keep Fundraiser Awareness High Until the Very End. Throughout the course of the fundraiser Brian kept a thermometer measuring the progress in his classroom. This raised student excitement and kept the goal fresh in students' minds, triggering them to remind their parents to donate. Two parents even approached the companies they work for and enrolled in their matching donation program. The corporations gave an equal donation to Brian’s classroom and doubled the impact of the parents' donation!


Wishes Granted and Fundraiser Goal Reached. In the end all of Brian’s hard work paid off and he was able to purchase iPads and an Apple TV.  Additionally, money that had not come in during the fundraiser was still donated afterwards and Brian has been able to purchase even more technology for the classroom. The kids were thrilled to start learning with the new iPads and even happier that they no longer had to share one iPad with the entire class. Brian said, “Digital Wish was a great site to use because I could create a risk-free fundraiser that was actually successful. With these new iPads I can speed up class and get more kids involved.”

Key Elements of Brian’s Success:
-Start a fundraiser on Digital Wish with a clear and well explained goal.
-Spread the word to parents and community members.
-Clearly explain and demonstrate the educational purposes to people.
-Let people know that they don’t have to donate online.
-Follow up with people about donating and thank them for their support.



For more information, contact Amanda Stevens, amanda@digitalwish.org, 802-375-6721.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Donated Brocade Mobility Wireless Equipment for Schools with 50% Free and Reduced Lunch
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 06:40:34 AM Tue 07/16/2013

July 15th, 2013, Manchester Center, VT – Qualified schools can receive up to 10 Brocade Mobility wireless LAN controllers and access points. Brocade has generously donated a selection of their Brocade wireless hardware products to Digital Wish and these donations are now available to schools. Even for small schools, wireless equipment can cost upwards of $30,000 but with Digital Wish’s donation program, hardware is provided for just a delivery fee. Schools that have 50% of students in the free and reduced lunch program can receive donated products like the Series 300 Access points, Series 5181 Outdoor access points, Series 7131 Access points, and RFS7000 LAN controller.  The street value of this equipment ranges between $265 to $5,500. See them here.


With this special offer schools can get 10 Brocade products per year. These products can also be used to expand the size of a Brocade wireless network. The products also feature automatic configuration meaning the access point will automatically download all configuration parameter and any necessary firmware updates. This greatly reduces installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting costs. There is also a built-in power supply that receives power and transfers data through a single CAT-5 Ethernet cable.


With a secure wireless network, you can provide building-wide access, or even remote access with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Plus, you can grant wireless network access to your administrators, teachers, students and guests; easily share printers, servers, intranets, and wireless applications; and take advantage of real-time web conferencing tools without slowing down your internet.


Brocade hardware can help address WiFi overload in high-use environments, like conference rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, and lobbies. When large numbers of devices try to simultaneously access your WiFi, Brocade’s tools monitor each session over the network, and adjust the network as needed to keep it running smoothly. Technology is a key part of a modern education.


Brocade also donated some of their high-performance controllers and access points for large scale schools. These devices support high bandwidth wireless networks and provide comprehensive, layered security (FIPS compliant).  The 50% free and reduced lunch qualification applies. gordon@digitalwish.org

 

About Digital Wish

At www.digitalwish.org, teachers make technology wishes, and donors make those wishes come true with contributions, bringing technology to needy classrooms in all 50 states. Since August 2009, Digital Wish has granted over 30,592 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 62,000 teachers, and delivered over $13 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students.


For more information, contact Amanda Stevens, amanda@digitalwish.org, 802-375-6721.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Student Understanding of Digital Citizenship Rises from 26% to 96% in Three Class Periods Using Digital Wish’s Turnkey Curriculum!
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 06:28:39 AM Fri 06/21/2013

June 20th, 2013, Manchester Center, VT - After implementation of the Digital Citizenship curriculum, students in Windham Central Supervisory Union and Nashua School District saw the percentage of their students who understood Digital Citizenship triple and quadruple. This turnkey curriculum includes lesson plans, printable worksheets, activities, and a poster contest. The program teaches students and teachers about internet safety, media resources, and media copyright. Rapid gains were measured after just 3-4 class periods, and afterwards many students even considered themselves experts. Read the research study.


We asked 463 students in the Nashua School District, “Do you know what being a good Digital Citizen means?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only one in four students could answer “Yes” before the course, but after the Digital Wish training, nearly all students understood what it means to be a good Digital Citizen.  “We saw incredible gains after just three class periods with the students in Nashua. Their understanding of Digital Citizenship translated immediately into safe practice.” said Eric Bird, the program director. Read the study.


 

The 139 students from Windham, Vermont reported parallel gains when they ran a 4-class period course, adding the production of student skits as a final demonstration of their new knowledge. There was a significant increase in their understanding of rights and responsibilities on the internet, protecting their personal information, and treating other people on the internet with respect.


Students’ willingness to practice Digital Citizenship, as well as encourage others to do so, also doubled. The skills students gain from this simple yet critical course provide an important foundation for a lifetime of technology usage.


Get the Curriculum

The Digital Citizenship curriculum is available for just $199 per school site license for the complete book / CD set.  It includes videos, classroom-ready activities, lesson plans, printable worksheets, and a poster contest.  

http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=6555


 

This Digital Citizenship curriculum is an important piece of Digital Wish’s School Modernization Initiative. For the past three years, Digital Wish has been studying the process of implementing one-computer-per-child programs in 28 schools. Digital Wish is an educational non-profit on a mission to bring technology to American classrooms in order to prepare students to thrive in the global economy. So far this initiative has had outstanding results with 73% of students finding school work more enjoyable and 85% producing better work.

 

About Digital Wish

At www.digitalwish.org, teachers make technology wishes, and donors make those wishes come true with contributions, bringing technology to needy classrooms in all 50 states. Since August 2009, Digital Wish has granted over 30,572 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 62,000 teachers, and delivered over $13 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students. For more information, contact Amanda Stevens, amanda@digitalwish.org, 802-375-6721

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, jon.gallup@digitalwish.org
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255-1072
(802) 375-6721 X-222

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