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Hillsboro School District Uses Mobile Beacon Hotspot Donations for Students in Need
Posted by Gordon Woodrow at 04:16:37 PM Tue 02/28/2017

The Hillsboro Independent School District serves a diverse student population in the heart of rural Texas. After instituting a one-to-one technology program at the local high school for all freshmen through junior students, teachers began to realize that not everyone had internet access at home. To prevent any student from falling behind, Hillsboro High School developed a solution. A hotspot lending library was created for students to bring the internet home by checking out mobile hotspots. To help implement they turned to Mobile Beacon’s donation program with Digital Wish.

Hillsboro Hotspot Lending Program

Hillsboro Hotspot Lending Program

Each day students without home internet access are able to check out a hotspot to complete their homework, access their Google classroom, browse the web and communicate with friends. The high school currently has 20 devices available for checkout with usually between 16 and 18 devices loaned daily. The school requires that students complete a digital citizenship course to learn about how to use the internet appropriately before they check out a device, and only students without home internet access are eligible.

“Our kids love having the devices,” said Jo Hayes, a Hillsboro High School administrator. “The feedback [from the students] is that they are just very grateful they have the internet at home. The hotspots help students do their work and they can be a normal teenager.”

A few departments at the high school have hotspots that they use for afterschool activities. The athletic department, for example, takes the hotspots on the bus when they have to travel for games for students to complete their homework. Up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices can connect to one hotspot so a few hotspots can handle a bus load of students.

The Hillsboro Independent School District also provides Mobile Beacon hotspots for their teachers at the elementary school. The rural district struggles with reliable access to the internet, and many teachers experience unreliable internet at home. They are able to bring the hotspots home to review homework assignments and complete lesson plans.

Mobile Beacon hotspot

Mobile Beacon hotspot

Providing and utilizing hotspots is not a new concept to the Hillsboro Independent School District. Prior to discovering the Mobile Beacon donation program with Digital Wish, the school was paying $566 a month for only 14 devices, which was grant funded. As the grant period was coming to an end the district realized they could not afford to keep the hotspots, but also couldn’t afford to not offer the popular program. They discovered the Digital Wish donation program and Mobile Beacon’s unlimited 4G LTE service for $10/month. The district is now saving over 75% with Mobile Beacon’s service and the Digital Wish hotspot program. “If it weren’t for Digital Wish and Mobile Beacon we could not have continued the program because those kinds of funds just aren’t available,” said Sheila Bowman, Executive Director of Innovative Learning, “You have allowed us to continue our program.”

Looking to start a hotspot lending program at your school? The partnership between Mobile Beacon and Digital Wish provides affordable solutions. Please visit Mobile Beacon’s Digital Wish donation program to learn more.

 

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

New Digital Wish Grants Available
Posted by Gordon Woodrow at 04:30:59 PM Mon 02/27/2017

We have several new active Digital Wish GRANTS available for Digital Wish members. To apply, just submit an original lesson plan to our free shared Lesson Plan Library and you could be awarded one of the grants. Awards include document camera, modular robotics, digital citizenship turnkey curriculum packages and wi-fi mobile hotspots with a one year internet subscription to Mobile Beacon's unlimited 4G service plan. See the grants here:http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/dw_grant_calendar

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

Fall Grants Awarded!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 06:13:30 PM Thu 03/24/2016

 

 


Digital Wish Grant Winners

 


Winner


Grant


Date

     


Nicole Schichtel


Digital Citizenship for Middle School - November


11/30/2015


Christina Bolden


Digital Discoveries with a Document Camera


10/31/2015


Stacy Walther


Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety - September


09/30/2015


Tricia Frechette


Vocabulary and Humor for High School Students - September


09/30/2015


Melyssa Thompson


Classroom Inclusion - Autism & Special Needs In the Real World


09/30/2015

 

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

Summer Grant Recipients!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 05:01:05 PM Tue 10/06/2015


Thank you all for your wonderful lesson plans.  Keep our library growing; contribute an interactive lesson plan for an opportunity to increase your Cash on Hand here at Digital Wish!

Digital Wish Grant Winners

Winner

Grant

Date

     

Joy Washington

Vocabulary and Humor for High School Students - August

08/31/2015

Kelly Cummings

Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety - August

08/31/2015

Linda Heuer

Let's Get Podcasting - August

08/31/2015

Jamie Senese

Collaborative Writing and Debating - August

08/31/2015

Annette Yono

Digital Citizenship for Middle School

07/31/2015

Jodie Lujan

Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety - June

06/30/2015

Paula Schlueter

Matific - Math Apps: Immersive bite-sized apps for tablets and personal computers (May)

05/31/2015

Brandi Bass

Mobile Devices in the Classroom - April

04/30/2015

renee carr

Autism Awareness Month

04/30/2015

Faiza Khalid

Matific - Math Apps: Immersive bite-sized apps for tablets and personal computers April

04/30/2015

 


 

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

One to One Computing Support Grant - Apply for Summer 2015
Posted by Gordon Woodrow at 07:42:03 PM Fri 06/26/2015

One-to-One Computing, $4,500 Support Grant – APPLY NOW

Digital Wish is offering technical support grants to schools needing assistance with planning a one to one computing program in their elementary or middle schools. Our 1:1 experts will select schools to assist throughout the summer so don’t wait to apply. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through the summer months – the most important time for preparing a 1:1 program.

Digital Wish has implemented 1:1 computing programs in 28 schools -developing expertise, evaluation tools and sustainability tools that can help get your program off the ground.  Our experts will work with your team to discuss your technology plan, equipment needs, budgeting and financing options, curriculum implementation, training, technical needs and longer-term sustainability planning.  You’ll come away with a solid budgeting and implementation plan, turnkey standards based IT curriculum and training, possible grant opportunities, financing options and an action plan for sustaining your program.

The grant award includes:

  • 10 hours of technical support to evaluate and help develop a 1:1 program ($2,000 value)
  • Sustainability Action Plan Tool ($99 value)
  • Video conference with one of our 1:1 trainers ($175 value)
  • Free grant search using GrantStation ($249 value)
  • Digital Wish’s Complete IT Curriculum Package (Grades 3-6) ($2,000 value)
  • Digital Citizenship for Middle Schools Curriculum ($299 value)
  • Discounts for on-site Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety training.

Schools interested in starting a pilot 1:1 program are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.   Contact [email protected] for more information.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

Dell Giving – School Modernization Initiative 2014-2015
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 05:28:05 PM Wed 06/03/2015

Nashua elementary students got a taste for careers in software and technology after a community partnership provided the funding and tools to help them design video games, create stop-animation shorts and write a podcast.

The training was organized through the Nashua School District’s partnership with Dell in Nashua and Digital Wish, a Vermont-based nonprofit company that supports technology in schools.

Read the full article at https://digitalwishes.wordpress.com/grants/dell-giving-school-modernization-initiative-2014-2015/

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

Student Showcase at Dell
Posted by Heather Chirtea at 04:33:12 PM Thu 05/21/2015

Event on May 27th, 10:00 AM- 11:00 AM

Mt. Pleasant Elementary School was awarded a technology grant by Digital Wish and Dell.  The 5th grade students will display their projects and demonstrate the technology skills that they have acquired as a result of the weekly program. 

We've invited: New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, NH Senator Jeanne Shaheen and NH Senator Kelly Ayotte, Press and Media, Nashua School District officials and administrators, Digital Wish personnel, national and local Dell executives and employees, and the Mt. Pleasant 5th grade students and teachers.

Here is some great data on the program!

Dell and Digital Wish Work Together to Bring Measured Improvements in Technology Skills to Students in Nashua's Underserved Communities
 
Digital Wish’s continued partnership with Dell is helping another Nashua school make great strides in critical IT skills and integrate engaging 21st century learning skills into daily lessons.  Using computers donated by Dell, students learn to harness cloud-based technologies that will serve them throughout their educational journey and into their careers.  Students learn a new skill and work with Dell volunteers to explore career paths.
 
Eric Bird, Digital Wish’s Project Director for Nashua, has been visiting the 4th and 5th grade classrooms at Mt. Pleasant on a weekly basis to teach and integrate current technologies into their existing curriculum.  Students and educators have been learning essential ICT skills such as digital citizenship, cyber safety, reliable research, media creation and presentation, and communication and collaboration skills.  Through the use of this technology, the students have greatly improved their critical thinking and problem solving skills. 
In April, the 5th grade students visited the Nashua Dell facility to interview team members on technology and careers.  The students will visit Dell again on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 to showcase their technology projects for Dell team members, show off their programming skills, and demonstrate how they have been applying technology in the classroom learning environment. 
Measured Improvements
As a result of this program: 
 
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. 
 
 “Digital Wish’s program is designed to equip students with technology skills that make them more employable in their future careers,” said Heather Chirtea, Digital Wish’s Executive Director.  “We’ve put Dell initiatives into schools across New Hampshire and Vermont, and the kids are universally more engaged in learning.  That’s important because an engaged student will stay in school.  In addition, visiting Dell has given students exposure to real IT careers.”
Anecdotal Improvements:
In addition to the measurable improvements above, teachers and students provided anecdotes on their experiences:
 
“My favorite thing was that I could teach my parents to be safe on the internet.”
“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 learned a new skill and that is researching faster than I did before and to do it correctly.”
“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.”
 
Research Reports
Learn more about Digital Wish's research and download Nashua's reports here:
 
About Digital Wish
Digital Wish is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation on a mission to solve technology shortfalls in K-12 classrooms.
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 31,000 classroom technology wishes through its online network of 65,000 teachers, and delivered over $14 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students.  In research, Digital Wish secured over $1.5M in stimulus funding and grants to put 1:1 computing into 30 schools, achieving measured gains in student engagement and 21st century skills.
 
The Digital Wish website provides simple online fundraising tools so that parents, community members, and PTAs can make cost-free contributions to classrooms.  This puts classroom technology directly into the hands of teachers so that education will become more relevant and valuable to students growing up in an increasingly digital society.  Digital Wish has set up hundreds of grants together with vendors and connected thousands of donors with local schools.  Find out more at www.digitalwish.org.
 
Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

Spring Grant Winners are in!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 02:59:27 PM Wed 05/06/2015

Congratulations to our Spring grant recipients!  Thank you all for your wonderful lesson plan submissions.  Please click on the links below to view more about these grants. 

Judy King-Edmeade One-to-One Computing, $4,500 Support Grant – April 04/29/2015
Brittney King One-to-One Computing, $4,500 Support Grant – April 04/29/2015
Amy Freese Trio Tablet for Students 03/31/2015
Sarah Greif Let's Get Podcasting 03/31/2015
Cayla Cerchie Spring into STEM Skills! K-3 03/31/2015

 

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jennifer Miller, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 255
Milton, DE 19968
866.344.7758

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