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Digital Wish Study on Sustainability Suggests Sources of Technology Funding for Many Schools may be Untapped
Posted by Heather Chirtea at 09:16:55 PM Thu 11/29/2012

Manchester Center, VT - November 29, 2012 – In 2009, Digital Wish launched the School Modernization Initiative, a one-computer-per-child initiative in 28 schools. The A. D. Henderson Foundation commissioned Digital Wish to study how schools are sustaining their technology initiatives. The research was expanded with a nationwide survey and 27 administrative leaders were interviewed.  The most successful schools develop multiple sources of revenue, they trigger strong community engagement, and they prioritize daily support and training for teachers.

Download the Study Here: http://bit.ly/St1ShN

Data from the Survey: 242 educators responded to the anonymous nationwide survey providing an interesting snapshot of how participants are funding their programs. While 88% of respondents reported that technology budgets are one of their largest sources of funding, many other viable sources of funding may be going un-realized by the majority of respondents. For example:

  • Nearly half (46%) have not used other budget line items for technology.
  • 55% of respondents’ schools have not applied for any grants.
  • 43% reported they do not do any fundraising.
  • 66% do not use student mentors who could support the technology program.
  • Over 1/3 say they do not receive donations from outside organizations.

Data from the Interviews: Digital Wish identified 27 technology leaders from across the nation and conducted interviews to ask how they were sustaining their initiatives. As a trend, nearly all of the most sustainable programs were funded by multiple sources. Administrators running programs with just a single source of funding voiced “fear” that their initiatives were vulnerable to cancellation. The most successful schools intentionally develop strong community ties, which in turn generates multiple sources of revenue, thus lowering the risk that their technology initiative will lose funding with market shifts.

  • Only 14% of schools report “re-budgeting” as a major source of technology funding, however interviewees report it’s the most viable and immediately available strategy.
  • Although half of the survey respondents are not applying for grants, the interviewees shared that this is one of their most effective sources of funding. Over a quarter of schools who apply are raising over $20,000 per year.
  • Most schools do not make an immediate connection between raising community engagement and sustainability. By simply raising awareness, we open up immediate community support networks for many schools.
  • Fundraising is frequently viewed as “something the PTA does.” However, successful schools integrate fundraising into every school event. One in five schools who fundraised actually raised over $20,000 each year. 

Schools inexperienced with adopting technology emphasize hardware purchases, while the more advanced schools focus on the importance of training for sustainability.  Nearly all had supplemented convention workshop-based professional development with teacher peer-support systems and daily mentor programs.

  • The most successful schools integrate a peer-coaching model that provides ongoing and readily available support for their teachers on a daily basis.
  • Student mentorship programs typically reduce support costs and increase availability of support for both students and teachers.

Data from the Classroom: The implementation of 1:1 computing in 28 schools revealed that the key to developing multiple funding streams lies in strong community engagement, which is also typically the most ignored strand in every initiative. The schools with the most sustainable programs harvested a wide array of revenue opportunities from across their communities – each contributing a portion of their total financial need. However, the burden of community engagement rests entirely on the schools. If the schools don’t trigger these community connections, they simply won’t materialize.

Download the Complete Study Here: http://bit.ly/St1ShN

For more information on the study, please contact: Heather Chirtea, [email protected].

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Sustainability Study - Data Report
Posted by Heather Chirtea at 07:28:21 PM Thu 11/29/2012


Download the Complete Study Here: http://bit.ly/St1ShN

The Project: In 2009, Digital Wish launched the School Modernization Initiative, a one-computer-per-child initiative in 28 schools, directly providing 79 teachers with curriculum and training, and 1,294 students in grades 4-6 with computers. After the first year of implementation, the schools hit a stage where they were comfortably absorbing the change and started asking questions about sustainability. The A. D. Henderson Foundation commissioned Digital Wish to study how schools are sustaining their technology initiatives, and develop free resources that would model best practices.

 

Participants:

  • 242 Survey Respondents
  • 27 Phone Interviews
  • 28 School Site Implementations of 1:1 Computing Initiatives

We asked how they sustain their technology initiatives.


About the Survey: The survey data was collected through anonymous surveys conducted on www.surveymonkey.com. The data collected here shows anecdotal trends, self-reported by technology leaders who volunteered to participate in the project. Digital Wish does not conduct formal research, nor do they make any conclusive research-based claims.

If you would like to cite this study, please credit:  © Digital Wish 2012


About Digital Wish: Digital Wish brings technology to American classrooms in order to prepare students to thrive in the global economy. 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 29,800 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 60,000 teachers, and delivered over $12 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students. Read our research.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Tips for Fundraising Success
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 05:53:32 PM Fri 11/16/2012

Successful Grassroots Fundraising

Katie Shea, Preschool Special Education Teacher, Virginia

Katie recently ran a successful fundraising campaign on Digital Wish to get an iPad for her classroom. Here are some tips from Katie to help others with their campaigns:

Know what you need and why you need it.  Katie used a friend’s iPad with her students and found three children doing things with the iPad that they had never done before: demonstrating joint attention, engaging in difficult fine motor tasks, and reciprocal communication.   She recognized the iPad can be an important learning tool for her students and felt that this technology had enhanced her student’s developmental success in just one day.

Set up a Fundraiser on DigitalWish.org.  When Katie found there were no funds available in this year’s school budget and two grant applications didn’t come through, she turned to Digital Wish.  She created an account on Digital Wish.org.  While setting up her Wish List and fundraiser for an iPad with accessories and care plans, she clearly described her need for these items.  Check out Katie’s fundraising page: http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/view_fundraiser?id=561

Make your fundraising campaign compelling.  The items Katie placed in her Wish List appeared as images in her fundraiser, helping donors see the items she needs.  Katie gave a clear explanation how the iPad accessories would be incorporated into lessons and how they would help enhance learning and development for her students.  She was professional, detailed, and clear when creating her fundraising campaign.

Let people know about your campaign.  Katie sent an email to 60 of her family members and closest friends who respect her work in education.  She also sent announcements about her fundraiser through Facebook and Twitter using the easy “share” buttons on Digital Wish.

Thoughtful and clear emails are key to reaching your goal.  Katie emailed everyone with a personal message that was heartfelt and thoughtful, being clear about her need for an iPad and how it will help benefit her students. Her first batch of donations came in immediately and within 3 hours, her fundraiser was 80% complete.  Katie said, “It was such an encouraging feeling to know that other people care about what I do as a Special Educator and that people are willing to help children they don’t even know.”

Thank you!  She emailed each donor a personal thank you message.  You can get template thank you letters in the Digital Wish fundraiser tools section.  Thank you messages can be by phone, email, Facebook or Twitter.  The important thing is making sure your notes of appreciation are timely.

Follow up by email and other social networking tools. While Katie was still trying to reach her fundraising goal, which included Wish List items, Katie followed up by emailing her family and friends again, except for the people who already donated, talking about the progress she’s made towards her goal and the distance left to go.

Closing the fundraising campaign.  The third email Katie sent updated everyone on the progress since she started, who had given, and how it’s made her feel. She hadn’t reached her goal yet, so she let everyone know the last day of the fundraiser so they were aware of the deadline for donations.

With each email reminder about the fundraiser, she received donations. Everyone’s busy, but a donation on DigitalWish.org takes less than 3 minutes.  Acknowledge that you know your friends and family are busy, but tell them that completing a donation will take less than 3 minutes of their time.  It’s thoughtful and it works.

Wishes Granted and Fundraiser Goal Reached.  Katie’s fundraiser campaign reached 105% of the goal, plus friends and family purchased items directly from her Wish List.  She received almost double the amount of her fundraising campaign goal, giving her the added accessories and iPad insurance she needed.  Digital Wish delivered the iPad and accessories to Katie’s classroom for her students and they immediately start learning with her new iPad!

Katie said, “My experience with using Digital Wish’s Fundraising tools was wonderful.  There were too many hoops to jump through with other fundraising sites, but Digital Wish’s online tools were easy-to-use and the customer service was great.   When I needed items that weren’t on DigitalWish.com, I contacted customer service and they were available for me within a few days!”

Key Elements of Katie’s Success:

  1. Create professional, detailed and clear wish lists and fundraisers on Digital Wish.
  2. Email and follow-ups to family and friends.
  3. Be upfront about the need and how it will help benefit the growth and developmental of your students.
  4. Keep family and friends updated on the progress with the goal and with what students are going to achieve through it.
  5. Thank your supporters!
Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Get the iPad Mini on your Wish List before the Holidays!
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 03:00:46 PM Thu 11/01/2012

Get the iPad Mini on your Wish List before the Holidays!
We've been delivering a lot of iPad donations for Digital Wish members, so be sure to login and add iPads to your wish list. Your PTA and supporters can donate, and Digital Wish delivers right to your classroom. Here's the iPad and accessories center:
www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/products?category=ipads-and-accessories

Need extra cash for your iPads? Try Recycle Forward!
Recycle your old cell phones, ink cartridges, and computers and get money to buy iPads and any new technology! Our staff raised $850 at the local elementary school in one Saturday, just by inviting the community to drop off their old technology! This is a great community service learning project for your students! We give you the flyers, email templates and a press release to announce the drive to your community. There's no cost and even the shipping labels are free. Get started now here.

Recycle Forward Bonus Available
Right now there's a $25 bonus cash award, for every $150 raised each month. 100% of your earnings go directly to your Digital Wish account to make technology purchases.

Great Deals
We have USB Document Cameras for only $79.95, iPad Mobile Lab Cases for $349.95 and BrainPOP is offering a "Buy One, Give One" classroom subscription. Check out the current deals here!

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Laptops in hand, students march toward the future
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 03:13:38 PM Mon 10/22/2012

NASHUA — Katie Scurrah's 26 fourth-grade students rose one by one, their classmates applauding as each approached the front of the gym for a laptop computer.

School board member Dennis Ryder clapped and smiled as the Amherst Street Elementary School students received their machines, donated to the school by Dell.

Ryder qualified himself as a science fiction fanatic, and thinks it's about time the world's leader in technology begins implementing it in the classroom.

“After all these years of developing this stuff, we're finally starting to use it,” he said. “The rest of the world's been using it quite a lot longer than us.”

The computers were donated under Dell's Powering the Possible program through Digital Wish, a Vermont-based nonprofit that assists schools in developing 1-to-1 student-computer classrooms.

See the entire article on Union Leader's website here: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121020/NEWS04/710209995

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Digital Wish and Dell are bringing new technology and training to Nashua!
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 06:36:53 PM Mon 10/08/2012

Digital Wish and Dell are bringing new technology and training to Nashua!

(Nashua, NH)-- The fourth grade students in Miss Scurrah’s class at Amherst Street Elementary School and the fifth grade students in Mrs. Porter’s class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School will receive an amazing gift on Thursday, October 18, 2012—Dell laptop computers to use at school during the year!  The distribution of these powerful portable computers is part of the package of services Nashua is receiving after being selected by Digital Wish and the Dell Powering the Possible giving program.

Dell Powering the Possible makes a commitment to put technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet. It prepares youth for success in a highly globalized, technological society at school, work and life through access to technology solutions and the development of information and communication technology (ICT) skills.  In addition, Dell team members volunteer their time and expertise to help grant recipients and serve as role models and mentors to youth.
Digital Wish was selected as one of the Dell Powering the Possible recipients in order to implement their School Modernization Initiative in the Nashua School District, specifically Amherst Street and Mt. Pleasant Elementary Schools.

According to Digital Wish’s Executive Director, Heather Chirtea, "Digital Wish focuses on providing each child with equal access to technology and helping teachers make the best use of it as a way to improve learning.  After all the behind-the-scenes groundwork, we love to see the students’ expressions when they receive their very own Dell laptop computers to use at school for the year."

Eric Bird, Digital Wish’s Technology Integrator and Project Director for Nashua, has been visiting Miss Scurrah’s and Mrs. Porter’s classrooms on a weekly basis in anticipation of the arrival of the laptops.  Students and teachers have been learning about Digital Citizenship, Cyber Safety, and Acceptable Media Use.  Once the computers are in the students’ hands, Eric will continue weekly lessons throughout the school year to integrate current technologies into the existing curriculum.  Additionally, an after school club designed to promote community involvement is in the development stage which will bring Dell employee volunteers into the school, and in turn, help the school reach outward to the community.

For more information, visit
Dell Powering the Possible Program: www.dell.com/poweringthepossible
Digital Wish School Modernization Initiative: http://schoolmodernizationinitiative.wordpress.com/

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Volunteer for a Classroom Project and Share Your Expertise by Video Conference – Give an Hour Without Ever Leaving the Workplace!
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 05:12:51 AM Fri 10/05/2012

Manchester Center, VT – October 4, 2012 – If you have a special talent, Digital Wish would like to invite you to become an "expert" volunteer at www.digitalwish.org. Volunteers register and post a quick profile outlining their special expertise.  Our network of 58,000 educators has been invited to post their classroom projects, and an easy search engine helps match them together. It’s a great way for employees to “give an hour” without ever leaving the workplace. The volunteer and teacher schedule a time to video conference over the internet and the students benefit from the volunteer’s special expertise! This is a totally FREE service that Digital Wish provides for classroom teachers and their direct supporters.

Get Started:
Simply login here: www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/volunteers

  • “Expert” Volunteers will post a profile that outlines their unique expertise.
  • Teachers will post a class project that needs a volunteer expert, by video conference.
  • A robust search engine matches them together.
  • Volunteers get regular newsletters of the latest projects.

Please invite your network to get involved!

Organizations Can Sponsor
Throughout the school year, Digital Wish will be recruiting employees of large corporations, entrepreneur networks, and many scientific associations to have their members volunteer to become Virtual Volunteers for class projects.  If your organization would like to sponsor a special week for your employees or members to volunteer – Digital Wish can create “themed” week of volunteering, just for your organization. Then we’ll reach out to our 58,000 registered teachers to post project ideas posted around your theme.  We can also work with your philanthropic giving division to fund gift cards for your employees such as, “Volunteer an hour and we’ll give a $25 gift card to your favorite classroom for technology!” Contact us for details.

 

For More Information:

Heather Chirtea, [email protected], 802-375-6721 X-202

Digital Wish, Executive Director
PO Box 1072, Manchester Center, VT 05255
www.digitalwish.org

About Digital Wish
Digital Wish is a nonprofit on a mission to bring technology to K-12 classrooms to prepare students to thrive in the global economy. 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 29,299 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 58,000 teachers, and delivered over $12 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

Digital Wish Launches New Virtual Volunteer Matching Tool - Teachers can Locate “Expert” Volunteers for Class Projects by Video Conference
Posted by Jonathan Gallup at 04:08:35 AM Fri 10/05/2012

Manchester Center, VT – October 4, 2012 – Teachers who are planning a class project, and need "expert" volunteers – are invited to post project ideas on the new Virtual Volunteer area at www.digitalwish.org. Digital Wish connects classroom teachers with "expert" volunteers by video conference. Throughout the school year, Digital Wish will be recruiting employees of large corporations, entrepreneur networks, and many scientific associations to have their members volunteer to help educators with their class projects. This is a totally FREE service that Digital Wish provides for classroom teachers and their supporters!

Get Started:
Simply login here: www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/volunteers

  • Teachers will post a class project that needs a volunteer expert, by video conference.
  • “Expert” Volunteers will post a profile that outlines their unique expertise.
  • A robust search engine matches them together.
  • We'll email teachers the profiles of newly posted “Expert” volunteers.
  • Volunteers get regular newsletters of the latest projects.

Please invite your teacher network to post their projects!

For More Information:

Heather Chirtea, [email protected], 802-375-6721 X-202
Digital Wish, Executive Director
PO Box 1072, Manchester Center, VT 05255
www.digitalwish.org

About Digital Wish
Digital Wish is a nonprofit on a mission to bring technology to K-12 classrooms to prepare students to thrive in the global economy. 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 29,299 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 58,000 teachers, and delivered over $12 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students.

Digital Wish Media Contact:
Jon Gallup, [email protected]
Digital Wish
PO Box 52
Milton, DE 19968
(802) 375-6721 X-222

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