Technology in The Classroom and How to Get It

From the day they are born it seems that kids are interested and engaged in technology. There’s truth to the saying heard around schools across the country: “If you need IT help, ask an eight-year-old.”

Teachers can, and should, harness kid’s inherent interest in technology for educational purposes. Bringing the internet, laptops, tablets, and smartphones into the curriculum has many benefits for students and teachers.

Technology brings the classroom to life! A connected learning experience increases engagement by bringing relevance, personalization, and collaboration. And it’s a great equalizer, giving opportunities to children who may not have access to technology at home.

While the need for technology in the classroom is clear, the funding to make it happen can be difficult to come by. In this issue we are sharing resources for grants to help get you on the path to a connected classroom. Also take a moment to read the article on a few tips for student conflict negotiation.

 

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Bring the Future to Your Classroom with Technology Grants

Remember applying for college scholarships while in high school? Well, Guess what? Those marketing skills you so carefully honed while seeking funding for your future are going to come in handy. While there is an obvious need for technology supplies in schools and classrooms, funding to do so isn’t always available. And, similar to scholarships, there are grants out there that can help you accomplish this goal.

The impact technology has had on schools is huge. The fact that students are already interested and engaged in using technology opens the door to amazing opportunities for learning. If our children are to excel in this rapidly-changing, global society, we must harness the technology resources they need. By integrating technology in the classroom, we are setting our students up for a successful future.

There are a myriad of organizations out there looking to fund educator led projects, and there’s no time like the present to secure that funding.

For starters, here are some grant resources with useful information on how to successfully find and apply for grants:

  • Instructional Technology Council: Searchable glossary of grant programs from the federal government funding programs and foundations that provide funding for distance learning. http://www.itcnetwork.org

User-friendly databases to help you search for specific types of grants:

  • Grants.gov: A unified site for interaction between applicants and the U.S. agencies that manage grant funds. https://www.grants.gov
  • GrantWatch: A search engine that identifies grants for: universities, hospitals, government agencies, schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, research institutions, and some small businesses and individuals. https://www.grantwatch.com

Foundation and Corporate Grant Sources:

  • Digital Wish: A way to win grants for hardware and software. Digital Wish is a public charity designed to help educators locate much-needed funding for technology. http://www.digitalwish.com
  • Computers for Learning: Computers for Learning gives classrooms computers and facilitates the transferring of computers from government agencies and the private sector to schools and educational non-profits. https://computersforlearning.gov/
  • Corning Incorporated Foundation: The foundation supports grants for instructional technology for the classroom among a variety of other grants. http://www.corningfoundation.org/
  • Donors Choose: Donors Choose is a simple way to provide grants for students in need with resources that public schools often lack. https://www.donorschoose.org
  • Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants: Awards for school and community groups to provide tools of all kinds to help educators and parent groups through challenging times. https://toolboxforeducation.com/

4 Tips to Mediating Student Conflicts Like A Pro

In a classroom full of different (and same) personalities, it’s bound to happen. Arguments between students are a natural part of life at school and should be treated that way. In fact, helping students respond to and resolve conflicts with peers is an important part of learning a valuable life lesson.

Here are four tips on how to treat student to student conflicts as teachable moments:

  1. Step Back and Listen: A teacher’s main role in helping kids resolve conflicts is to listen. It’s tempting to quash conflicts before they escalate, rather than help students come to a mutual resolution. In doing so, teachers deny students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to resolve interpersonal conflicts throughout their lives. Listening not only allows students to take ownership of the conflict, it also models the important skill for them.
  1. Don’t Forget the Bystanders: Often an argument is a joint effort. Multiple kids usually have a role in creating and/or escalating the situation. Instead of finding the one “guilty party” help all students see their role in the conflict and discover ways to act or react differently in the future.
  1. Avoid Jumping to Conclusions: It’s easy to blame the “likely suspect”, the student who has been involved in similar conflicts. We all know reputations exist for a reason. If the goal is for students to learn to resolve their own conflicts, placing blame robs students of their ownership of the conflict. The worst part, it demonstrates that their past mistakes will follow them forever even if their decisions and actions change.
  1. We All Have Conflicts: Let students know that conflicts are normal, and all people have them. The negotiation skills they are learning, and practicing will help them throughout their life. Here’s an opportunity to use personal stories to show that the skills they are building become life-long habits.

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