Thursday, September 29, 2011

Classroom Grants

Teachers are always asking me how they can get more technology items in their classrooms.  If there is no money in budget, I tell them to apply for a grant!  Here are some sites that offer ongoing, quick, and easy grants for educators:

Donors Choose:

Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.  Then, users can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school.

Digital Wish believes that every child deserves a technology-rich education that will provide them with the skills necessary to excel in the global economy. Every day, Digital Wish develops new online tools and promotions that empower teachers and their supporters to get new technology for their classrooms and enhance learning for our children. With your help, we can provide the resources our schools need to thrive.

With districts everywhere facing budget cuts, we're more dedicated than ever to help teachers get the resources they need to make their classrooms successful. And, with loads of prizes available—from cash to iPads to video cameras—there's more incentive than ever to apply now and apply often.

NEA Grants:

Opportunities for educators, schools, communities, and students.  Here is a great article on NEA about applying for grants:

Grant Wrangler:

A free online listing service of grants and awards for teachers.


ClassWish is a nonprofit organization that empowers parents, educators, and local communities to make a positive change in their children's lives by providing them with the supplies they need to learn, grow and excel.

Grant Gopher:

Grant Gopher scours hundreds of sources for grant programs currently accepting applications.  Those grants are compared to your funding needs and you receive alerts when matches are made. 

Teachers Count:

TeachersCount is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise the status of the teaching profession and provide resources to the education community. Using a national ad campaign and related initiatives, TeachersCount is working to create a permanent culture of teacher appreciation in the United States.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Popplet Virtual Bulletin Board

Popplet is a virtual bulletin board where students can  add images, text, videos, maps, and more to create a project and to show what they know.  Popplet can easily help your students to create flow charts, image galleries, graphic organizers, and mind maps.

This online application is so easy to use.  Just double click to add a "popple" box and either type or choose and image, video, or map from your computer or online resources such as Flickr, Facebook, Google Maps, or YouTube (please note, some videos from YouTube may not be appropriate).  Popplet also has some great extra features.  The creator can add other users to collaborate on a project.  Then once a project is complete the project can be embedded in a web site, blog, or wiki or posted on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to many in my PLN that have shared this resource.  Most notably: Larry Ferlazzo, Free Technology for Teachers, and The Whiteboard Blog.

Here is an example of an embedded project:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flipsnack: Create Online Flipping Books

I am always looking for new ways to publish student work on teacher websites and on my blog.  I was excited to learn about Flipsnack from one of my favorite blogs,

Flipsnack is a new application that will make an online flipping book (with turning pages) from your student work in minutes!  Just create a .PDF document from your student work and upload it.  Flipsnack creates an embeddable code that you can then place in your website or blog or share online via Facebook or Twitter.

You can create flip books for FREE using this tool, but the book will be limited to16 pages and there will be a watermark over the image.  It also looks as if you will be limited to creating three flip books with the free version.

Don't have a .PDF converter?  Try Cute PDF Writer.  It is a free application that will convert your documents to .PDF through a print interface.  Once installed you click FILE and PRINT, but instead of choosing a printer, you choose the Cute PDF Converter and your document will be saved to a .PDF file.

Here is an example of a Flipsnack Flipping Book that I created for a teacher:

Behold Creative Commons Image Search

Behold is a search engine that helps you and your students to easily find images that can be used on your website, in your newsletters, and with classroom projects or lessons without fear of violating copyright law.  Behold searches for images in that are licensed under Creative Commons.  The Creative Commons license grants use of an image with some restrictions or requirements (which you need to carefully read with each image you use).

A great feature of Behold is that it also helps you to pinpoint the type of image that you require.  For example, when searching for "beetles" you may get images of insects or cars.  But Behold's interface allows you to use a drop-down menu to choose the category of images that best meets your needs.  

Thanks to for sharing this great resource.
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