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Make Your Ed-Tech Dreams Come True with Grants

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 -- Scott Sterling

This may come as a surprise, but teachers tend not to be flush with disposable income these days. Neither are schools. Or districts. Yet advances are being made all the time in the world of education technology. How do you balance your creativity in the classroom with the budgetary constraints of your school or district?

If you’re like a lot of smart educators out there, you are on the constant hunt for grants. And although finding and applying for this funding is extra work, it doesn’t have to be hard work. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. How do I find the sources?

Obviously the first step is finding out what grants are available and from what sources. Google goes a long way here, but let me save you some time with the best grant sites.

Also check with your local service organizations, like the Kiwanis and the Rotary Club. They are often interested in helping education, but simply lack the information to know where to put their funds.

2.      What time of year?

The busiest time of year for grant writing is back-to-school time. Teachers get in their classrooms, realize how much stuff they need, and start applying. The slowest time of year is summer, when many teachers have simply unplugged from thinking about work. If you can just force yourself to spend a little time during your vacation, you will find (slightly) less competition for your grant dollars.

3.      How do I write a grant?

This can be a blog post in itself (in fact, it will be next month– with more detail), but generally speaking the most successful grants tell a compelling story where the students are the main character. You’re looking for some common ground between the organization and your subject, especially if it’s not the obvious subject that normally applies. For example, the local software company probably hears from science and math teachers all the time. Your proposal for an English project might stand out. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask to see applications from past winners. The worst they can say is no and if they agree, you get an inside look at what’s successful with the committee.

We encourage you to visit www.edmentum.com/resources for additional funding information. We maintain a funding resource to keep you up to date with opportunities for your institution and your students.