As I work with teachers and share with them all of the great ideas about how to use technology in their classrooms with students, one pharse always creeps into the conversation at some point, “The technology in my classroom is out of date.”
Certainly, we can still provide lots of great educational opportunities to our students with little to no technology in our classrooms, but it can be frustrating when aging technology fails and we have to change plans at the last moment. Talk with your colleagues about the strategies that you would like to use in the classroom, blended learning, project based learning, or flipping the classroom. Come up with a vision for how you see this working in your classrooms and think about tools that could make it happen. You may be surprised to realize that you may be able to start small with your plan using what you already have.
When the tools you have just won’t get the job done, consider teaming up with your colleagues for a grant writing blitz. Spend a hour after school one day with a group of motivated teachers just searching the web for grant opportunities that fit the plan you would like to implement. This a session just to make a list of as many grant opportunities as possible. It may be a good idea to have the group compile a list of the grants with a short description and deadline information in a Google document. In an hour each group member should be able to find at least four or five that may fit.
The next step for the group is to narrow the field and decide on two or three grants from the list that are the best. Ask each person to look more closely at all of the grants in the brainstorming list over the course of a week and pick their top three choices. Score each grant opportunity based on the number of people that picked it as their top choice and decide to apply for at least one if not a few grants from the list. The whole group can meet to write the grant together, or each person or pair can choose to write an application for different grants and have other team members edit them.
After your administrator reviews your grant application, it’s time to submit it and hope that it is accepted. Grant writing is like applying to college. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Apply for your favorites and a few easy wins too! You may not win them all, but as you get more practice, you will win more and more. You never need to start from scratch each time. Use what you learn about previous applications to help you develop a better application each time.
Here are a few places to find just the right grant opportunity for your school: