24 Business and Entrepreneurship Courses – Free, just sign up

Manchester, VT – September 12, 2014 – Whether you’re a students, aspiring business owners, or small business, there are 24 free 1-hour courses in the HP Life series covering finance, operations, marketing, communications and social networking, in seven languages. Earn certificates of completion, get advice, and join the global online community of more than 330,000 learners from 200 countries. These 1-hour courses are ideal for after-school clubs, or to support curriculum. In addition, any small business or entrepreneur can get start-up support, simply by signing up.

Sign up here: http://www.life-global.org/go/digitalwish

Print a Flyer: http://www.digitalwish.com/docs/HP_LIFE_flyer_Digital_Wish.pdf

Digital Wish has partnered in the HP LIFE e-Learning Campaign to help spread the word about the HP Life free training courses during this back-to-school season. For each person who signs up at this link, through October 31, HP will donate $1 to Digital Wish to support more free technology programs for schools! Please have students sign up, and circulate to your network.

Contact Us: Amanda Stevens, program coordinator, amanda@digitalwish.org, (802)375-6721.

About Digital Wish

At Digital Wish, 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 30,000 classroom technology wishes through its online network of over 62,000 teachers, and delivered over $13 million in technology products to American classrooms directly impacting over 500,000 students. In research, Digital Wish secured over $1.2 million in stimulus funding to put 1:1 computing into 30 towns, reducing the planning time for technology adoption from 18 months to just 4 weeks, and achieving measured gains in student engagement and 21st century skills.

New Hampshire Digital Citizenship Training

The New Hampshire Digital Citizenship training series begins next month and we invite you to send your educators to the training.

 pdfPrint the Sign up Form3_14_14

Digital Wish wants to help New Hampshire schools tackle this challenging problem with guided professional development and turn-key curriculum.

Available Dates and Locations:

  • White Mountains Community College, Berlin – Friday, October 3, 12-4 pm
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham – Thursday, October 9, 12-4 pm
  • Plymouth State University, Plymouth– Friday, October 10, 12:30-4:30 pm
  • Lakes Region Community College, Laconia– Thursday, October 16, 12-4 pm
  • River Valley Community College, Claremont – Friday, October 17, 12-4 pm
  • Great Bay Community College, Rochester – Thursday, Oct. 23, 12:30-4:30 pm
  • Nashua Community College, Nashua – Friday, October 24, 12-4 pm
  • White Mountains Community College, Berlin – Thursday, October 30, 12-4 pm
  • New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord – Friday, November 7, 12-4 pm

Eric Bird, the Program Director who lead the e-Vermont 1:1 training developed the curriculum and will be teaching the courses. He’ll share firsthand expertise gleaned from teaching the curriculum in over 40 schools. At the conclusion of the training, every participant will receive a school wide license for our Digital Citizenship Curriculum (a $200 value) plus one year’s subscription to Clip Art Station for copyright free images (a $400 value!).  As a nonprofit, we want to make sure our Digital Citizenship curriculum is affordable for our local Vermont teachers.  The cost of attending is less than the cost of the curriculum — it’s  $195 for the first teacher, and $95 for any additional teacher from the same school.

6555_box_bigThis turnkey curriculum includes lesson plans, printable worksheets, activities, and a poster contest. The program teaches students and teachers about internet safety, media resources, respectful approaches to communicating on social media sites and media copyright.

Contact: If you have any questions on locations or scheduling please feel free to contact the program coordinator, Gordon Woodrow, at gordon@digitalwish.org or call us at (802)375-6721 x208 with questions.

Meet our Presenters

Eric Bird
Director of 1:1 Programs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter teaching grades 4 and 6 for 12 years in Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished Schools in Southern California, Eric Bird now brings his experience, knowledge, and passion gained from working in the classroom to the team at Digital Wish. Eric joined the Digital Wish team in December of 2009 as a peer coach and classroom trainer for Digital Wish’s 1:1 computing program. In addition to being a master teacher, Eric designed Digital Wish’s 7-unit IT curriculum and oversaw implementation of 1:1 programs in 30 schools. He’s now one of the premier experts on 1:1 implementation in the country, providing essential training so that students, teachers, and parents can use technology more effectively.

As a Technology Trainer, Eric has traveled the country to train fellow educators, administrators, and district technology experts using creative, entertaining, and easy-to-use cross-curricular technology, such as podcasting, digital cameras, digital video, and numerous educational software programs. In addition, Eric helped design hands-on seminars for educational conferences and co-authored a workbook on classroom technology.

Heather Chirtea
Executive Director/Founder, Board President

HeatherProfilePicHeather Chirtea is Digital Wish’s founder and Executive Director. Previously, as the longstanding president of Tool Factory, an educational software publisher, Heather traveled widely throughout the United States to conduct over 400 lively seminars on classroom technology integration each year. She watched as funding for education technology continuously declined, and today over 75% of teachers classify themselves as “often in need of” or “desperate for” technology resources. Heather created Digital Wish to empower teachers to solve their own technology shortfalls at a local level, and to prepare our student workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in the changing workplace.

Advantages of a Digital Wish Fundraiser

By Kate Reed, High School Student, Vermont

Are you a teacher? Do you want new technologies for your classroom? Then start a Digital Wish fundraiser!Fundraise_Button_160x160_SM_DW140601

Digital Wish provides a very simple fundraising program for teachers around the country. Teachers provide the products they want on a wishlist, state why they want the products, and then show how much they hope to raise. It is as easy as that. Once they have posted their fundraiser to the website, they just have to keep spreading the word, and they will earn their wish list products in no time!

Debating between creating a Digital Wish fundraiser or one on a different fundraising website?

Digital Wish is very similar to other fundraising websites, such as Kickstarter, gofundme, and Indiegogo. However, if you do not reach your goal on Kickstarter, you get none of the money you raised. One main difference is that donating on Digital Wish is tax deductible for your supporters, while donations on other fundraising sites such as gofundme, are not. If you do not reach your goal on Indiegogo, their fee is 5% more than if you hit your goal. Using Digital Wish, you get the money you raised to spend on classroom technology, even if it is less than your intended goal.

Debating between creating a Digital Wish fundraiser or doing product selling?

Selling Hershey bars, magazines, and cookie dough gives you at most a 50% profit — and averages from 30-40%. Digital Wish grants you a 92% profit. They are not looking to make money; they are looking to help support classrooms with more technology and raise students up to the rapidly evolving standards of college and the future workforce.

Digital Wish’s fundraising program makes it so much easier for teachers everywhere to raise money for their classrooms because the products are right there on the same site as the fundraiser, making it one-stop shopping. If you want a technology product that Digital Wish isn’t currently offering, simply contact them with the product details and they can usually order it with your fundraised dollars. If you are a teacher on the Digital Wish website and you find products you want for your classroom, start a fundraiser today! It’s fast, easy and there are lots of great deals and discounts that will stretch your fundraised dollars even further.

Watch this webinar on Fundraising.

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Check out these great fundraising resources from Digital Wish

 

Lease Technology and Make the Most of Your Budget

We found that after implementing 1:1 computing initiatives in 30 plus schools that there were very few schools who were leasing technology those that do receive 3 times more technology with their current budget. The trick  is to get your school board to approve the fixed interest rates and the annual payment plan. We can help you change the pattern of budget expenditure in order to make better use of your existing funding.

Just think that if you lease a laptop for four years, at the end of the lease you can buy the technology outright for just a dollar, and then you can even give it to a student as a graduation gift. We are working with a reputable leasing company that has a long history of working with schools.  We at Digital Wish understand that technology is constantly becoming outdated, so keep in mind that you can do a “technology refresh” with the leasing program. Also feel free to give us a call, and we will walk you through the whole process. Call us at 802.375.6721 For any other questions watch our quick leasing how-to video.

 

Fundraise for Summer Programs

4_5_14_infographicSummer time is fast approaching, and we at Digital Wish understand what that means, its time to plan for summer programs. We have a fundraiser that will not only provide your summer campers with a cool t-shirt for their parents to purchase, but the money earned will go to funding technology for your campus or program for the upcoming school year. Just because the school ended does not mean Digital Wish is ready to pack it in, we want to help you prepare for the upcoming school year. Furthermore, students wearing identical t-shirts are easier to spot in crowded areas.

Also, make your t-shirt design an inclusive activity and hold a design contest, its a great vessel for teaching graphic design. When your design is complete upload it to our t-shirt building tool, market it out to your participants, friends, family, and coworkers. Now remember, the minimum order is 10 shirts, and you can set the price for maximum profitability. If you feel slightly lost feel free to consult the infographic for step by step instructions.

Get Inspired–And Enter our Epic Yearbook Photo Contest

Digital Wish began hosting photo contests in early 2005, and as always we had tons of cool prizes to give away. So, in order to get excited for our new photo contest I decided to look through all of the old photo entries from our previous contests. I was inspired by the attention to detail in every shot. What blew my mind was that most of the submissions were from students younger than 16 years old. So if you know a student photographer please pass along this amazing opportunity for national recognition and the chance to win an Olympus Camera or iPad. Please keep in mind that all entries are due May 5th, 2014.  Just simply enter the contest by uploading your photo to our photo contest website.

Here are some of my Favorite photos

8086 7811 7701 7638 6871 6317 6291 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 5950 M4034S-4211 5829 5828 4497 4465 4462 4295 © Gregory Alan Dunbar

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Run to support technology in schools across America. Design a t-shirt with our new fundraising tool, market it out to your relay team, supporters, friends, and family. Not only will you have  a t-shirt you designed to commemorate your race or marathon, but the proceeds from each t-shirt sold will go to helping supply schools across America with technology. Watch our quick informational video to begin your very own t-shirt campaign. After your profits have been collected simply log on to Digital Wish and select the school that you believe deserves the money the most, or select a specific teacher in the fundraising section of our site. This is a great tool for upcoming Tough Mudder, Ragnar, or Muderella events.

Check Out the Video

Modernization and Funding the Future

Persuading Funders to Support Your Technology Program

Part 6: Modernization and Funding the Future

–By Heather Chirtea and Eric Bird

Series blog –  6 of 6

mentoring 2In part 6, we will be addressing the necessity of using the phrase, “investing in the future,” in relation to modernization. Modernization allows for efficiency in the classroom, no longer do teachers need to exhaust themselves as the expert, now students can become experts by “googling” the answer.

Arguement 9:  Modernization – Technology provides school modernization AND more advanced teaching strategies.  As one principal stated, “Stop the glue and tape frenzy.  No more paper or closets full of pens and supplies.” By updating the school with modern technology and programs, the teachers can adopt new teaching paradigms that change the way students are taught.

●      The teacher is not the only expert anymore.  Every student has the opportunity to become an expert.

●      Students become mentors.  A culture of self-help will emerge where students become technology experts, guiding other students and teachers to fluidly adopt technology.  This, in turn, develops leadership skills and critical job skills that will help the students find employment.

●      Collaboration will increase.  The classroom is less like a lecture hall, and more like a village of collaborative learning and teaching.

Argument 10: This is an Investment. – The vocabulary of “investment” is much more powerful than asking for “donations” or “charity”. Stakeholders should understand that you aren’t trying to fund a technology program, rather you are ensuring the financial viability of your community by investing in youth.

●      Technology is an investment.  This is an investment for the school, for the students, for the town.  Stop treating it like an expense!

●      Property values will rise.  People want to live in communities with schools that are respected and progressive.  A strong technology program raises the perception of the quality of education at the school, which in turn keeps property value high.

●      There are cost savings to offset investment.  Do a cost analysis with computers vs. supplies and textbooks.  As other line items in the budget shrink (paper, ink, toner, writing utensils, and textbooks), the technology budget should grow.

●      Investment in the students – share stories.  It is much easier for a decision maker to fund a “human interest” story than a piece of equipment.  This works incredibly well with politicians.  If you ever get the opportunity to appeal to your school board or local legislator, don’t do the presentation yourself.  Rather, invite a few students to speak on your behalf.  Let the students explain why they need technological skills to prepare for college and get a job.  Remember, you are not trying to put technology in schools, rather you are preparing students for the future workforce in the global economy.  This is an investment in your children’s future!

●      Craft a financial argument.  Many rural states experience a “Brain Drain” where graduates leave the local region to attend college and don’t return. Check your population data to see if your region is shrinking. Consider the financial effect on the state’s tax base.  Each student who stays in the local area will get a job, raise a family, buy a house, and contribute to the local tax base (which in most states contributes directly to education funding).  Regardless of whether your state suffers from a “Brain Drain,” you can calculate the annual financial gain to the tax base and local economy based on average salary rates in your state for each student who decides to “stay local.”  Hard numbers are what decision makers need to justify re-allocating funds.  Remember, a savvy student can work from anywhere.

●      Calculate the percent of total spending.  Calculate the total education budget in your funding region (school, district, or state), then consider what percentage of that budget would be necessary to put a computer on every student’s desk.  It’s a sure bet that you will be able to craft a true and compelling statement such as, “Less than one half of 1% of the total education budget would put a computer on the desk of every single student in our district.”  You will quickly realize how small that percentage really is.

This is 6 of 6 parts, but don’t be alarmed more information on successful 1:1 computing initiative strategies are coming.

Check out the Research:

This article is based on a national survey of 242 educators and administrators, interviews with 27 technology leaders, and our own personal experience implementing 1:1 computing programs in 30 schools. For more information check out our research in education technology.

Easy Earth Day Activity

2_19_14We have an exciting program to help your school earn money for technology through recycling old electronics. All the materials like press releases, flyers, and email templates are available for your teachers here.

Recycle Forward helps educators get new technology for their classrooms by recycling used electronics and ink cartridges for cash. Just set up a drop box and print flyers. Everyone can participate. We raised $850 for our local school in one afternoon by publicizing the technology drop location in the local papers. Click the links for a comprehensive list of accepted recyclables cellphones, MP3′s, inkjet cartridges,  laser cartridges, and laptops.

Download Template

Download Template

We recommend starting your collection with a highly publicized community drive on a specific date and time frame. After your initial push, make this a year-round program by offering your school as a community drop-off location for recyclable items. Also inspire participation with fun activties for the classroom. Use our tree template and trace our recycle tree using a projector and every child who brings in a piece of old technology gets to put a leaf on the tree.

We can help you and your teachers if you need help getting started. Its very beneficial for your users and it gets the community to work together for a common good. Its a very stress free fundraiser because we have already done all the work necessary except the collection process. If you have any questions please feel free to email your questions at lauren@digitalwish.org.

Help Mrs. Ginny Moorefield get iPad’s for her Classroom!

2_20_14East Wake Academy is a small, K-12 charter school of approximately 1,100 students located in Zebulon, NC.  It is a wonderful environment where teachers and students are encouraged to be creative and explore information.   We want to prepare our students for the 21st Century and we need more technology in our classrooms.

I am a Nationally Certified American Sign Language teacher hired to teach American Sign Language (ASL) as a foreign language and/or elective for the students in the high school.  There are only a handful of high schools in North Carolina that offer ASL to their students and East Wake Academy has always been forward thinking in its options for students.

In an ASL Class, we work with videos….A LOT of videos.  Our school Internet capabilities are not fast enough for my students to do video assignments in class and upload them to be graded.  Being a small school, we do not have computers for every student.  I am asking for a classroom set (about 20) of iPad 2s with “student proof” cases.  Currently, students are recording videos on my personal laptop.  The video quality is very poor and has so many lags and skips that the content is unreadable and thus un-gradable.  Students are not able to get the feedback that they need to improve their skills.  Their homework is usually recorded on their Smart Phones or on a home webcam and then uploaded to Google Drive to be graded.  However, we are in a very rural area and high-speed Internet is not an option for some students. On occasion, we have trouble with videos not uploading properly.

Having 20 iPad 2s with durable cases would allow students to complete required tasks in class, research, and create activities and videos.  There are apps available to improve their skills and all with the portability that an iPad 2 allows.  Having this resource available at school would also benefit those students who have trouble with internet or webcam access at home.

To donate to her classroom check out her fundraiser on other site digitalwish.com