Granting wishes, one school at a time

Posted on Thursday, 5/16/2013 5:22 PM

Whether educators are reviewing student information using an online GradeBook or trying to share a web-based educational video with their pupils, they need technology. Of course, not just any technology will do. If teachers want the internet to become a valuable classroom resource, they need a good connection and computers that will not crash after a few seconds.

Unfortunately, not every school can say it has the most up-to-date hardware on the market. As a result, the instruction teachers provide may be suffering. However, this does not have to be the case.

Making a wish
Magic genies may not be real, but that does not mean school officials cannot have their educational wishes come true. Teachers can visit, explain their dilemma and possibly receive help making their instructional wishes a reality.

Digital Wish helps shine a spotlight on schools' technological issues so that generous donors can step forward and provide the support these institutions need. According to a recent press release, Digital Wish has been able to assist more than 30,400 classrooms across the country. In addition, the students in these settings have received more than $13 million in technological products that have helped improve their learning.

According to Digital Wish's website, donors have the option of providing technology or cash. Using the money, which can be deposited directly into teachers' accounts, these individuals can purchase whatever technology their pupils truly need, such as the top software for students.

When wishes become reality
Thanks to portable gadgets like smartphones and tablet computers, mobile technology is more popular than ever. Many teachers see the educational benefits of bringing these devices into their classrooms. However, before they do, instructors need to make sure their classrooms can handle them.

This is where Mobile Beacon, an organization that provides affordable mobile internet service, may be of assistance. Recently, Mobile Beacon announced that it will work with Digital Wish to help public and nonprofit schools, as well as libraries, make learning mobile.

Through the 4G mobile broadband donation program, education officials who use Digital Wish may be eligible to receive up to 11 4G devices and a one-year unlimited 4G data plan that will cost $10 per device on a monthly basis.

"Out-of-school internet access is arguably as important to the overall quality of the learning experience as in-school access," said Katherine Messier , Mobile Beacon's managing director. "This program is designed to give schools maximum flexibility to decide how they can best make use [of] our mobile broadband service. The donated devices can be used by teachers, administrators, staff, or students to provide access both in and out of school."

This program has the potential to turn around some schools' technological conditions. With these devices and an affordable 4G data plan, there is the potential for educators to establish bring your own device initiatives, increase collaboration between students and faculty, and help meet the broadband demands of the Common Core State Standards.


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