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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Grant Writing - If you could have anything in the world for your classroom....

Grant Writing - If you could have anything in the world for your classroom....

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If you could have the latest or most effective gadget/software/technology/teaching tool/ (basically anything you can think of) for your classroom what would it be?

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M.E. M's picture

Hi mrs_chube,

Funny that you posted this a couple of days ago, because a couple of days ago on my commute to work, I decided to dare to dream big -- I created "my dream classroom." This is what I came up with in my 30 minute commute:

In my dream classroom I would have:

A class set of laptops -- probably something simple to keep up on, like Chromebooks - I'd never have to run updates, and I wouldn't have to worry about anti-virus and the sorts. And when you are dealing with 25 computers, that's a big relief.

An LED projector and a Mimio style interactive whiteboard

A document camera

5 Flip Videos

2 printers

Class set of USB flash drives -- or at least 5 of them

I was thinking about all of the things I could do with this equipment:

Reader's Theater videos
Character Education videos
Current Events Video Blogs

Typing
Word Processing
Publishing -- through print and online

I could use Edmodo to publish their homework online, and we wouldn't need to worry about wasting our class time pulling out homework sheets to fill in -- and I wouldn't waste paper and ink printing and copying all of them, either.

We could do whole group activities on the whiteboard to reinforce topics that the class struggles with as a whole, and they could do small group games in rotations.

Eventually I'd love to have a webcam and microphone, so we could hold conferences with other schools, and really help students understand how the Internet and technology will open up our world.

I would want to share with my students so many resources -- they could use Starfall, and Busuu, they could use Arcademic skill Builders and Brain Pop. They would know where all of the games for practicing different skills were and I would have a website for them to visit to learn about all of the resources.

We could put together slide shows and do student lead lessons.

Students could use Excel to track their own progress/grades. They would be responsible for their own work and hold themselves accountable for their grades and learning. When it came time for report cards, they could have a parent-student conference and explain their progress using their Excel print out.

My students would be lightyears smarter than I ever was at their age. And I hope that by the end of the year in my ideal classroom they will be smarter than I am now. I hope they will have more tools and skills than I could ever dream of having. I hope that they will know whatever they dream is possible, and they just have to look in the right places for answers.

As I was dreaming about all of this, I started to realize it didn't have to stay a dream. Why couldn't I get all of those things in my classroom? I think I could manage it. Here's how:

Find a grant for the computers -- it will need to be about $20,000.

Build my own projector and interactive whiteboard using a Wii remote -- it will cost me a total of about $150.

Apply for the Flip Videos at Donorschoose.org $500

Printers could be from DonorsChoose.org or I could look on Freecyclers, or save the money to purchase for myself -- About $200.

Document Camera - DonorsChoose.org or Grant of other nature... this is also not something I feel is urgent. $500

Flash Drives - I can get relatively cheaply and purchase myself, or even ask at DonorsChoose or Freecyclers.

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