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Friday, July 3, 2015

Get Technology for Students Living in Poverty: Credit Unions #ISTE2015

One of my biggest takeaways from ISTE 2015 was the fact that our students living in poverty are NOT getting the technology resources they need. If students do not have the tools they need, they cannot learn. iPads, Chromebooks, and Google Apps for Education are certainly becoming the equivalent of pen and paper in the digital age. How can we help our students get resources if they do not have them?

Suggestion # 1: Credit Unions

Credit Unions? Yes! These non-profit organizations are owned by their members and are always looking for creative ways to give back to schools and the community. For example, I was privileged to attend a financial literacy institute in Pennsylvania and meet several credit union leaders, who informed me about grant programs for schools.  The hook - I had to tie my purchases to financial literacy and just needed to teach a few financial literacy lessons over the course of the year. If I did not feel comfortable teaching the concepts, I was given resources and experts who were willing to come into my classroom to co-teach. 

At the time, I came from a rural school that could not afford to buy technology and immediately put them to the test. Over the next several years, I was able to purchase over $15,000 worth of iPads, Apps, software programs, printers, and digital camcorders. 

Conclusion:

You may want to check with your local credit union to help your students because they are willing to help and have the resources you need. Best of all, you are impacting the lives of your students and their families for years to come. 

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