Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

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Week 14 Web 2.0 Wednesday Challenge: Donors Choose

You potentially have a lot to gain from participating in this week's challenge. As educators, we know that there is never enough money to fund all of the things that we would like to do to enhance learning in our classrooms. We often spend large amounts of money out of our own pockets to provide learning experiences for our students. Grants are usually time consuming and hard to come by.

This week I challenge you to check out DonorsChoose.Org and write a proposal for your class. is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.

DonorsChoose is even a more exciting possibility because we have seen several projects awarded in our district so we know that it works.

  • Keri Helgeson, Math teacher at Washington just had a project funded to purchase math board games for family math game nights. Keri reports that it took her about an hour to write the proposal for about $500 worth of materials.
  • Liz Johnson, 2nd grade teacher at Lincoln had a project funded to purchase a class set of student calculators.
  • Lisa Monson, 4th grade teacher at Lincoln had a project funded to purchase a webcam, microphone and speakers for classroom collaboration projects
  • A Science Teacher at the high school received materials for her forensics class.

As a teacher, your responsibility is to have students write thank you notes to the donor. Donor's choose sends a disposable camera so that teachers can pass along photos as well.

Week 14 Challenge:

1. Go to DonorsChoose.Org and write a proposal. The website takes you step by step through writing the proposal. There are many sample projects to look at for inspiration.

2. Shop for items for your proposal on the site.

3. Once your order is submitted, send a copy or URL of your proposal to

4. Get your proposal in and a copy sent to me by December 17 and not only will you be in the running to get your project fully funded, but you will also be entered into our drawing for a cool and useful prize.

Good Luck!

Perhaps your project can be advertised on your school web page so that parents and community members will have the opportunity to help fund the project.

Here are some tips for writing a successful proposal:

  • Give your project a great title and your essay a snazzy first line.
  • Keep your project cost to less than $400.
  • Speak from the heart when writing your essay.
  • Check your project essay for spelling and grammar.
Ideas of projects that could be funded.
  • Novel Sets
  • Dictionaries
  • Cameras
  • Web Cams
  • Art Supplies
  • Games
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • Document Camera
  • Microscope
  • GPS Receivers
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