Many local teachers are turning to online resources to help buy interactive tools for their classrooms. (WRDW-TV / July 27, 2011)
News 12 This Morning / Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Time is ticking for teachers to get their classrooms and supplies together for a new batch of students. Last year, teachers at Roy E. Rollins were allotted just a little more than $100 for school supplies for the entire year.
That's why many of them are posting classroom projects online to raise funds for supplies this summer.
Online fundraising helps teachers like Margaret McKie, who is starting her first year of teaching third graders.
"I do spend a lot of my money out of pocket in the classroom," McKie said.
McKie said she spends over $500 each school year. She says she needs supplies for her students beyond just pencils and paper.
This year McKie wants to incorporate more technology but instead of buying items out of her own pocket, she's using the Internet. She's taking advantage of websites where donors choose to help her buy iPod Touches for her class.
"I just see how fast technology is changing. Simple, basic day-to-day things," McKie said. "There is technology everywhere."
She's hoping donors on the website will pitch in enough money to buy two of them for her class.
"I think it's important for students to see beyond Facebook, beyond the basics, how technology can enhance their education," McKie said.
She's planning to use the devices to download educational apps like a math game that gives instant results instead of using her outdated version. Also, as e-readers replace old fashioned books, she wants her students to be familiar with the technology.
"The earlier we expose them to using the technology in a productive manner, the easier it will be when they get older," McKie said.
She says her students don't always have the benefit of having Internet at home as some of them are from low-income families.
More teachers are signing on and posting their projects on DonorsChoose.org. Last fall when we checked the website, there were only a few teachers that posted projects. Now there are about a dozen from Richmond County, four teachers in Columbia County and nearly 30 teachers from Aiken County that have posted projects.
Many teachers are asking for basic supplies like pencils and notebooks, while others are asking for board games and other interactive applications to keep students engaged in the class.