How to Get Free Computers for Teachers

by Contributor

Teachers know that they're helping mold the youth that will one day make up contributing members of society. Most teachers chose their profession because they love teaching, despite how underpaid they may be. Even in the face of budget cuts teachers still want to provide the best technology to their students. Rather than get frustrated with limited funds, try these tips to get free computers into teachers' hands.

Start early and get your school's name out to as many organizations as possible for free computers. Because computers are expensive and donated ones are in short supply, having your name on a waiting list ensures that you won't be overlooked when funds or computers become available.

Look at government resources like Computers for Learning, which works with federal agencies to transfer their excess technology to schools and educational nonprofit organizations. Have your school's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) number or the organization's 501c Tax ID number handy for registration on their website.

Try registering with a private organization that transfers computers like the Share the Technology nonprofit. Just like Computers for Learning, Share the Technology focuses on reusing equipment rather than recycling it. They also accept donations of old equipment to pass on to needy schools.

Register with iLoveSchools which matches teachers with donors for free equipment. They allow teachers to post a wish list online and prospective donors view the lists. The organization also matches randomly donated things, such as computers, to those teachers who express a desire for donation.

Consider asking local businesses to sponsor computers in the classroom. Often, companies upgrade their systems every few years and they either sell older models or toss them out. Donating them is a win-win situation because it's likely a tax write-off for the business and schools get what they need. Writing letters is a great way to ask for this kind of support.