IPad Grants for Elementary Schools
By Christine Kim
The iPad is the most quickly adopted piece of technology since the DVD player, thanks in part to its growing deployment in schools. However, the iPad's $500 minimum retail price makes it difficult for every school to adopt widely -- especially since some laptops are even cheaper. To help offset the cost, educators can apply for grants geared to expanding the use of technological tools, such as the iPad, in the classroom. Few national grants are specifically for iPads, but there may be some opportunities open to your local school system.
Apple Educational Institution Discount
Although it's not a grant, Apple does offer special discounts to educational institutions, including K-12 schools. For example, for the iPad 2, K-12 institutions in the U.S. get a discount of $100. The Apple Volume Purchase Program also offers discounts to tax-exempt schools, which can purchase apps tax-free and are eligible for discounts if they purchase 20 or more apps.
Several private foundations provide funding opportunities for public schools that would like to integrate the use of technology in the classroom. For example, along with 11 other national foundations and the U.S. Department of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to providing up to $500 million in leverage funding to expand the innovative use of technology in classrooms. Smaller grants, such as those provided by the Digital Wish Grants, help teachers fund the use of classroom technology. Submit a lesson plan that integrates technology and if your application is accepted, you'll be awarded funds to purchase items on your technology wish list, which you submit with the application. You can also use online grant databases, such as Grant Wrangler, to research private grants that financially support the use of technological tools, including the iPad, in the classroom.
To focus your search on state and federal technology grants, go to your respective state department of education's website to see if there are any grant opportunities related to the use of technology in the classroom. In addition, go to the U.S. Department of Education's website on grant programs to research federal grants that support the expansion of technology in the classroom. In addition, check with your local school district to see if you overlooked any grants that apply to iPads or technology in general. Consult with the school principal, district administrator or school board as you begin your research. For example, in the 2010 to 2011 school year, the Chicago Public School System awarded 23 schools mini-grants, enabling each school to purchase 32 iPads, as well as other Apple products.
Several corporations also support educational funding through their philanthropic foundation or divisions. Most corporations aim their educational grants to public, tax-exempt educational institutions. Begin with the Foundation Center's website, which lists a host of private foundations that fund the use of technology in the classroom. At the time of publication, Intel provides community grants for K-12 programs, specifically for science, technology, engineering and mathematic programs. The Verizon Foundation also provides educational grants to K-12 schools, with total grant requests up to $10,000.
- Apple: The Device That Changed Everything Is Now Changing the Classroom
- Apple: US Education Institution, Hardware and Software Price List
- Apple in Education: The Apple Volume Purchase Program
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: 12 Major Foundations Commit $500 Million to Education Innovation
- Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation: Applegate Training & Support Grants for Teachers
- Center for Digital Education: Chicago Public Schools Launches iPad Trials
- Grant Wrangler: Digital Wish Grants
Christine Kim has been a writer and editor since 2002, working with Columbia University, Harvard Business School and University of Alabama Press. She holds a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.