In 2011, Smart marked its 2 millionth installation by donating a smartboard to Calgary's Douglas Harkness School. While this benchmark donation has come and gone, you can still get money towards an interactive whiteboard without being Smart's 2 millionth customer. Educators who don't have the funds to pay for a smartboard can get help with grants from the government, charitable foundations, community businesses and corporate foundations.
Government Technology Grants
Teachers may find funds for smartboards through technology-based government grants. For example, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs offers technology grants for use with special needs children. Local education agencies, nonprofit organizations and other educational agencies may apply for the grants. The specific grant amounts vary depending on the availability of government funds. A local education agency may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars that they must then divide up among schools or districts. Likewise, the "Enhancing Education through Technology State Program" provides funds to educators for technology use. Teachers may use these funds for advancing their elementary or secondary students education through the use of technology such as interactive smartboards.
Local Community Awards
Some grants for educators are open only to local or community teachers. Foundations, charitable organizations or community educational organizations may offer financial awards for smartboard technology. These grants differ by region. For example, the Greece Education Foundation in Greece, New York offers grants to fund up to the current cost of a 64-inch smartboard. Likewise, the New York's East Aurora Educational Foundation offers grants for smartboards within the school district area. Your local educational organization or community foundation may provide similar funds for in-area teachers.
Money From Businesses for Boards
Some local and national businesses provide technology-based grants for educators to purchase smartboards. For example, the telecommunications company Skyline Membership Corporation has given North Carolina schools $55,000 total to buy smartboards. Some corporations may not advertise that they give away money specifically for smartboards. They may have general education or technology in education awards. The grant money is likely to come from the charitable foundation end of the company, and not the direct business part. The auto manufacturer Honda's American Honda Foundation offers grants to further technology and science education.
Grants from Educational Associations
Educational associations and organizations often provide funds for teachers, schools and districts to purchase new technology for the classroom. Smartboards are technological devices that many of these grants will pay for. For example, the Association of American Educators offers grants up to $500 for classroom equipment, supplies or supplies. The number of grants depends on annual availability of funds. The National Education Association offers grants directly to educators. These grants are only available to public school educators.
- Smart: 20+ Years of Innovation
- Smart: Grants
- U.S. Department of Education: Programs
- U.S. Department of Education: Enhancing Education through Technology Stare Program
- Honda: American Honda Foundation
- Association of American Educators: Classroom Grant Application
- The NEA Foundation: Grants to Educators
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.