Over the past several years, NEF’s grant committee has seen a dramatic increase in requests for technology to help meet the simple demands of everyday classroom needs. In fact, the committee has seen a significant decline in more creative and “outside-the-box” types of requests, because our schools have had to make a decision to prioritize their technology needs.
Despite a consistent and significant investment in technology each year, the Northborough School District has not been able to meet the state recommended 1-to-1 device to student ratio at a quick enough pace, falling over 600 devices short in our K-8 schools alone. What’s more, a majority of the town’s existing devices (desktops, laptops, iPads) will age out in the next 12 months, at a replacement cost of $500,000.
In order to help meet these technology needs, without sacrificing the opportunities to fund more unique and creative educational opportunities, NEF has undertaken a special, 15-month technology drive to help the Northborough School District put more devices into our schools. While our traditional fundraising activities—three yearly events, plus teacher appreciation awards—will continue to support the annual teacher and administrator grants, this special initiative is dedicated to raising $50,000 for the purchase of 200 new Google Chromebooks by the end of the 2016-17 school year.
When introduced in a classroom setting, the Google Chromebook can have a tremendous impact on creativity, collaboration and exploration. A flexible and cost-effective device, the Chromebook can be used across curriculum and across grade levels, providing students with a solid foundation of the 21st Century skills needed to propel them into higher education and beyond. The Northborough School System introduces Chromebooks at the third grade level and integrates them, as availability allows, into the curriculum through twelfth grade. The lower grades use Chromebooks to practice typing skills, access online resources (math facts, spelling and reading comprehension) and do research in Science and Social Studies. In the Middle School and High School, Chromebooks are introduced in the Science Lab, Foreign Language Labs, Language Arts, History, Technology Engineering, and for continual improvement of 21st Century skills and techniques.
Each donation is tax-deductible and can be made via PayPal, Credit Card or Check. All donations over $125 will be recognized with a permanent label on the donated device. While it is NEF’s intention to distribute the Chromebooks equitably across our schools, if you would like to designate a particular school for your donation, you may do so at checkout.