DonorsChoose.org Makes Dreams a Reality
I have been a registered user of DonorsChoose.org for about a year. I had taken a look at how the site works, but I never took the time to fill out the project form and use the site for its true, meaningful purpose. To be honest, whenever I would shop for the products that they have available for newly registered users my internet browser would kick me out or the site would time-out and I would lose the shopping cart that I had been working on. It was frustrating to say the least, and I kept putting it off, because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.
But a couple months ago, with patience renewed, I tried it again. I setup a project requesting 36 white boards for my students to use with dry erase pens. If you have not used these white boards in class, I can tell you they are amazing. Students use them for every subject. In math lessons they work out problems, and show their work to me. Instantly I can tell who is understanding the concepts and who needs addition help. In Science, they pre-plan ideas for bridge designs, then create their rough paper draft. In reading, they use the boards for vocabulary pictionary to draw the meaning of the word I have secretly given to them. The list goes on and on, it is a great tool that teachers can use.
So, I go through all of the setup pieces, the shopping cart works, and the project is set live. I announce it on my facebook wall (not expecting anything more than to let people know about this cool site) and presto! Two donations appear. To say that was humbling would be an understatement. People who I know and who care about me donated to my classroom. That means so much to me.
Well today, the final donation was made and my project got fully funded. In the Fall of 2012, 36 white boards will be arriving at room 16. The next step is to write a formal thank you to the donators, take some pictures of the boards in action, and have the kids write thank you letters to DonorsChoose and the contributors.
You see, the site works on understanding that human interaction is much more than just a digital donated click. Each teacher who registers gets a few points to work with. These points allow you to create projects. To begin, you can only create projects using the catalogs available through DonorsChoose and their vendors. As donations come in, and you interact and thank your donors, you begin to earn more points. When you submit your thank you package you earn points. As your points grow, you are able to have a bit more freedom for your projects. It’s a very smart way to insure interaction between donors and receivers.
If you have technological dreams for your classroom, where analog or digital, books or e-books, DonorsChoose.org can make your dreams possible. This is an amazing web site, and I would highly recommend every teacher to setup their account, but don’t wait like I did, setup a project and see what dreams can become reality.
Have you had an experience with DonorsChoose.org? Tell me about it in the comments section below, I’d love to hear about what you did.