Crowdfunding for teachers is opening up new possibilities for bringing technology and great projects to the classroom.

Thanks to Donors Choose, a crowdfunding platform that allows funding from corporations and individuals for classroom projects, John Cowan has brought over $11,000 worth of items and experiences to his science students at Fair View High School. His classroom has new equipment such as specialized beakers, computer connected microscopes, and solar ovens.

So far, Cowan has funded 22 projects with the Donors Choose platform.  In addition to listing his project on Donors Choose, he promotes heavily on social media, encouraging his friends to be “generous.”

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“I’ve got a projection device, a digital microscope that will hook up to a computer, tools for a maker-space,” Cowan said. “Most of these things are for hands-on projects that benefit the entire class. I’m able to do stuff than just relying on the school and district that I wouldn’t be able to do.”

In Butte and  Glenn counties in California, 1,144 projects have been funded through Donors Choose over the past ten years.  The projects include sending students on educational trips, purchases of digital cameras and equipment, and purchases of machinery and tools for vocational classes.

Golden Apple Insurance now offers training to their educator clients on how to use Donors Choose, and the number of projects locally funded has increased considerably in the four years they have offered assistance to encourage crowdfunding for teachers..

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