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Hello, Aaron Quigley here and welcome to the Teacher Tips Series. This week we're continuing our conversation about tools to help fun classroom projects and technology by looking at adoptaclassroom.org. This website, while very much like DonorsChoose, functions a little bit differently. The basics are the same however. Through the website you can broadcast the needs of your classroom, and then donors can come to the website, donate money through the website, and then the website helps you match up those funds with the technology supplies that your classroom needs. One of the main benefits of adoptaclassroom.org is it really allows the teacher to cultivate classroom partners.
When someone chooses to adopt your classroom, they're giving you funds not to a specific project, but to the classroom itself. These funds are designed to help you and your students succeed. The teacher then has the ability to determine the spending. For example, in donorschoose.org, you have to have a project and pre-select the things that you're going to buy, and then people can donate money to that project. With AdoptAClasroom, however, you'll have a pool of resources, and then you can determine how you spend that pool of money for your students. And similar to DonorsChoose, they have built-in portals where you can purchase online from their vendors directly through their website.
This makes purchasing supplies for your classroom a very simple process. One of the main benefits of adoptaclassroom.org is that 100% of every dollar donated is available for spending. That means that if someone donates $10, you have $10 to go out and to buy supplies for your classroom. There's no administration fees taken off the top. Setting up a DonorsChoose is a fairly simple process. The first step is you need to describe your classroom. You'll have an opportunity to upload some photos and give a classroom description of the needs of your students. The second step is you need to seek partnerships and donors.
Now, some web sites like DonorsChoose do a great job of broadcasting and marketing the needs of the classroom through their networks. AdoptAClassroom doesn't do as good of a job of marketing externally. It's really up to you to spread the word about the needs in your classroom. The third step is once people start donating to your classroom, you can use the donations for supplies. Now I say supplies very vaguely. There's a variety of things the donations can be spent on, everything from pens and pencils all the way up through iPads, including some options to have classroom services, such as field trips.
I highly recommend that you take the time to read through the adoptaclassroom.org website to find exactly what's available for purchasing before you set up an account. Even though you can start seeking donors without a project in mind, it's a good idea to have in mind the things that you need to buy. The fourth step, which is not required through AdoptAClassroom, as opposed to DonorsChoose, but I believe it's critical to teacher success, is to communicate the classroom impact that your donors are having. With DonorsChoose, you have to put together a thank you package that includes photos of the students using the supplies in the classroom. Now while AdoptAClassroom is not going to require the thank you package, because you're cultivating relationships with people that are choosing to partner with your classroom, I think this fourth step is the most important step to success.
In the next movie we'll take a look at a few ideas to help get you started with AdoptAClassroom, and to make sure your AdoptAClassroom account is successful.
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