The iPad, designed by technology company Apple, Inc., is a computer tablet that allows the user to access the Internet, send and read email as well as listen to music, watch movies and play computer games. The versatility of the product has caught the attention of educators and many elementary schools are looking to integrate the iPad into the classroom as a learning tool. To help defray the cost of purchasing iPads, there are grants available.
Some schools systems award grants to eligible schools in their district to help purchase needed equipment and technology. In Chicago, Illinois, the Chicago Public School System awarded mini-grants to 20 of its schools to purchase iPads for testing in the classroom during the 2010-2011 school year. Each grant awarded 32 iPads, 1 Mac Book to be used for syncing applications and devices, a $200 iTunes gift card to purchase additional applications and a storage cart to hold all equipment. The total value of grants awarded is $20,000.
Many companies offer grants as part of their associated philanthropic foundations. For those organizations that award funding to educational programs, this could be an excellent resource for elementary schools looking to finance the purchase of iPads. The Verizon Foundation (foundation.Verizon.com/grant/guidelines), the charitable arm of the telecommunications company Verizon Communications Inc., provides grants in five core areas including education and literacy. Schools are amongst eligible institutions. Applications must be submitted on-line and grant requests of more than $10,000 must also include a budget breakdown.
Private charitable organizations aligned with education or youth programming can be a resource for elementary schools. The John Russell Applegate Fund for Teachers, administered by the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation (midnebraskafoundation.org), awards support grants allowing elementary or secondary school teachers to purchase needed resources for their classrooms enhancing the classroom experience. As of 2011, funding ranges from $250 to $5,000. In 2010, the Brady public schools in Nebraska received a grant from the Applegate fund to purchase iPods for K-12 students. While not an iPad, this demonstrates the fund's commitment to funding innovative technology for learning and could be used by other elementary schools for iPad financing.
Apple's App Store Volume Purchase Program
Though not a grant, iPad creator Apple, Inc. (apple.com) has a purchase program specifically for schools to help make purchasing the iPad learning applications, or apps, more affordable. Through the program, tax-exempt status schools can purchase the apps tax free and all schools are eligible for special pricing consideration if purchasing 20 or more apps. Schools purchase volume vouchers through the company which in turn can be redeemed for the apps that can be purchased through the App Store Volume Purchase Portal.