June was a great month to be a geek. First, there was the Infocomm11 tradeshow held in Orlando. The show hosted more than 1,000 manufacturers who sported cutting-edge display and AV technologies. For schools, there were large-scale IWBs with pressure-sensitive touchscreens; short throw projectors with astounding image quality; simulated scenarios where student handhelds and smartphones sync to classroom management systems, then splash their projects on brilliant LED flat-panel displays. And then there is ISTE in Philly, where the technology may be a bit more mundane, but the applications are exciting all the same.
One discussion that often gets lost amongst the shiny boxes and pretty pixels at these exhibitions is how educational institutions can pay for all this stuff. That’s why we dedicate every July issue to all things money. Our very own grant guru Gary Carnow provides strategies for putting together the perfect grant proposal. Contributor James Careless looks at big-picture strategies on how schools and districts can fund their future. And Sascha Zuger discovers how schools can save money by using alternative energies and develop STEM curricula at the same time.
Also, be sure to read our excerpt from the independent think tank Education Sector’s Portrait of School Improvement Grantees. The report states that 843 schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia have been selected as SIG grantees, and the combined grants are expected to fund the teaching of 594,117 students. I expect you find what they got and how they used it to be quite interesting.