The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused a departure in the way educational organizations provide students with learning experiences.
To improve safety for teaching staff and the student population, schools are moving toward virtual and distance learning platforms. While this is a valuable — and necessary — change, it represents a significant investment that many educational organizations struggle to provide.
Typically, investments in technology are not one-time expenses. Infrastructure, maintenance, updates, and upgrades must all be considered when moving to a digital environment.
Fortunately, a managed IT environment can minimize on-going expenses and help educational institutions cope with rapidly changing student and teacher needs. With the help of government grants and other creative funding options, technology funding for a more robust digital infrastructure is within reach.
Grant Options for Technology Funding
There are a variety of sources for technology grants that educational organizations and other nonprofits can use to adopt a managed IT-based technology infrastructure. Here, we’ve curated just a few sources:
Government Sources of Funding
The United States Government provides a profound source of grants and financial aid to fund education technology.
CARES Act Funding for Remote Learning
Organized because of the impact of coronavirus, the CARES Act provides $30.75 billion to support access to hardware, software, connectivity, and instruction supporting remote learning.
Discretionary Grant Funding Opportunities
The DGFO list includes all programs and competitions the Department of Education has open for an award.
Department Funds to Support Connectivity
Twelve programs are supporting all levels of education, adopting a broadband infrastructure, including the provision of tablets, computers, data plans, and mobile hotspot devices.
USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program is designed to provide telecommunications to link teachers and students (or patients and doctors) in rural areas. It supports the acquisition of capital assets like audio, video, and interactive video equipment, hardware, network components, and infrastructure; and broadband transmission facilities, among other things.
FCC E-Rate Program
The E-Rate program creates discounts for internet access and telecommunication to allow schools to support safe social distancing in a remote or virtual learning situation.
Check back early and often on the U.S. Government grant pages to be the first to know as new funding opportunities develop.
Other Grants Supporting Technology
The U.S. Government isn’t the only source for tech funding supporting education. There are a variety of national tech company grants and other funds that typically provide money to nonprofits to support technology acquisition:
Google usually gives over $1 billion in funds over five years on a rolling basis. The Google Impact Challenge helps nonprofits and other organizations create change and solve pressing issues through the application of grant monies.
Google also sponsors a variety of nonprofit-specific opportunities through its Google for Nonprofits program.
Box.org participates in the Pledge 1% movement designed to give back time, talent, and money to nonprofits. They provide direct tech grants.
Mozilla focuses on grants that provide connectivity and open internet initiatives.
TechSoup provides hardware, software, and technology training, often in concert with the Google for Nonprofits program. They have the distinction of being the largest global validator for nonprofits, and they work with many top innovators such as Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, AWS, and others.
Of course, there are many other grants and funding opportunities not listed here. A simple Google search can often turn up new and exciting funding opportunities, many of which are one-time only awards. Searching early — and often — is a great way to turn up new funding sources and be the first to apply.
Trust Blue Technologies’ Managed IT for Your Organization
At Blue Technologies, we understand how difficult it is for an educational organization with tight budgets to get the technologies they need.
That’s why our team is laser-focused on providing the most value for your tech dollar.
We have the right expertise to expertly optimize your current infrastructure and provide the additional hardware, software, and other resources required to bring an enhanced learning experience to your students, whether they’re in the classroom or remotely located.
Looking for ways to get the technology you need to provide the best experience for your teaching staff and student population? Contact a Blue Technologies consultant today and learn how Managed IT services can solve your learning technology problems.