This organization uses hands-on experiences to teach students how to serve as technology help-desk assistants for their schools. The program, which operates in several states and serves tens of thousands of students in schools with limited technology funding, offers three training programs that vary based on the skill level of the students. MOUSE was launched in 1997 by entrepreneurs Andrew Rasiej and Sarah Holloway to improve the technological capacity of K-12 schools.
Virtual High School Global Consortium
Created by: VHS Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Maynard, Mass., to offer online education and professional development.
For: High school students and educators
Features: This grades 9-12 program offers a host of online-only education programs. Its academic courses range from one semester to a full year, and students can take Advanced Placement courses or enroll in gifted and talented or summer school programs. The site also offers professional development for ed-tech leaders in topics such as Web 2.0 instruction, online-only teaching, and Web-enhanced classrooms.
Created by: Two San Diego teachers in 1984 as a nonprofit organization to connect students and teachers from around the world.
For: Students and teachers
Features: This site offers free curriculum and online project-based-learning tools that connect to classrooms from nearly 200 countries. Once users enter the password-protected site, they can post or view classroom videos, check on education news, register for global student projects, or participate in the site’s “Door to Diplomacy” scholarship challenge, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State. Global SchoolNet’s ultimate goal is to bridge cultural divides.
Created by: Manchester Center, Vt.-based Digital Wish to help schools gain access to learning technologies in all subject areas.
For: Teachers and administrators
Features: Digital Wish works to connect generous donors with educators in need of technology products. After setting up a detailed lesson plan, teachers add wish-list items, such as digital cameras, overhead projectors, and interactive whiteboards, to their accounts. Then, corporate and individual donors shop around until they find a cause they want to support. Once a wish is granted, Digital Wish verifies the wish by contacting the school administration. Each donated item is shipped directly to the school as soon as a payment is processed. In addition to acting as an online charity, the site offers educators ideas on independent fundraising campaigns and grant-writing efforts.
—Compiled by Timothy M. Ebner