Bill Gates Unplugged

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Interactive Digital Learning: Whiteboards

Promethean Board Demonstration

Promethean Activboards - Baltimore MD

Creative Ways of Exploring Adjectives, Using the Activboard.

Smart Boards in Action

A new 3D virtual world on your Promethean Activboard

Promethean Board Demonstration - Spanish



Donors Choose.Org

Our Beginning was pioneered by teachers at a Bronx public high school in the spring of 2000. Charles Best, then a social studies teacher, saw first-hand the scarcity of materials in our public school classrooms and the profound impact of this scarcity on kids' education. Looking for a way to address this problem, he sensed an untapped potential in people who were frustrated by their lack of influence over the use of their charitable donations., a website connecting classrooms in need with individuals who want to help, was born.

Our Mission is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. We believe this inequity is rooted in the following factors:
1. Shortages of learning materials prevent thorough, engaging instruction;
2. Top-down distribution of materials stifles our best teachers and discourages them from developing targeted solutions for their students; and
3. Small, directed contributions have gone un-tapped as a source of funding. will improve public education by engaging citizens in an online marketplace where teachers describe and individuals can fund specific student projects. We envision a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn.

Our Philosophy has attracted contributors from all walks of life through an approach called Citizen Philanthropy. No matter their contribution size, all donors are treated to a level of service normally reserved for established philanthropists. This includes:

Meaningful Choice: Whether interested in pre-K literacy or science field trips, donors can select the specific project that they feel will have the biggest impact.

Full Accountability: provides "end to end" integrity. We screen each project proposal before posting it online; purchase the materials for the teacher (shipping directly to the school); and compile photographs, student thank-you notes, and a teacher impact letter as feedback for the donor(s) who completes the project.

Portfolio Services: contributors can track and manage their giving in "My Account," which shows the citizen philanthropist everything from the subject areas she/he has funded to the number of students she/he has helped. Tools such as GivingCards and gift registries allow donors to engage their children, friends, and family members in citizen philanthropy.

Our Projects

Project proposals at range from "Where Did All the Pencils Go?" ($60), to "Dictionaries for At-Home Use" ($259), to "Geological Field Trip" ($2,000). Most proposals are not simply requests for materials but fantastic ideas for helping students learn. Thanks to the participation of dedicated and imaginative teachers, has become a showcase of original and successful student projects.

Please see Case Studies for stories about selected projects created at

More questions? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions in the Help Section.

Donor and Media Inquiries
To receive an answer to your question as quickly as possible, check if someone has asked it already: 'What happens when a project expires?' 'Can I send you physical materials?'. The answers to these questions and more await you, right around the corner in the FAQ.

Contact Form for Donors
If you are a member of the media:
Click here to send us a message.

Link to

Help us spread the word by using these images and snippets of html
to link from your site to

National Office
347 West 36th Street, Suite 503
New York, NY 10018
Phone 212-239-3615
Fax 212-239-3619

Teacher Inquiries

Be advised...
Before contacting, please try answering your question/concern by visiting the links below. If your question could have been answered by reading one of these resources, we will not be able to respond. When you answer your own question using the links below, can devote more time to getting your proposals funded!

Frequently Asked Questions -- Answers to all the common questions that teachers have.

Teacher Online Tutorial -- Review the series of Web pages that you clicked through when submitting your first proposal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Submitting a Proposal -- A printable guide that explains how to submit a project proposal at

If your question wasn't answered above...

If the links above do not answer your question, please describe your issue to us using our Contact Form for Teachers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Do You See in These Pictures?

Who are these people? And, what are they talking about?

History is being made here. Can you explain how?

Who are the two witnesses? Who did the transcription?

These are records of history, to be enshrined and preserved throughout the ages.

Friday, November 14, 2008

From Virtual Classrooms to Virtual Schools

What the future in Education will look like

As we move rapidly from election to the reality of the future, we should be looking for ways into the new world of our vision, a new way of looking at and doing things, qualitatively different than the paradigms of the past.

It is not farfetched for a futurist to imagine a Virtual School to supplement and maybe someday supplant the old traditional classroom. In Florida, they have already started.

In Florida, Virtual School Could Make Classrooms History

Thousands of Florida students may ditch public elementary and middle schools next year in favor of online classes at home -- an option that could change the face of public education.

A new law that takes effect next fall requires every district in the state to set up an online school for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. They won't have to get on the bus -- or even get out of their PJs -- to head to school at the family computer.

A handful of elementary- and middle-school students already are experimenting with virtual classes, withdrawing from regular schools and enrolling instead for online instruction. Students take a full range of courses, including reading, writing, math, science, history, art, music and even physical education.

"I am so excited about this that my goal is to go all the way through 12th grade," said Joni Fussell, whose 8-year-old daughter has been studying at the kitchen computer in their Altamonte Springs home since January.

Read more… at


In 2002, I began researching online educational tools after a student introduced me to These and other tools were later published on Juneteenth 2007 at

Virtual School Tools

We have long since entered the digital age. The government and many colleges and universities have published free educational tools online. But our public school system is far, far behind the curve in applied technology for the classroom. In Fort Worth, Texas, we are still upgrading Windows 95.

I remember how hard it was to get computers into the classroom in 1995-1996. The teachers were the first to balk, threatening to quit if they had to learn computers. By that time, students were already computer literate.

The biggest obstacle came from book publishers who perceived computers to be a threat to the traditional paperback textbooks. The fear still exists, but more from software developers who have contracts to produce computer programs to be used for classroom curriculum. Although free online tools are used by students, complicated cumbersome home-made programs do not integrate well. Software developers have no concept with different learning styles and techniques. They struggle simply to write a program that works. Online tools are much more user friendly and infinitely more engaging.

Background and History

If necessity is the mother of invention, then surely our short-lived community-based computer school discovered useable and effective free tools from online. We never received the public funding the program deserved. For the most part, I funded the computer school out of my own pocket, and by 2004 when we closed our doors, I manage to keep a little of the curriculum, which is posted at


Some time in the future, maybe far past my time, the classroom will be wired with new technology and innovations. Students will be engaged to learn by fascination alone… no motivation needed. And, they will learn at a rapid, efficient clip, based on new theories of learning.

But it is hard for the new to replace the old unless we have a national leader with a vision and foresight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Secret Malcolm X recording with FBI

Listen closely to the FBI agents. Here is why Malcolm X was assassinated.

Promethean Board demonstration