Oct 19 2010

Wish Fulfillment


"Buy one, get one free" is a great deal. But for teachers in cash-strapped schools around the country, getting two Flip Video camcorders at no cost sounds too good to be true. With Digital Wish, it isn't.

Executive Director Heather Chirtea founded Digital Wish in 2007 "to solve technology shortfalls in classrooms," she says, and to better prepare students for tomorrow's workforce. The nonprofit allows teachers to register for document and digital cameras, camcorders, projectors, interactive whiteboards, mobile labs and other tools they'd like to have in their classrooms but can't afford.

More than 39,000 teachers from 116,000 schools in all 50 states have registered, allowing both "large- and small-scale donors to directly impact their local schools," Chirtea explains. Donors may give money to or buy products for a school or teacher of their choosing, or they can donate any amount to Digital Wish, which then applies the gift to a randomly selected classroom. Chirtea says Flip cameras "are by far the most wished-for item" because of the two-for-one deal Flip offers exclusively through Digital Wish and because "of the creative possibilities they provide for the classroom."

Since signing up last spring, Jodi Hernandez, a fourth-grade teacher at Pine View Middle School in Covington, La., has received rechargeable batteries for her class's digital camera and two software packages. Her current wish list includes the Flip UltraHD camcorder and additional educational software that she hopes to use on her Promethean board.

The generous support of donors "is allowing me to teach the way I want to teach," Hernandez says. "I request what I can use to support the curriculum that would also be fun for my kids."

To learn more, visit digitalwish.com.