by John J. Walters
This one goes out to all the teachers, professors, and other educators who scour the internet on a regular basis, looking for ways to make their classes more engaging and their students more successful. I’m going to keep this one brief, since you’ll have a little bit of extra reading to do at the end. You’ll see what I mean.
It is with great pleasure (and at least a small measure of personal pride) that I announce the creation on one way for educators to bring quality edtech resources into their classroom at little or no cost whatsoever — the Back to School Giveaway! Go ahead and click the link. I’ll wait here. And pretty much everything I could possibly tell you about the #BTSG (that’s our very official hash-tag) is there already.
But I know some people need a little convincing before they go clicking links and entering massive giveaways with $150,000 worth of edtech resources at stake. I can understand that. So allow me to explain things a bit.
If you have a Facebook account, chances are you saw this status on your newsfeed at least once in the past month or two:
Tonight a teacher somewhere in your neighborhood is getting ready for your child’s new school year, writing lesson plans or writing your child’s name in their grade book, while you are watching television. In the minute it takes you to read this, teachers all over the world are using their “free time,” and often investing their own time & money for your child’s literacy, prosperity, and future. Re-post if you are a teacher, love a teacher, or appreciate a teacher.
As the son of two educators, I can assure you that I did, indeed, re-post. Aside from my parents, I’ve seen committed teachers go far out of their way to help me (and other students) time and time again. In fact, I even wrote this guest blog post for Quincy Tutoring about it. But just writing about it didn’t seem like enough.
So the TestSoup team started brainstorming. How can we give something back to teachers for all that they’ve given? And that’s when it hit us: why not create a giveaway? So I got on the phone and started talking to our friends from the EdTech Karaoke event we co-hosted at ISTE 2011.
Before I knew it, we had a team of six companies who were working on coming up with prizes (and lots of ‘em!) and a site layout for the BTSG. Over the course of the month of August — while most teachers were actively engaged in preparing lesson plans and making sure they had all their ducks in a row for the coming semester — we pulled it all together.
Today marks the start of the contest. I strongly encourage you, if you are an educator, to sign up. And if you’re not? Pass the word along to someone who is. We all have friends in the education world, and they could all use some free resources for their students, I’m sure.