First, think of this as a challenge rather than an obstacle and think outside of the box.
In one of my online classes, a teacher reported her excitement at having a particular child in her class for the 2011-12 school year. The parents of this child had decided a year ago that students might learn better if a SMARTBoard were used in the classroom. The school didn't have funds to supply this so the parent bought one and it goes from class to class each year, yes with their child, helping the students learn and educating the teachers for the year in its use. You can be sure that once a teacher has had this opportunity they work to get access to this peripheral on a permanent basis.
When I was teaching, I contacted the military base near me and they donated an entire lab of desktop computers. We held a "Christmas in July" event and invited the media to cover it. The soliders came to the school in uniform, each carried a desktop computer up the stairs and put it into place. They provided tech support the first year.
No military base near you, how about contacting small businesses in the area for their used equipment. This is a double-edged sword, because you are already starting out with equipment that isn't new and you have to consider tech support, either from school personnel or from parent volunteers.
For your classroom, consider talking with your PTA/PTO as they can sometimes help the zealots in the school, those who want technology to use with students.
I know how tough it can be, to see the Thinkfinity resources and have to work so hard to get a presentation computer with overhead, four computer stations with Internet access, or just sign up for use of a computer lab.
The struggle is worth it when the students get excited about learning again. You are doing this for them.
Oh, be sure to look for grants. I wrote a grant for a SMARTBoard once and it was funded. I worked for a company that gave laptops to teachers, a server and four computer stations to schools and organizations, always with training on use.
Best of luck! Maybe others have even better ideas to share here.
Hi Jenifer Nerwin,
Sometimes writing down the name of a website and showing it to your student or students works. You can show and tell them what to use on it.
Also sometimes supplemental workbooks cover the exact resources along with the partner sites and verizon thinkfinity.