Best Buy to give $200K to 10 schools for technology upgrades

For the third straight year, Best Buy Canada will be awarding $200,000 in technology grants to 10 Canadian schools through their Best in Class Fund program.

Since 2008, Best Buy has awarded $500,000 in technology grants through Best in Class. The need for Best in Class was highlighted to Best Buy in a 2009 study from the International Telecommunications Union regarding of advanced use of ICTs (Integrated Communications Technologies) in schools. The study showed that Canada dropped to 19th place, down 10 places from its ninth place standing in 2002, indicating that Canada is losing its competitive edge regarding technology in the classroom.

With this in mind, Best Buy created Best in Class to inspire teachers and students to develop compelling educational projects that will advance learning through the integration of technology in the classroom. This type of learning is recognized as key for scholastic success by numerous experts including Dr. David Vogt, Director of Digital Learning at the University of British Columbia’s Educational Technology Department and member of the Best in Class Technology Advisory Board.

“There are numerous studies that show how the effective use of technology by trained teachers can create a superior learning experience for students,” says Dr. Vogt. “What makes Best in Class such a strong program is that it equips schools with cutting edge technology and then brings in experts to help teachers and students understand how they can best integrate this new technology into the classroom.”

This year, 10 schools will each receive $20,000 in consumer electronics upgrades. The 10 schools selected will also receive Geek Squad technical support for their upgrades on an ongoing basis. Students and teachers are asked to develop their proposals, which must include a video and a written proposal that outline how they would like to integrate various consumer electronic technologies in the classroom and how it will provide an educational benefit, and submit online at www.bestbuy.ca/bestinclass between Monday, September 13 and Sunday, October 24, 2010. One submission is allowed per school and it can come from a single class, or from a cross section of students and teachers from the same school, such as Student Council or other student clubs.

Further entry details and guidelines are available at www.bestbuy.ca/bestinclass.