Free Software & Grants
The 2019 legislature allocated $150,000 in state funds for 2020-2021 for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish the Media Literacy Grant Program. These funds have now been awarded through a competitive grant process to school teams to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum units on media literacy or digital citizenship, or both, that may be integrated into social studies, English languages arts, or health classes. Eight districts, two ESDs, and one charter school have been awarded grants ranging from $7,885 to $19,500, and an additional three districts have been awarded implementation grants ranging from $2,000 to $4,000.
Grant Awardees for 2020-21
- Ballard High School (Seattle SD)
- Bryant Elementary School (Seattle SD)
- Columbia River High School (Vancouver SD)
- Eatonville SD
- ESD 112
- Highline SD
- Hockinson SD
- North Central ESD 171
- Royal SD
- Selah SD
- Snohomish SD
- Soos Creek Elementary School (Kent SD)
- Wishram SD
- Whatcom Intergenerational High School
For questions regarding this grant, please email Dennis Small or call 360-725-6384.
Free GIS Software
Free licenses are available for Washington state K-12 schools to use GIS (geographic information system) software for instructional purposes. Esri’s GIS software makes it possible to visualize, question and interpret data in ways that bring relationships, patterns and trends to light. Educators use this valuable software to help students understand geography, earth science, social studies, math, language arts and more. Learn more about the ConnectED initiative or sign up for your free account.
GIS Training & Resources
Once you’ve downloaded GIS software, take it out for a test drive. We’ve compiled tutorials that demonstrate instruction basics, and data sets — boundaries, census, education, environmental, geographic and transportation—that you can use as instructional support. These resources are posted on OSPI's EdTech Moodle. Also check out: GIS Resource Collections for Schools
Free SketchUp Pro Software for Public Schools
Education licenses for K-12 schools and teachers are available at no cost. The offer is open to all Washington state schools and districts that make use of the licensing program administered through OSPI. Teachers take advantage of this versatile tool to visualize ideas and data, places and objects—any learning activity that can use the power of 3D graphics to strengthen core curricula with realistic visualizations.
Home Use for Students
SketchUp Pro is not free for students who want to use the 3D software modeling tool at home. We recommend SketchUp Make, which is free and designed for home use.
Technical Support & Training
Email-based tech support is available only to license administrators with active SketchUp Pro lab licenses.
- Video tutorials and student work samples will help teachers.
- Online help will answer most questions.
Additional Grant Funding Opportunities
Public school teachers post requests for a classroom project — everything from pencils to video projectors, to musical instruments and much more. Citizen philanthropists browse the requests and donate to a project(s). DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials to the school.