Teachers: Create your Classroom Wish List with amazon.com

Teachers are some of the most generous people I know. Their financial resources are scarce (and becoming scarcer) for purchasing essential technology tools for their classrooms. When they need something and cannot get the funding, they liberally dig into their own pockets. Therefore, during this time of year I am encouraging teachers to create and distribute their own electronic Classroom Wish List, sharing it with parents and other teachers.

There are various tools that provide this service, but the one I like the best is Amazon’s Wish List. All you need to do is set up an amazon.com account (you don’t need to provide a credit card), and then click the “Wish List” tab at the upper right.

From here, click the Create a new Wish List and go from there.

Name it “Your Name Christmas Wish List” or whatever you want. Then, start adding items you need for your classroom. And here’s the best part: You don’t have to only include items from the amazon.com store. You can add the Firefox (also available for Safari and Google Chrome) amazon “Add to Wish List” button on your browser and then click this whenever you find anything else online you want for your classroom. You will be asked which Wish List to want to add the item to and then it’s there in your amazon.com Wish List. And right now, every time you add an item to your Amazon wish list from any online store, you are automatically entered in a $100,000 MasterCard shopping spree. That would be a nice Christmas present.

What is really cool about this tool is you can add comments, quantity, and priority. If your request is a high priority item and you include a detailed, informative description of why you need this and how you plan on using it (up to 500 characters), you can create a compelling argument for its purchase.

To share a Wish List is a piece of cake. Just make your Wish List public (click “Change settings” in your Wish List) and then select “Make this list public” and click Save.

Once you are ready to share (and of course anything new you add to the list will automatically be visible), you can click “Share With Friends,” and obtain the permalink. Just copy and paste this link in an email to parents and other teachers.

You might want to share your list with other teachers in your school, seeing what they need and how you might pool your resources to obtain the items for one classroom to share, for instance. Having this information available to parents and other teachers can help them realize what you need and why. In fact, some parents might be shocked at just how limited your classroom is in terms of technology tools. You might get a large donation from a business or other organization. Getting the word out can help your cause. Plus, making a list of actual supplies and items you need can help you organize and plan for your future classroom and activities.

Try it out. Go to http://amazon.com, set up an account, and then set up a Wish List. And may all of your wishes come true.

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