With back to school season in full swing, students are stocking up on necessary school supplies. However, students and parents aren’t the only ones spending money on supplies, the majority (94%) of teachers spend their own money on items to stock their classrooms.

Because of how costly school supplies can be, many instructors resort to crowdfunding—through public charities like DonorsChoose.org—as a way to raise money, an Office Depot report found.

SEE: Technology in education: The latest products and trends (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The report analyzed more than one million funded projects from DonorsChoose.org to see what areas teachers need funding for the most. While significant funds are allocated toward desk storage ($17.7 million), field trips ($29.4 million), and books ($120 million), the biggest amount of money donated was toward in-classroom computers and tech—which surpassed $250 million.

Between online learning and interactive classrooms, technology is completely changing the way students learn. These digital learning tools are helpful for both students and teachers, providing new ways to communicate and interpret ideas.

Apple, for example, launched a bevy of digital tools for the classroom including Apple School Manager, Classroom App for Macs, Schoolwork App, ClassKit, Apple Teacher, and Everyone Can Create. Google also added to the trend with Google Classroom and Gradebook, which is especially helpful for teachers already using the G Suite. And with many classrooms providing devices like tablets, or allowing students to bring their own devices to school, these tools are easy to use.

Across the US, schools are shifting away from traditional school supplies, with tablets and computers coming in as the most uniquely requested resource in America, the report found.

The number of overall requests for technology by teachers hit a record high in 2018, totaling more than 50,000 project requests. The top subjects requesting technology as a percentage of resources included mathematics (40%), applied sciences (38%), ESL (33%), literature and writing (29%), and history and geography (28%).

For more, check out the 10 technologies that will impact higher education the most this year on TechRepublic.

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