One deep frustration I feel that any public educator can share is the increasing lack of investment into our schools and classrooms. My students are 3rd graders and many of them have access to a computer at home and are tech-savvy. Being a younger teacher myself, I know there are whole host of educational tools for educators, many of them free (Apple U, Khan Academy, Wolfram Alpha). I have put in request for a projector time and time again only to have it denied by the administration as they do not see prioritize the younger grades in terms of technology support. So using my head and initiative, I bought my own. http://www.aaxatech.com/products/p4_pico_projector.htm
, This portable projector works well with the lights off and I just leave an empty space on the wall for a projection screen. We did not have to spend $5,000 dollars to get my classroom Smartboard integrated. Now I can have powerpoint lesson plans embedded with educational greats such as "School House Rock" and the "Magic School Bus" and save them on my macbook. Student interest and engagement is up and now I can easily outline the main take aways from each video. Khan Academy helps visualize some of the math that my kids are just starting to learn (multiplication and division). My advice to all teachers, don't be afraid to action on your own.