Sunday, June 7, 2009 (Home of RubiStar) Needs Your Help!

I was very upset to receive an email recently explaining that the free resource, an invaluable resource for myself and countless others, is in serious financial trouble. It sounds like at best they might have to start charging for their services, and at worst they might have to shut down the site (although that's just my conjecture based on what you'll see below). I've used RubiStar since my first year teaching, and it has helped me to design and evaluate student work effectively throughout my career. Here's a video plea and the email from

Hi 4Teacher!

We are asking for your help!

As you may know, the online resources were developed with money from a U.S. Department of Education grant that began in 1995 and continued until 2005. Designed to help teachers improve instruction through the use of technology, tools such as TrackStar, RubiStar and Assign-A-Day became very popular over the years and are widely used throughout the world.

Since funding ended in 2005 we have been working on ways to keep the 4Teachers resources operating smoothly and, just as important, updated to meet the needs of 21st century users. One of our most popular tools, QuizStar, has changed to a subscription service and we hope it will succeed in providing teachers with a way to use online quizzes with their students. However, we at 4Teachers want to do everything we can to keep our other popular tools free and up-to-date. We need your help.

Your tax-deductible gift will help us keep the tools available to educators and students throughout the world. All donations will fund the staffing and equipment needed to maintain, update, and improve upon this suite of valuable resources. The expected cost of maintaining all of the free 4Teachers tools for the next year is $200,000. We are making progress, but your donation will help us reach the goal.

With your donation, we will be able to keep these tools free for teachers to use in their classrooms. We will also be able to enhance the tools you use every day with new features for the 21st century classroom. Imagine being able to rate TrackStar tracks, and being able to search for the best ones to use in your lessons. How would you use RubiStar if it allowed students and teachers to work together seamlessly to build rubrics? Your donation can make that happen.

You can pledge your tax-deductible donation of $10, $25, or more through the University of Kansas Endowment Association. When you donate, you can choose to support a specific 4Teachers tool, or your gift can work to improve all of the 4Teachers resources. Please visit the 4Teachers Support page at for more information.

Thank you for your continued support, and thank you to those who have already donated, as we strive to make the 4Teachers tools valuable resources for your teaching.

Marilyn Ault
Director, ALTEC

P.S. You don’t have to have an account with any 4Teachers tool to make a donation. Even if you use 4Teachers just to find cool stuff for your classroom, you can help us keep those resources free and available. Please visit and pledge a tax-deductible gift today. was developed and is operated by Advanced Learning Technologies (ALTEC) at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.
I have donated $10, but they still have a long way to go to reach their $200k goal. Please share how the resources on have helped you in your classroom, in the hopes of inspiring more donations. Good luck,!