$20 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Education
For the fourth installment of its Link to Learn program, Gov. Ridge’s multi-year, $166 million initiative to expand the use of technology in the classroom, $20 million to Pennsylvania school districts, area vocational -technical schools, and charter schools. To qualify for funds, every school district was required to describe how it was preparing for the Y2K challenge; to share its technology with the community; and to provide a 20 percent match in funds, which had to be spent on professional development. While the majority of funds were used by schools to connect to the internet, implement distance learning projects, and provide professional development for teachers, schools could also use their funds to assist them with Y2K remediation efforts. This year, for the first time, schools could apply for Link to Learn grants directly over the internet.
$5.5 million from the BellSouth Foundation
For its Power to Teach program, $5.5 million to public schools in nine southern states. Power to Teach is the second phase of edu.pwr3, BellSouth’s two-year, $10 million technology grant program. Launched in March 1999, edu.pwr3 began with Power to Lead, which focused on teaching public school superintendents across the Southeast how to increase their level of technology leadership skills. Superintendents were awarded $800,000 in Power to Lead grants to supplement their own technology training. To receive Power to Teach funding, school districts from every state served by BellSouth developed a plan for district-wide teacher training. Applicants were asked to show examples of vision, quality, and leadership in support of technology. Power to Teach grants require the support of school leaders, who are to supply newly-trained teachers with the tools they need to put their lessons to use. The third and final phase of the edu.pwr3 program is Power to Learn, in which the foundation will select three to five schools in the Southeast where professional development and technology integration are emphasized. Those schools will receive grant money, services, and technology consultations.
$2.8 million from the New Jersey Department of Education
For its County Coordinated Services grant program, nearly $3 million in technology grants to 18 New Jersey districts. The purpose of these grants is “seeding the development of county-based programs that promote collaboration among public and non-public school districts and encourage aggregation that provides long-term resources for educational technology activities.” Some uses for the grant money include: increasing internet access for county schools, professional development offered through distance learning, training and technological assistance, increasing the number of teachers using technology to teach collaboratively, digital video on-demand service, implementing school web sites, group videoconferencing, internet and multipoint desktop conferencing programs, and upgrading curriculum-support systems.
$250,000 from the Intel Foundation
Intel has awarded a brand-new elementary school in Dupont, Wash., with $250,000 to stock the school with computers, printers, scanners, and other hardware. When the school opens in September 2001, officials expect it to be the most technologically advanced school in the state. The grant recognizes the need to bring the latest technology to the classrooms, said Dave Fisher, Intel’s Dupont facility site manager. The grant from Intel will supply the school with 150 Intel-based computers, 48 printers, and 48 scanners, as well as digital cameras and projectors. Officials at Intel also pledged to help design the school and support the technology they are providing. The school will serve about 140 students when it opens, and eventually it will expand to serve 600. Intel’s Dupont site, located outside Tacoma, employs about 1,500 area workers in engineering, research, and product development. The site has contributed more than $4 million to area schools since it began operations in 1996.