**NEW THIS MONTH**
Internet Innovator Award
Sponsored by National Semiconductor, these awards go to K-12 educators who “exemplify the highest level of innovation integrating internet technology into their curriculum.” They are intended for schools in the three areas where National Semiconductor has business operations: Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda counties (California); the state of Maine; and Tarrant County, Texas. The awards consist of $10,000 for the educator or group of educators; $20,000 for the educators’ school; and a discount of $3,500 on National Semiconductor’s “Global Connections” course. Last year, awards were given for 11 projects, such as a project in which elementary schools around the country communicate about weather conditions; an online “intergalactic” newspaper written in the year 2299; and an exploration of famous walls, such as the U.S. Vietnam Memorial and Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.
Deadline: June 2
Compaq Lesson Plan Contest
K-12 educators are eligible to compete for the latest giveaway of a Compaq computer and a library of software titles from Knowledge Adventure by submitting their best lesson plan to Educational Resources ‘ Educast . Judges are seeking creativity and or iginality in the presentation of content, according to a description of the contest. Lesson plans can pertain to the following subject areas: mathematics, language arts, social studies, science, or problem solving. One grand-prize winner will receive a new Compaq computer with an approximate retail value of $2,000. Three first-prize winners each will receive a library of five teacher’s-edition software titles selected from Knowledge Adventure’s school catalog (approximate retail value: $300).
Deadline: June 2
Contact: Julie Gates at (800) 545-7677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**NEW THIS MONTH**
Comprehensive School Reform Research Grants
This U.S. Department of Education (ED) program, funded at $5 million, was announced in late April. It supports “large-scale” study of school reform models that are being implemented today. School reform that uses technology in innovative ways or in ways to serve disadvantaged student populations can be studied. ED expects winning proposals to outline specifically how a particular reform model is supporting student achievement and how those successes can be replicated in other settings across the country. Research grants are for one year only, but the research proposed can be for as many as three years, as needed, to assess student achievement gains. State and local education agencies, public and private organizations, and individuals can apply for the awards. Applicants are encouraged to collaboratei.e., teams that include model developers, researchers, and practitioners are preferred.
Deadline: June 22
Contact: Cheryl Kane, (202) 208-2991
Macromedia eLearning Innovation Awards
Web software publisher Macromedia has created the eLearning Innovation Awards program to honor “outstanding instructional content” developed through the use of Macromedia products such as Authorware, Director, and Flash. Four times per year, Macromedia will announce one winner in the category of “Web-Based Instructional Product” and one winner in the category of “Best Student-Developed Content.” Winners will receive any two Macromedia products, a Palm Pilot, and free registration to the next Macromedia User Conference event.
Deadlines: June 30, Sept. 30, Dec. 30, and March 31
Contact: John Osborne at (650) 622-2945.
**NEW THIS MONTH**
America Online Rural Telecommunications Grants
America Online (AOL) funds these awards that “recognize and reward outstanding achievement in rural community development through telecommunications.” In partnership with the National Center for Small Communities (NCSC), the AOL Foundation makes awards in five categories: Infrastructure Technology; Public Access, Skills, and Training; Community/Economic Development, Job Creation; Health Information and Services; Enhanced Disability Access; and Youth Development/Leadership. The foundation provides $10,000 to winners in each of the five categories and $2,000 to two semifinalists in each category. Applicants must demonstrate how they have used telecommunications to invigorate rural communitiesnot just show a plan that might work in the future. Rural communities are defined as those with a population less than 10,000. Although the foundation states explicitly that an academic-only orientation is not likely to win an award, its 1999 awards indicate that projects that link students in rural areas with their peers are very strong candidates. For example, the Edcouch-Elsa High School in south Texas created the Llano Grande Center, which enables former outstanding high school students who have gone to Ivy League colleges to stay in touch by eMail and a web site with current high school students and inspire them to similar achievements.
Deadline: July 14
Contact: Jennifer Balsam at (202) 624-3550 or email@example.com
Connections to the Internet
This National Science Foundation (NSF) program helps fund internet connections at K-12 schools, public libraries, and museums. This is a highly competitive, cost-sharing grant that will reward “only highly innovative approaches” of connecting to the internet. Project costs may include the acquisition and maintenance of hardware and software to establish institutional access to the internet, as well as the installation and recurring charges for a communications channel. Conversely, funds may also be used to acquire internet connections and services from an external service provider. NSF typically awards $15,000 over a two-year period to successful applicants, though consortia may apply for larger awards.
Deadline: July 31
Contact: (703) 306-1636
American Honda Foundation Grants
Four times per year, the American Honda Foundation funds youth-oriented programs that provide support for job training and/or education in math, science, and the environment. The program’s stated mission is to encourage “innovative curriculum development for K-12 youth.” Schools, school districts, and other education-related institutions are eligible to apply. For guidelines, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the American Honda Foundation, P.O. Box 2205, Torrance, CA 90509. If the foundation receives a preliminary proposal a month before the next deadline, its staff can provide feedback in time for you to make changes to your proposal and still meet that deadline.
Deadlines: Aug. 1, Nov. 1, Feb. 1, and May 1
Contact: Kathy Carey at (310) 781-4090.
NEC Foundation Grants
The NEC Foundation of America makes cash grants to nonprofit organizations for programs with national reach and impact in one or both of the following areas: science and technology education (principally at the secondary level), and/or the application of technology to assist high school students with disabilities. These are not grants for the purchase of specific computer equipment for a specific individual, nor does the foundation broker the donation of NEC equipment. Winning projects typically have focused on disseminating products and information to target groups or expanding the scope of an existing program with national impact. The grants, which range from $1,500 to $70,000 each (with a median of $28,000), are awarded twice per year.
Deadlines: Sept. 1 and March 1
Contact: (516) 753-7021
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans
This program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loans or combination loans and grants to rural districts and other nonprofit entities for the implementation of distance learning or telemedicine projects in rural areas. Applications may be submitted any time up to Sept. 30 and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For 2000, $130 million for loans and $77 million for combination grants and loans is available.
Deadline: Sept. 30
Dow Chemical Co. Foundation Grants
Dow supports K-12 programs in the areas of math and science, teacher training, and parental involvement. Grants may include cash, products, in-kind services, and volunteered time. Dow will not give a grant to an individual school. Instead, the company targets its giving toward school districts; national, state, or local programs; and programs to encourage women and minorities in math and science.
Deadline: Sept. 30
The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education’s Leadership Grants underwrites professional development opportunities for public school teachers and education support personnel to prepare them for collegial leadership. Sponsored by the National Education Association, these grants enable teachers to lead the educational process from the classroom, rather than having school administrators direct curricula. Up to 50 grants of $1,000 each are awarded each year in two rounds of competitions. Grant candidates should demonstrate a specific need for the knowledge or training that will be supported. Eligibility is limited to employees of public school systems. Although technology training is not the focus of the grant program, a list of recent winners’ proposals included online education courses, attendance at SchoolTech 2000, and the creation of an online “teacher community” to address how to meet new state education standards.
Deadlines: Oct. 15 and March 1
Target Teacher Scholarships
This year, Target Stores Inc. will award a total of $1 million to teachers and administrators for continuing education and staff development. Technology training has been the focus of many scholarship winners in recent years. Awards range from $1,000-$5,000. More information will be made available at Target’s web site.
Deadline: Nov. 1
Contact: (800) 316-6142
Sponsored by cell phone manufacturer Nokia and a consortium of cell phone service providers (organized by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association), this program gives cell phones and free calling time to classroom instructors. The program is designed to create additional in-class learning opportunities by enabling students to call subject matter experts during school time, and also to provide instructors with emergency access to telephones to ensure their safety and the safety of their students. To date, more than 28,000 cell phones and 12 million hours of free phone time have been donated. Among the innovative uses of the system has been a project in a private school in Florida that allows each teacher to place his or her homework assignment on wireless voice mail daily, so that parents can call in and confirm their children’s homework assignments. Grants are made by individual local wireless providers; to find out if your provider is participating in the program, go to the ClassLink web site.
http://22.214.171.124/wirelessfoundation/03clas s/ index.htm
Robert H.Michel Civic Education Grants
The Dirksen Congressional Center is offering a total of $40,000 for projects that create lesson plans and/or student activities on Congress, government, and civics. Projects that use multimedia applications are preferred, especially as they facilitate identification of additional resources for teaching the historical basis for legislative and regulatory rules. Teachers of students in grades 4 through 12 can apply for the grants; institutions cannot. The grant administrators emphasize that they are seeking “practical classroom applications” in the lesson plans and use of technology. Applicants should begin by sending a short letter or eMail that outlines their project; promising candidates will be asked to submit more detailed information. Proposals may be submitted at any time during the year.
Contact: Frank H. Mackaman, Executive Director, at (309) 347-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Launching its new Teach America! program with a major media splash through President Clinton’s “New Markets for the Digital Economy” tour, the Gateway Foundation has promised to provide free technology training to 75,000 educators in public and private schools. Successful applicants will receive one year of free access to an online database containing more than 400 technology training courses, which run the gamut from word processing, to web site design, to spreadsheets, to computer-aided drafting. Applicants can be individual teachers or school district media representatives. Applicants must file a short note indicating their reasons for wanting access to the online training program and their plans for using their knowledge in the classroom.
Toshiba America Foundation Grants
The Toshiba America Foundation awards grants for programs and activities that improve the classroom teaching and learning of science, mathematics, and technology for middle and high school students. Public and private schools, local educational agencies, and youth organizations across the United States may apply. Projects should provide direct benefits to students and should include teacher-led, classroom-based experiences. The Small Grants Program awards grants of up to $5,000 monthly throughout the year. The Large Grants Program awards grants of more than $5,000 in March and September (with deadlines of Feb. 1 and Aug. 1, respectively). The total annual grants budget is approximately $550,000.
Contact: (212) 588-0820 or email@example.com.
Bell Atlantic Foundation Grants
The Bell Atlantic Foundation reviews unsolicited proposals from the 13 Northeastern states served by Bell Atlantic on a continuous calendar year basis from January through November. Last year, the organization received about 28,000 requests. Technology integration is the foundation’s priority, and integration with education has been one of the areas it has supported consistentl.y. Examples of previously funded technology projects, which can be found on its web site, include supporting a maritime library’s creation of online courses for middle school students and a program to provide rehabilitated computers to disadvantaged children. The foundation recommends that you apply for its grants online, and guidelines are available on its web site.
Contact: (800) 360-7955
First for Education Grants
Last year, Carolina First Corp. established the Carolina First for Education Foundation with a $12.6 million endowment. The foundation will provide education and community-based grants to teachers and public schools in South Carolina for projects that will help bring the state to the educational forefront, including grants for technology initiatives such as purchasing computers. All grants will be awarded based on evaluation of a written application. For an application form, write to the Carolina First For Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1029, Greenville, SC 29602.
Contact: Bruce Thomas, (803) 750-2706.
Intel Foundation Grants
Intel offers a wide range of support for many technology- and science-related initiatives. On a national level, Intel funds programs that advance math, science, or technology education, promote science careers among women and underrepresented minorities, or increase public understanding of technology and its impact. National grants are made either to national projects or local projects that serve as pilots for national programs. They are cash-only grants (no equipment or volunteer support). Community grants are viewed with the same priorities and subject to the same rules as national grants, but they are limited to communities where Intel has a major facility: Chandler, Arizona; Folsom and Santa Clara, California; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Hillsboro, Oregon; Fort Worth, Texas; and DuPont, Washington. Intel’s Public Affairs Department also considers requests for equipment and support of Intel volunteers in the communities where the company has operations. An example of this type of activity
is the Management Review Committee staffed by Intel managers and administrators in the Chandler Unified, Tempe Union, and Kyrene School Districts in Arizona, which meets monthly to maximize the value of all Intel-supported programs in the area. Applications for all of these programs can be found on Intel’s web site.
Sprint Foundation Grants
The Sprint Foundation supports educational projects that foster school reform through the use of new technologies and communications media and through fresh approaches to the enhancement of teachers’ skills. Although Sprint does not have an application form, the foundation recommends that applicants identify how their projects support Sprint’s objectives: innovation and the use of technology in the classroom; enhanced education for minorities and/or the disadvantaged; and increased employee and public support of education. Because these grants are supported by employee contributions matched by foundation funds, grants are available for projects in areas with a significant employee presence, primarily Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Sacramento. Two examples of grant recipients for 1998 are the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to implement videoconferencing in a variety of educational applications, and the Kansas City Art Institute to begin creation of a forward-looking, campus-wide technology initiative. Schools and other education-related nonprofit agencies can apply for grants totaling about $500,000 per year. Call to talk to a program officer first, or check out Sprint’s web site for application guidelines.
Contact: (913) 624-3343
$7.4 million to 67 Idaho districts from the Idaho Department of Education
Idaho school districts will use more than $7.4 million in federal grants to train teachers and pay for projects that will improve the use of technology in classrooms. The grants are funded through the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund and administered through the state Department of Education.
“We funded many exciting, innovative approaches to using technology to assist student learning, and to help teachers better understand how to use technology in the classroom,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Marilyn Howard said.
Members of the Idaho Council for Technology in Learning reviewed the applications and decided to fund 93 projects for 67 school districts during the 2000-2001 school year.
“This year, we received more applications than ever before and were able to fund more projects,” said David Breithaupt of the state Department of Education. “Unfortunately, there were quality proposals that were not funded simply because we ran out of money.”
The applications are evaluated on several factors, including the quality of the project, the project’s connection to district technology goals, and how the applicant plans to evaluate the project’s effectiveness.
Contact: (208) 332-6800
$5 million to 20 nationwide consortia from WorldCom and Brown University
WorldCom and Brown University have announced grants to 20 programs nationwide that link public schools or community organizations with local colleges or universities to develop educational technology projects for youth in underserved areas.
The $5 million Making a Civic Investment program, funded by WorldCom and administered by Campus Compact at Brown, goes beyond funding for computer hardware and software, officials said.
“This effort brings together community groups, the private sector, higher education, and schools to help build stronger, more vibrant communities,” said Jonathan B. Sallet, WorldCom chief policy counsel. “Our purpose is to improve learning through technology, not just through the provision of hardware and software, but by teaching students to use technology to learn and thrive in today’s technology-rich environment.”
The programs range widely from urban schools to Native American tribal communities; from online community newspapers, to urban gardens, to web sites that gather neighborhood history. They vary geographically from Spokane, Wash., to Lorman, Miss., to Miami.
Each program will receive annual funding for two years and will be eligible for continued funding for a total of five years. Leaders of the 20 programs qualify for annual professional development programs at Brown. WorldCom and its UUNET subsidiary will ensure that each project has high-speed internet access for the term of the grant. Although the size of individual projects varies, most grants will total more than $200,000 over five years. More than 160 community-based programs applied for grants.
Making a Civic Investment expands on WorldCom’s commitment to support education using cutting-edge technology. The WorldCom Foundation’s Marco Polo program features a comprehensive teacher training kit and is available online at no cost through the program’s web site (www.wcom.com/marcopolo). In December, WorldCom announced an initiative to provide specialized internet training for all teachers in seven Mississippi Delta states. In April, WorldCom committed to provide high-speed wireless internet service to schools and libraries in four rural communities: Hattiesburg, Miss., Douma, La., Dothan, Ala., and Raleigh, N.C.
$1 million to 25 state programs from the Colorado Institute of Technology
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens has announced $1 million in grants for 25 innovative high school summer study programs to enhance technology skills for the state’s students and teachers.
Owens hopes the camps will pay off with a computer-literate workforce to fill tens of thousands of jobs expected to open up in the technology sector in the next decade.
“The Colorado Institute of Technology-funded programs are far from calculator-punching alternatives to summer play,” said Owens, accompanied by four students who plan to attend.
The 25 programs include classes for teachers and students, and range from a Colorado Community College program to help educators teach math and technology to a middle school science camp at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
The initiative also funds a Little Shop of Physics course at Colorado State University and YouthTech, a youth-run information training laboratory in Denver.
Grants for the classes ranged from $10,000 to more than $200,000, and they were awarded after individual schools applied and outlined their plans along with the number of people attending.
The Colorado Institute of Technology was formed in March to help Colorado become an industry leader, and to help fill tens of thousands of jobs that high tech industries are having a hard time filling.
“We’re going to the heart of the problem to bridge the digital divide,” said Marc Holtzman, Owens’ technology secretary. “These programs will help Colorado develop the human capital necessary to meet technology’s challenges with a prepared and committed workforce. They will give kids an early appreciation for technology’s capabilities and fascinations.”
Contact: Barbara Bauer, Colorado Institute of Technology, at (720) 331-1444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
$800,000 to the Minnesota Computers
for Schools program from the
Minnesota Computers for Schools, a public-private partnership that provides technology tools to Minnesota schools, received an $800,000 grant from the Blandin Foundation to keep the program afloat.
Because of a lapse in state funding, the program was within hours of cutting its operations when the donation was announced.
David Jennings, president of the Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, said the Blandin Foundation grant and a $200,000 grant from the Star Tribune Foundation will ensure the program continues into 2001 without interruption.
The chamber has helped the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning coordinate the program since 1998. Additional state funding is expected to be approved in 2001, Jennings said.
Over the past three years, the program has collected more than 19,000 computers, had them refurbished by prisoners who are being taught new job skills, and donated them to more than 200 Minnesota school districts.
The Blandin Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, targets its grants to strengthen rural communities.
Contact: (877) 882-2257
$100,000 to School Administrative District 42 from Guilford of Maine
Inspired by Maine Gov. Angus King’s proposal to give laptop computers to the state’s seventh-graders, a Guilford-based textile manufacturer is offering to help the local school district provide laptops for its middle school pupils.
Guilford of Maine has agreed to put up $100,000 in the next two years if the donation can be matched by School Administrative District 42.
King’s $50 million proposal would supply all seventh-graders in Maine with their own laptop computers that they would keep until they finished high school. Lawmakers were lukewarm to King’s proposal and have voted to study they issue further. The school district’s plan is not quite as ambitious, but is seen as a first in Maine.
The laptops in SAD 42 would not become students’ property and would be kept at school for future pupils. Students would not take them home or keep them through high school.
The plan would provide Apple iBooks, with a retail cost of about $1,600 each, for the district’s 150 seventh- and eighth-graders, said Superintendent Norman Higgins. Piscataquis Community Middle School already has 17 laptops bought with a federal technology literacy grant awarded last fall, and the district expects to be able to afford at least 75 iBooks, he sai