Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with Disabilities

This Department of Education (ED) program promotes projects that enable teaching professionals to improve services to children with disabilities. The program explicitly supports technology-based approaches, such as technology that aids the deaf or the visually impaired. Applicants should demonstrate how they will provide early intervention for children (who can be as young as infants or toddlers) with disabilities. Grants of $200,000 or more are available (11 grants in total) for creation of curricula that help bring educational opportunities and support federal education reform initiatives. State and local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and other groups are eligible; partnerships between groups are preferred. Within this program are several subprograms that are especially technology-oriented. For example, at least three projects will be funded under the program titled “Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities,” which is designed to promote the development, demonstration, and use of technology and educational media. This program provides support for some captioning, video description, and cultural activities.

Deadline: Dec. 8 announcements/2000-3/082900c.html


National Schools of Character

Ten K-12 schools each will receive $2,000 and substantial press coverage for their efforts to teach character to their students. This competition, now in its fourth year, provides awards to schools that have been teaching moral issues by using the “Eleven Principles of Character Education” curriculum. Winning applicants have enhanced this curriculum in innovative ways. Several past winners have used technology to help disseminate messages of character. For example, Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md., a 1998 award winner, has created a daily television program that focuses on key virtues, among other activities. The program’s sponsor is the Character Education Partnership, which includes nearly every significant educational association and organization in the country.

Deadline: Dec. 11


Imation Computer Arts Scholarship

Open to high school students in public or private schools, this program from Imation will provide 25 scholarships of $1,000 each for top computer artists from around the country. Schools must hold contests and send in their winners for consideration; schools may nominate one candidate per 1,000 students. Quality and creativity are the benchmarks for judging the contest. Last year’s contest generated about 650 entries. The National Education Association and the American Association of School Administrators cosponsor the program.

Deadline: Dec. 15

Magnet School Assistance Program

This ED program has a very specific purpose that substantially limits eligibility of applicants. It is open only to local educational agencies and consortia of such agencies to support magnet schools that are part of approved desegregation plans. These grants will support programs that enhance the ability of magnet schools to attract and retain minority students, and magnet schools using technology as a draw have been successful applicants in the past. Grant recipients will receive substantial awards—$200,000 to $3 million per year for up to three years—from this program, which is budgeted for fiscal year 2001 at $92 million. As many as 60 awards will be made.

Deadline: Dec. 22 q300/073100b.txt


Growth Initiatives for Teachers

This program used to be administered by the GTE Foundation until GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon earlier this year. It’s now administered by the Verizon Foundation, though little else has changed. The program encourages innovative math and science teaching by annually providing 140 outstanding secondary school educators with funds for professional development activities and hands-on classroom projects. Teams of full-time science and math teachers in grades seven through 12 (grade six if from a middle or junior high school) in public and private U.S. schools may apply. Each team must consist of one science teacher and one math teacher from the same school. Applicants must propose a school enrichment project that integrates math and science into classroom activities and uses technology in an innovative way. Each winning team shares a $15,000 grant—$8,000 to implement the project and $3,500 for professional development activities for each team member. Recent winning projects have included using DNA fingerprinting to learn more about an endangered fish species; examining the cellular mechanisms of cancer to look for mathematical relationships between normal and diseased cells; and using global positioning systems and computer-based labs to help restore a natural sand prairie.

Deadline: Jan. 12

Contact: (800) 315-5010 or

Year Four eRate Funding

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co. has announced that the application window for Year Four of the eRate opened Nov. 6 and will close Jan. 18. During this time, applicants can file their FCC Form 471 with the SLD and ensure they have applied on time to receive universal service funds. Year Four marks the introduction of an updated Form 471, which must be used when applying this year. The program has an annual cap of up to $2.25 billion. Discounts for schools and libraries are available first for telecommunications services and internet access, then for internal connections such as wiring, based on the availability of leftover funds. Discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, based on the number of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and an applicant’s rural or urban status.

Deadline: Jan. 18

Contact: (888) 203-8100

Toyota TAPESTRY Grants

The 2001 Toyota TAPESTRY program, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, will award 50 grants of up to $10,000 each to K-12 science teachers. Interested teachers should propose innovative science projects that can be implemented in their school or school district during a one-year period. Winning projects must demonstrate creativity, involve risk-taking, possess a visionary quality, and model a novel way of presenting science. Successful grant-winning projects, such as a mobile observatory to study light pollution and an interactive paleontology lab, often include the use of technology.

Deadline: Jan. 18

Contact: (800) 807-9852



Inspired Teacher Scholarships for Visual Learning

Inspiration Software has announced its third annual round of scholarships designed for educators who champion visual learning in the classroom. Scholarships of $500 will be awarded to 20 public or private K-12 educators who use the company’s Inspiration concept mapping software. The funds are intended to support ongoing professional development in educational technology and to champion the inclusion of visual learning methods in the classroom. Recipients are compensated for attending a conference, graduate course, or training event where visual learning is highlighted.

Deadline: March 1