Grants for improving teacher quality; integrating service programs

The foundation considers the following types of grants: teacher excellence programs that improve teacher quality; service learning programs that integrate core classroom curriculum with service to the community; and programs that incorporate the Baldrige criteria into education systems to improve overall effectiveness.

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$2.5M to strengthen digital literacy skills in schools

The purpose of the InfoSource Integrating Technology in the Classroom Grant Program is to provide qualified “in need” school districts with the InfoSource Learn It! Build It! Share It! suite of online tools and technology training. Learn It! Build It! Share It! gives districts the opportunity to improve digital literacy skills for both teachers and students, use technology tools to improve and simplify the teaching process, and make technology an integral part of the classroom. With dial-up or broadband internet access, teachers and students can access online computer and internet skills training, testing, assignments, grade books, reporting, chat rooms, discussion boards, file sharing, a lesson plan builder, and a lesson plan library.

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Grants to help U.S. teachers travel to and teach about Japan

The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program (JFMF), sponsored by the government of Japan, provides American primary and secondary school teachers and administrators with fully-funded, short-term study tours of Japan. The program is designed to increase understanding between the people of Japan and the United States by inviting U.S. elementary and secondary educators to visit Japan and share their experiences with fellow Americans upon their return. JFMF participants travel to Japan with other outstanding educators, learn about Japanese culture and education, and return to implement a self-designed plan to share their knowledge and experience with their students, colleagues, and community.

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$50,000 for exemplary eLearning programs

Blackboard Greenhouse Awards strive to cultivate innovations in eLearning, support the organic growth of knowledge within the Blackboard community, and recognize exemplary campus service programs. The Greenhouse program features three distinct award categories for which Blackboard clients are encouraged to submit entries: exemplary courses, exemplary campus service, and exemplary community of practice initiatives.

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$3.6M to help students attain postsecondary education

The Talent Search Program identifies qualified youths with potential for education at the postsecondary level and encourages them to complete secondary school and undertake a program of postsecondary education. Talent Search projects also publicize the availability of student financial assistance for persons who seek to pursue postsecondary education and encourage persons who have not completed programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to reenter these programs.

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$5,500 for exemplary vision health science programs

VSP and NSTA have teamed up to sponsor a national award to encourage the teaching of eye health and vision in K-8 science classrooms around the country. A winning school and science teacher will receive a prize and will be recognized at the annual NSTA Awards Banquet in April 2006. Winning programs will also serve as models for other educators to duplicate in their classroom.

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Overhaul of Linux license could have broad impact

New York Times reports that the rules governing the use of most free software programs will be revised for the first time in 15 years, in an open process that begins today. Free software has become a mainstream technology in recent years, led by the rising popularity of programs like the GNU Linux operating system. Industry analysts estimate that the value of hardware and software that use the Linux operating system is $40 billion. The overhaul of the General Public License, which covers Linux and many other free software programs, is an issue of far greater significance today than before. (Note: This site requires registration.)

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Internet phone providers fall short on 911

ABCNews.com reports that Vonage Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest provider of internet phone service, and several smaller companies could be barred from signing up new customers in many markets because they failed to meet a deadline to provide reliable emergency 911 service to all subscribers. AT&T Inc. also didn’t meet the deadline. The Federal Communications Commission had given providers of internet-based phone service 120 days to comply with its order requiring enhanced 911, or E911, in all their service areas.

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‘Plug-and-play’ takes on new meaning in Minnesota district

Albany Democratic-Herald reports that some Minnesota schools are being charged a new fee for having coffee makers, microwaves and refrigerators in classrooms and offices to combat skyrocketing energy costs. Teachers, counselors and others in the St. Paul school district say they’re outraged.

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