Monday, June 22, 2009

Funding Innovative Ideas with Learning Technology Grants

Innovative educators often share frustration around not being able to effectively implement some of their ideas due to lack of funding. The reality for most schools is that in addition to what the district provides, they’ll need to advocate for funding to support the programs and initiatives they want to put in place. The first step in doing so is for schools to ensure they have Ideas for Getting Started with 21st Century Teaching and Learning which includes having a plan that takes into account knowing what equipment you want and how you intend to integrate technology into the curriculum. Once a school knows what they want they are ready to start working to gain funding to support their plans.

New York State has a grant designed to do this called the Learning Technology Grant (LTG). The program was created to promote collaboration between public school districts/BOCES and nonpublic schools of all denominations.

Program Purpose
1) promote an increase in continuous, progressive integration of instructional technology in classrooms and library media centers to improve student academic performance in relation to the New York State Learning Standards,
2) provide ongoing, sustained professional development focused on increasing knowledge and skills of teachers in the use of instructional technology to help students attain higher levels of performance in the New York State Learning Standards, and
3) make use of recognized model programs that are based on research and have shown promise of significantly increasing student academic achievement.

The program goals for LTG 2009 - 2012 are to:
1) improve student academic performance in achieving the New York State Learning Standards, with emphasis on programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
2) increase the use of instructional technology in the classroom and/or school library media center.
3) enhance collaborative projects among classrooms and library media centers.

To find out about NYC DOE school library programs, contacts and automation, click here.

Examples of Learning Technologies include:

  • Information delivery systems or services used to provide distance learning;
    (i.e. Moodle/Blackboard
    , Compass Learning, Apex Learning , InfoSource)
  • Interactive telecommunications, including equipment and services;
    (i.e. Skype, webinar software, video conferencing)
  • Computer technology integrated into classroom or school library media center instruction;
    (i.e. laptops, netbooks, eReaders, projectors, interactive whiteboards)
  • Networking among schools and libraries, including network equipment;
    Library Automation)
  • Multimedia equipment and data storage;
    (digital/video cameras, iPod/iTouch, servers, hard drives)
  • Education related materials, services and software
    (i.e. Robotics, probes, graphing calculators, MOUSE Squads, Sim games, Geometer Sketchpad, Rise of Nations, Kindles)

-Eligible applicants are public school districts and BOCES, or consortiums thereof. Applicants must give nonpublic schools of all denominations within their boundaries the opportunity to participate. Here is the listing of Non Public Schools.
-Applicants must also include at least one SURR or SINI (i.e., SINI, Corrective Action, or Restructuring) school building in the application to be considered for funding.
-No other entities are permitted to participate (community-based organizations, charter schools, etc.).
-New York City Department of Education schools can click here to see if they are eligible. Note you must request access to the list with an NYC DOE email address.

Allowable Activities and Costs

The NYC allocation for this initiative is $1,785,000. Successful applications may be funded for three years at a maximum allocation of $50,000 per year, contingent upon the availability of funds for each school year. Approximately 35 grants will be awarded to NYC DOE schools.
-A minimum of 45% of the project budget must be used for ongoing, sustained professional development, including mentoring and/or in-classroom coaching of teachers to improve instruction using technology.
-No more than 45% of the funds may be used for purchase of equipment (e.g., computers, PDA’s, interactive whiteboards, alpha smarts, etc.)
-No more than five (5%) percent of the funds may be used for program administration not including indirect costs.
-No more than five (5%) percent of the funds may be used for evaluation. Below are evaluators currently evaluating Title 2D grants in New York City.

Sampling of NYC DOE Current Grant Evaluators
1) Design and Development Resources for Education and the Arts
Josephine Imbimbo |
Queens / Bronx
2) Research Works Inc
Dr. Kathleen Toms |
4) American Education Solutions
Elaine Rosales |
Staten Island / Brooklyn

Peer Review
Grants should include a peer review process. Statewide Peer Review is a program created by the New York State Department of Education that helps teachers document, assess, and discuss the work they complete as part of the New York State Learning Technology Grant. New York State encourages use of its Statewide Peer Review process to assist teachers in changing classroom practice to help students reach higher levels of achievement in relation to the learning standards. ( Schools interested in receiving support to implement this process can contact Teaching Matters, a company with proven experience in implementing this process which you can learn more about here.

Project Period
Three years: November 1, 2009 - June 30, 2012. The initial year one project period will run from 11/1/09-6/30/10. A budget for the first year only (11/1/09-6/30/10) must be submitted with this application. Grants will be renewable for the next two years contingent upon the State legislature appropriating funds, satisfactory performance in the previous year and timely receipt of the annual report. No extension or carryover of funds from year to year is allowed.

Due Date
Submit one (1) original and three (3) copies of the complete application postmarked by August 21, 2009.

Page Limits
The Proposal Narrative should contain no more than 14 pages. A page is 8 ½ x 11 one-sided and single-spaced with one-inch margins on top, bottom and sides. Use Times Roman or Arial font in 12-point size.

Tips for Project Abstract
Remember to include the following:
• The names of the schools in the grant
• The name of the project and what it does
• The activities included in the project
• The standards supported in the project
• Indicate that the two schools will use the peer review process

Collaboration Tools to Consider for Writing the Grants
Consider using collaborative tools to collaborate in writing the grant with those at your school and your partner school. Tools may include:
• Video conference using Skype
• Chat using
• Collaborate on single documents using
• Share and collect documents and resources using
• Engage in online discussion forums using Ning. Wikispaces discussion tabs are also an option
• Set up free conference calls using

Additional Information and support.
Additional Grant Opportunities
Tech & Learning and Dell once again bring you the annual grants directory calendar! Leverage available resources by increasing your awareness of existing grant opportunities and associated deadlines, and help address the pain point of limited budgets. PLUS, get the Top 10 Tips from T&L's Grant Guru -- hints that can help you rake in the funds!

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