Funding, Grants & Awards
Oregon District Awards Mini Technology Grants to 38 Teachers
Oregon's Hillsboro School District has awarded $194,000 in grants to district teachers in an effort to put 21st century tools into students' hands.
Providing up to $5,000 each for individual teachers or teams of teachers, the focus of the grants is "about change, supporting new approaches to student learning, having the vision to see things differently and using that vision to change instructional practices for the benefit of students and educators," according to a district Web site about the grants. "The ultimate goal of these grants is to help educators increase student access to 21st century tools while narrowing the achievement gap for all learners. Grant money may be used to purchase hardware, software, peripherals, student subscriptions/registrations or whatever else a teacher finds to be an innovative and engaging 21st century tool to help their students succeed."
Currently in its second year, the program is funded through a portion of the district's budget set aside specifically for the purpose. Proposals are required to be aligned with either the Common Core State Standards or the Next Generation Science Standards. Additional money is set aside for some professional development, though the district warned that teachers who will need very specific PD will need to budget for the additional costs in their grant proposals.
Thirty-eight grants were awarded to teachers at 10 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools. Winning projects and their schools include:
- "eReader," at Brookwood Elementary School;
- "Social Science Analysis — Reading and Writing in the Social Studies Classroom," Brown Middle School;
- "Integrating Technology for Information Text," "Using iPads for Literary Text" and "Accessing Common Core ELA Standards with Raz-Kids!" at Butternut Creek Elementary School;
- "Chromebooks for Improved Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills in High School" and "Marketing Lab POS System" at Century High School;
- "Bridging the Technologcal Skill Gap," Eastwood Elementary School;
- "Leading with Technology To Strengthen School Community," "Using the Compound Microscope with a USB Digital Camera To Increase Students' Knowledge of Basic Cellular Biology" and "Visual Journeys: Paving the Way to Math Through Technology" at Evergreen Middle School;
- "Creating Digital Books in the Primary Classroom," "Next Generation Writers," "On the Move with iPads" and "Special Project for Special Education" at Farmington View Elementary School;
- "Creating Chatterboxes," "iRead. iLearn, iSucceed, iPad," "Talented and Gifted Education: Using Technology To Engage Minds" and "Technology for the Future" at Free Orchards Elementary School;
- "Increasing Project Authenticity Through Data Acquisition and Analysis" and "Technology Equity at Glencoe" at Glencoe High School;
- "Success Through Innovation," Imlay Elementary School;
- "Chromebooks for Literacy, Writing Math, STEM and Flipped Learning Experiences" and "Using iPads To Explain Math Ideas" at Lenox Elementary School;
- "Flipped Science" at Liberty High School;
- "Exploring Ideas Beyond Our Classroom Walls" at Patterson Elementary School;
- "Equitable Access to Science Standards for Students in Specialized Programs" at Poynter Middle School;
- "Integrating Music," "iPads Motivate And Improve First Grade Reading And Writing," "Project 221" and "Square of Life," Quatama Elementary School;
- "Academic Growth and Achievement for Second Grade," "Differentiation on Demand" and "Flipped Classroom via Chromebook," Rosedale Elementary School;
- "Interactive Technology to Enhance Math Engagement for 7th Graders" and Improving Equity in Inquiry" at South Meadows Middle School; and
- "Engagement, Enrichment and Intervention" and "No Child Left Without" at Witch Hazel Elementary School.
Located just west of Portland, OR, Hillsboro School District serves more than 20,400 students at 25 elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools and three alternative schools. More information about the district's technology mini grant program is available on a site set up for the initiative. For descriptions of each winning project, visit hsd.k12.or.us.
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.