Minigrants for Standards-based Technology Integration

In-Service Course

In Fall 2000, a competitive minigrant RFP was posted, calling for standards-indexed technology integration project designs due by January 15th. Submitted via an online "Learning Experience form,"  the projects needed meet three criteria for consideration:

  1. Project outcomes reference specific state learning standards,
  2. Project uses technology in an integral way, and
  3. Project can be accomplished within existing school resources, plus an additional $3000-$5000 budget.

An in-service course description was also posted, "Developing Internet Projects Integrating The State Learning Standards And Curriculum" culminating in project drafts by all participants. Here is an excerpt from an introduction sent to course registrants, before the first meeting:

Our district leadership approved a Technology Plan last year, which called for three million dollars of expenditures to network all rooms in all buildings and adopt an ambitious set of teaching and learning goals for all classrooms and students (attached). For most of us, the environment of networked computers is a new world - full of promise and peril.

We are not ready as a district to set up civilization here, even if given the tools.  The territory must first be settled.  There are stages we need to go through - learning the territory, trying out some activities with handholding, developing our own activities, reflecting on our work to distill basic principles about what works for us and our students, etc.   Pioneer teams who are "approved for the voyage" will be given "settlement grants" of $2000 - $5000 to help them start their new lives in the New World, described in the "Minigrants" page attached.

Pioneers, Settlers and Cityfolk

This in-service course can be considered series of London meetings held to describe what previous voyages have turned up, and to find a crew for an upcoming Crossing. Some of you have come to this meeting as "Pioneers," eager to brave the hazards and be self-reliant as you homestead, and will be preparing Internet-supported projects you will actually use this Spring.

Others of you are the early settlers, making plans for next year once the pioneers have established a foothold, good relations with the Indians, and a steady source of food. You're fairly self-reliant and know your way around computers, but the Internet may be somewhat new.

This journey is will not be kind to Cityfolk who expect to buy their food from stores and get police protection. There will be very little "this is how you use this software" going on. If this is not an appropriate level for you, we will be offering other courses in the Spring.  We'll guarantee you a place on next year's voyage if you do decide to wait.

The course met in two sections weekly for six weeks, with 15  teachers per session. Teachers could develop projects individually or in teams. Some teachers did their development during the inservice - others "mirroring" research and design activities but did not actually design projects they planned to implement.  Here is an outline of the five weeks:

Session 1: Internet Software: Email, Netscape Communicator, Why the Web?

  1. Examples of various sites that can support the curriculum in new and exciting ways
  2. Discussion and demonstration of Teacher and Student empowerment with new tools
  3. Showcasing online libraries available for research

Session 2: Internet Communications

  1. Internet Communications
  2. Advanced Email
  3. Web page creation

Session 3: Internet Resource Management

  1. Understanding Search Engines
  2. Advanced Internet Searching
  3. Managing Bookmarks

Session 4: Advanced Web Topics

  1. Internet Source Validity (accuracy, authority, currency, objectivity, and coverage)
  2. Advanced Webpage Creation (tables, graphics)
  3. What Students Find Online: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Session 5: Integrating Internet Resources into Your Curriculum

  1. Digital tools for graphic organizers (HTML Tables)
  2. Making connections between internet resources and existing curriculum
  3. Use or create a graphic organizer for a lesson or activity

Session 6: Meeting New York State Standards with Model Lesson Plans

  1. Identify a website that supports a specific NYS Learning Standard
  2. Search for a lesson plan that relates to your curriculum framework
  3. Create a rough outline of s how the students are going to use the Internet resources you've located

Following the course, a review committee made up of representatives from the curriculum committee and the technology planning committee reviewed the proposals.  Projects that met the above criteria (not necessarily through this inservice) were awarded a $3000 - $5000 implementation budget for equipment and software, plus "implementation support" (priority support from technology staff). 

Over the next few months, the projects were run, and presentations were prepared for an all-day district conference, to which all teachers were invited.  Participants developed 30-minute presentations (see conference memo), shared their work, and took questions and comments from their peers.  Participants scored each presentation using the rubric below and submitted these to the presenters:

Proposal Evaluation Criteria




Learning Standards




Curricular Content




Project Goals




Project Model




Technology Use




Inclusion Support:




Learning Styles




Assessment of Student Outcomes




Potential Impact for Instruction








Teachers expressed that this was one of the most professionally fulfilling experiences of their career.   Later, they participated in a regional conference hosted by BOCES.

Click Here to visit the projects.


tft2000.pdf8.23 KB
showprep.pdf10.97 KB
rfps.pdf9.44 KB

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