Digital Learning grants aimed at facilitating the creation and expansion of digital learning and teaching in North Carolina were approved last week by the state’s board of education.
The Digital Learning grants were passed by the General Assembly during the 2016 session.
- View the Session Law 2016-94 – Section 8.23 (House Bill 1030)
These grants include collaboration between the NC State Board of Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University.
“We know teachers will always be the most important part of students learning in school, and now technology can help educators personalize learning while reducing burdens,” Mark Johnson, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a press release.
“We were pleased with the quality of the applications we received and look forward to seeing the projects in action,” Johnson said.
Out of 61 applications, 30 school districts and one charter school were selected to receive grants that total close to $1.38 million dollars. The maximum grant amount any one school will receive is $50,000.
Digital Learning Grants to ‘Target and Harness’ Tech
According to the Department of Public Instruction, the grants are, “targeted to better harness technology for instruction and student learning.”
The press release says the grants will aid in expanding personalized learning and supporting the state’s digital learning competencies for educators. Other digital learning programs are included, such as “micro-credentialing and digital literacies.”
A good portion of the approved grants include providing resources for professional development.
There are two types of grants, ones for Planning and ones for Showcasing. 21 districts received grants for planning, while 10 received grants for showcasing.
Newly Redesigned Report Card Site
The NC Department of Public Instruction also recently unveiled a redesigned NC Report Card website.
“The brand-new website, schoolreportcards.nc.gov, is a resource for parents and educators that provides the transparency they need into the characteristics and performance of our public schools in an easy-to-use format,” Johnson said in a statement.
“As a parent, I believe this is the kind of information the public needs about our schools, in an accessible format we can all understand. As a former ninth-grade teacher, I am particularly excited to launch the student-readiness indicator, which shows how prepared students are when they enter a school,” Johnson wrote.
The newly redesigned NC School Report Card site is hosted by SAS. More detailed school information, also hosted by SAS, is located at a separate link.
Contract information regarding this project was requested by American Lens. Officials with the Department of Public Instruction tell American Lens that the upgrade of the website had been in the works for a few years.
School officials said that other than internal staff hours spend on the project, SAS upgraded for no cost. The free upgrade saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars.