Digital Teaching and Learning Grants Win Approval

Raleigh

Digital teaching and learning in North Carolina is getting a boost from $1.2 million in grants this year to 12 school districts and charter schools to fund innovative improvement initiatives.

The State Board of Education earlier this month approved the 12 proposals through the third iteration of competitive grants under the state’s Digital Learning Initiative. The state-funded grants support the development and dissemination of local innovative digital learning models. The goal of the grant program is to have effective digital learning practices spread across all North Carolina K-12 public schools.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said continuing interest in the grant program launched in 2017 shows that districts and schools remain focused on strengthening digital teaching and learning for teachers and students.

“We started the positive transformations of classrooms in 2017,” Johnson said. “These promising efforts will help North Carolina better serve students and teachers by developing effective new approaches that can be shared across the state.”

The work of each grantee will focus on supporting the state’s digital learning competencies for educators and other initiatives such as micro-credentialing and digital literacies. Many of the approved grants focus on providing resources for professional development, seen as a critical foundation supporting the adoption of effective approaches to digital learning the state’s schools.

Grants were awarded for two different types of projects: planning and implementation.

A total of six planning grants were approved for five districts and one lab school, most for $50,000, for efforts ranging from developing a cohort of teacher leaders in technology to digital storytelling and multimodal communication curriculum for classroom teachers.

Another five districts and one charter school were awarded two-year implementation grants, most for $75,000 for each of the two years, including the creation of courses for educators leading to micro-credentialing opportunities that address blended learning and are aligned to the district’s strategic plan and focus on personalized learning and the NC Digital Competencies. Another will focus on developing digital portfolios for students.

The grant initiative was authorized in 2016 by the General Assembly as part of collaboration between the State Board of Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State University to advance the state’s Digital Learning Plan. The goal of that plan is to develop a long-term strategy that sets directions and priorities, supports innovation, and provides resources to enable educators and students to benefit fully from digital-age teaching and learning.

Go here for a complete list of grantees, and for more information about Digital Learning Initiative Grants, go here.

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