1.3 Policies, Procedures, Programs & Funding
Candidates research, recommend, and implement policies, procedures, programs and funding strategies to support implementation of the shared vision represented in the school, district, state, and federal technology plans and guidelines. Funding strategies may include the development, submission, and evaluation of formal grant proposals. (PSC 1.3/ISTE 1c)
Artifact: Tech Integration Grant Proposal
The artifact that I chose to demonstrate research, recommendations, policy implementation, and support to gain funding for technology integration would be the Tech Integration Grant Proposal created in ITEC 7410. The purpose of this artifact was to apply for a science grant to establish rich and engaging classrooms in my school using STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) projects, while fostering creativity, effective use of technology, and mastery of science curriculum standards. Since I teach at-risk students who have a variety of academic and behavioral problems, these students are rarely given the opportunity to complete STEM projects or participate in Technology/Engineering competitions. My individual contribution to this artifact was to complete extensive research on grant funding that could be used for science students, and to create a STEM project to help demonstrate the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, the Gwinnett County AKS standards, and the NETS-S Technology Standards for students. In addition, this project would help my pupils meet the National Science Standards in what they must know and be able to do. I applied for a STEM grant to give my learners the opportunity to complete a hands on project in which they would build a solar-powered car made out of Photovoltaic Cells.
This artifact demonstrates mastery of the standard under which it is placed, because I had to gain the knowledge, skills and dispositions for grant funding by understanding the Title II, Part D “Enhancing Education Through Technology” bill. It is imperative that teachers provide opportunities for students to improve in their higher order thinking, metacognitive processes and understanding of engineering and mathematics.Recommendations from the bill to school leaders were to incorporate more project based learning experiences, enhance the professional development of all teachers, and to assist every student in crossing the great “digital divide”. To integrate more STEM projects into students learning experiences will help bridge the gap between science and technology, and better prepare our students to compete with other learners in this global economy. Furthermore, I provided support for the implementation of the shared vision for my school, by researching and understanding federal technology plans and guidelines to help build student’s scientific literacy and technological skills through STEM projects. Funding strategies I used included the submission of my formal grant proposal to the Westinghouse Electric Company: N-Visioning A Brighter Future Grant. I had to research a STEM project for them to complete, and outline the purpose, materials needed, the objectives they would master, what I would like to accomplish with this learning experience, and the total time frame for the project. My students would build a solar powered car prototype, and learn about electric currents and circuits, how mass affects the speed of the car, manipulate inertia, and compete in competitive races/trial testing.
From completing this artifact, I learned how to apply for a grant that could be used to support my student’s learning. Since my at-risk learners have not had the opportunity to complete STEM Projects, this grant would allow them to complete a performance-based activity while using used inquiry based problem solving skills. In addition, I learned that I had to have a proposed budget and exact list of materials needed. This involved taking the time to research the project extensively and outlining everything my students would possibly need, so the proposed project could be fully funded. From this experience, I also acquired that it not just my school’s responsibility to seek funding for projects and extended learning experiences in the classroom, but I have the opportunity as their classroom teacher to get involved in the process as well. Lastly, having to explain how the students would be assessed, helped me understand the importance of evaluating what students do, and how they could demonstrate their understanding of what they learned. What I would do differently to improve the quality of the artifact or the process involved in creating the artifact is to be more mindful of the timeline. At times we have lots of district testing, pull outs for remediation/interventions, and students who cannot participate because of other activities that take precedent. I would try my best to plan for unforeseen events, to ensure students can be involved in the project for the duration of the time I set in the very beginning.
The work that went into creating the artifact impacted faculty development, because I gained the knowledge and skills to gain funding for technology integration for students at my school, while completing extensive research on the grant funding. In addition, I was able to share what I learned in a professional development shortly after completing this proposal, to inspire other teachers to seek funding for resources outside of their school. The impact of this artifact can be assessed if I get approved for this STEM grant and receive resources for my students. In addition, teachers have come to me to ask for one on one help after our professional learning session on grant writing. Lastly, a diagnostic survey was given before and after our learning session and teachers expressed a great desire to apply for grants for our at-risk students. One teacher that I helped received a donation from Donor’s Choose.org after gaining inspiration from our learning session to seek funding for resources to use in the classroom with her middle school students.