Sept. 1, 2015 - The AISD instructional technology department held the first of two Transformation Through Innovation (TI) grant workshops yesterday, Aug. 31, to explain to teachers how to apply for the grant. The second workshop is Sept. 3 (register here).
The TI grant is funded by the 2014 Bond package and includes $1 million in each of the bond’s five implementation years to be awarded to AISD teachers and schools who develop innovative learning environments for their students through technology. 2015-16 will be the third year the grants are awarded. In 2013-14, 12 grants were awarded to 13 campuses and last year 28 grants were given to 30 campuses, impacting thousands of students. (Read about last year’s winners.)
Barry Fox, director of instructional technology, opened the workshop by explaining the intent of the grant. The AISD has adopted minimum technology standards for all classrooms, but not every class’ needs are the same. The grant offers the opportunity to get something not included in the standards. But it’s “not just about adding more,” Fox said. It’s not just about getting more equipment or even increasing access. The grant money’s purpose is to facilitate innovative teaching methods that will truly transform the classroom and learning environment. It’s about using technology to teach in a new, more effective way.
Several AISD instructional technology specialists then reviewed the application, explained to the teachers how to fill it out and reviewed the scoring rubric. The application should illustrate the innovative teaching method the teacher or teachers are proposing and how it will impact students. “How is it changing instruction in the classroom?” asked Susan Anderson, instructional technology specialist.
The grant welcomes four categories of applicants: individual teachers, team/group of teachers, campus-wide, or multiple campuses. Collaboration among teachers is highly encouraged and the instructional technology department will help teachers find potential partners if needed. Applications are due Sept. 25.
2015-16 TI Grant Timeline
Sept. 25, 2015 – Applications due
Nov. 3-4, 2015 – Grant winners announced
Jan.-Feb., 2016 – Expected arrival of technology equipment
May 23, 2016 – Grant Showcase