Technology Grant Proposal

For this assignment, I have designed a proposal for the following grant. I am applying for a whole school rather and individual classroom grant:

Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico

Here is the screencast: Technology Grant Proposal.

Project Summary

Placitas Elementary K-5 public school located in Placitas, NM. Our school is dedicated to providing an exemplary educational experience for our students. Our school follows a project-based learning model which helps to both meet national and state learning standards, and to enhance students’ learning experience by making connections across subjects.

Although our model is sound, we do not have the financial resources to fully develop it. We would like to incorporate more technology on a school-wide level as a means of further enriching our lessons and of helping to prepare our students for the challenges they will face as citizens in the 21st century. To that end, we feel it would be useful and timely to implement virtual reality (VR) technology into our lessons.

Project Description

The goal of this project is to acquire the tools and resources necessary to implement VR into our school curriculum. This project is designed to be implemented on a school-wide level. VR is more than just a growing trend in classroom design. VR is a fairly low cost way to both enhance lessons and to provide virtual field trips.

VR technology is now being incorporated by many organizations outside the realm of the traditional classroom, and a lot of those organizations offer educational resources to schools to little or no cost. For example, the National Park Service has created a 3D version of Bent’s Old Fort along the Santa Fe Trail in Colorado. Students can now take a “tour” of the fort without ever having to leave their classrooms. Early studies suggest that some of the benefits of incorporating VR into class design include encouraging students to engage intently with tasks, improving group interactions, and providing opportunities for peer teaching.

VR also has value beyond classroom enrichment. Large companies are now starting to incorporate VR into their day-to-day functions. For example, General Motors (GM) and Ford now use VR to help train their employees. They are not alone. VR is also used extensively in the tech industry, which is currently the most growing job market in the US. It makes sense then, to incorporate VR, as it has the potential to not only enrich lessons, but to also help prepare students for the job market.

The form of VR we would like to implement is Google Expeditions. We have chosen this form for a few different reasons. First, Google Expedition kits can either be purchased outright or pieced together, and doing the latter may help to reduce costs. Second, Google Expedition is compatible across a variety of devices, including many Android and Apple products. Third, as we hope to one day implement a one-to-one device program using Google Chromebooks, Google Expedition is a logical match. Finally, there are a growing number of resources available to help teachers design lessons across all subjects that will incorporate Google Expedition VR.

Proposed Budget

Item Description Cost per unit Units Total
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini These devices are reasonably priced, but still meet all the basic technological requirements to function in a VR viewer. We can use pre-paid phones at a much cheaper price because they just need to be internet compatible. They do not need to be hooked up to a data plan. $50 20 $1,000
Google Cardboard This kid-friendly product will you to use a mobile device to create a virtual reality experience. It is made of cardboard, but also includes a forehead pad and head strap. Because the viewer is made of cardboard, it is inexpensive and therefore less of a liability if it should break. $9 20 $180
Lenovo Tab2 A8 Tablet This tablet is an inexpensive option for the VR experience. A tablet is necessary to allow teachers to run the guide app so they can control how students use the viewers. $85 1 $85
Anker PowerPort 6 60W Wall Charger This rapid charger contains 6 USB ports and can sit on a desktop. A device like this is essential if Google Expedition kits are being shared between classes. $28 3 $84
High-speed Wireless Dual Band router A router is needed to connect student devices to the teacher tablet. This router also comes with a 4-year protection plan. $55 1 $55
Hard Pelican Case This wheeled, hard-sided case is waterproof. It comes with reinforced stainless steel padlock protectors and customizable interior packing foam. This sort of case is a quick and safe way to move the Google Expedition kit from class to class. $229.49 1 $229.49
Apps Although there are several free programs currently available for use in Google Expeditions, there are also some others than might need to be purchased. This money would give us the opportunity to do that. $500
Replacement Parts This amount is budgeted to cover incidental replacement parts. This is likely to be needed within the first year of use. $500
Total $2833.49

Budget Justification

The above budget is for the creation of a Google Expedition kit that can be used by up to 20 students at a time. When compared to commercially available kits, this option is much more cost effective. The following chart lists the prices of similar commercially available kits:

Company Number of Students Cost
Best Buy 20 $6999
TFE Solutions 20 AU $8532
Aquila Education 20 $6499

There are two main differences between these kits and the one we are proposing to put together for ourselves. First, some of the technology in the commercially available kits is a little fancier and more recent. For example, the VR viewers in all of these kits are made of molded plastic, while we are proposing to use the basic Google Cardboard. Secondly, some of these companies, but not all, offer tech support. Best Buy appears to have to most comprehensive support plan.

Sample Lesson Plan

Title: A Bug’s Life

Grade Level: This can be adapted for K-5th grade

Subject/topic: Scientific Method with Natural Science

Content Standards

New Mexico State Standards:

Students apply the processes of scientific investigation and design, conduct, communicate about, and evaluate such investigations.

NETS Standard(s)

  1. Research and Information Fluency – Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate,and use information.
  2. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making – Students use critical thinking skills to plan, conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will be able to practice following directions.
  2. Students will be able to conduct the scientific method to create hypotheses about the insects being studied.
  3. Students will be able to collect and analyze data.
  4. Students will be able to draw conclusions based on collected data.
  5. Students will be able to collaborate with other classmates to determine the validity of their hypotheses.
  6. Students will be able to communicate findings to the entire class.

Evidence of Understanding

Students will be able to communicate the hypotheses they have developed about the insects being studied and describe the process of their investigations using a print out. The students will also be able to present their conclusions to the class and compare their answers to other groups. By completing this simulation and print out, the instructor will able to determine how well students follow directions and utilized the scientific method to draw conclusions.

Instructional Procedures

This lesson is meant to be a summative assessment to the class’ unit on insect biodiversity. Therefore, notes and other activities will be conducted beforehand. With this background knowledge from notes and other activities, the students should be able to meet each of the learning objectives listed above.

As a way to introduce this lesson, the instructor will have the students break into groups of two. This will make it easier for the students to work with the VR devices on introductory activities. Then the class will watch the introduction and go over the print out. Each group will then use the rest of class time to work on developing their hypotheses. During this time, the students must follow directions and complete the printout. Due to the length of this activity, it may take the students approximately 3 – 45 minute class session to finish. Luckily, students can go to each section as needed.

During the time the students are working, instructors will use the time to monitor and facilitate by asking some guiding questions of the group members. As a way to make sure that each group member is contributing an equal part to the assignment, the instructor will give each student the Post-Activity Quiz provided in the teacher resources. This grade will be added to the students’ completed printout grade.

Once the students have completed the hypothesis development activity and research, and drawn conclusions, each group will give a mini presentations to their findings. Then, the entire class will have a discussion. During the whole class discussion will be talk about the purpose to the use of the scientific process as well as the various components the activity investigated.

School Goal

Placitas Elementary is committed to providing an enriching educational experience for our students. To meet that goal, it is essential that students in the 21st century be exposed to the technologies that will help them to succeed in college and as members of the workforce. VR is a growing industry that is likely to have a strong impact on future practices and developments. The Google Expeditions program will give the students at Placitas Elementary vital access to this important technology.

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2 Responses to Technology Grant Proposal

  1. Pepper says:

    Your idea sounds very interesting, but what caught my attention the most was your idea to apply for a grant. Throughout this class I’ve been wondering if there were grants out there to help the schools access the technology they need in order to meet future tech needs. I wonder if there are these types of grants for Alaska schools. I don’t teach there, but having lived there and talked with many educators through this masters program, I’m intrigued by the difficulties of getting reliable technology into all schools.
    Thank you for your post. It has me thinking even more now than I was previously.

  2. Dr. F says:

    I like your proposal. You did an excellent job of rationalizing the need for each item. I hope you can get it funded. It would be an excellent resource for the students. The only thing missing is your unit plan. You include one lesson, but there is much more to a unit. That said, your score is 130, so you probably are ok on everything.

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