Brain Fitness Grant Proposal

Here is my completed grant proposal for EdTech 551: Grant Writing as it currently stands. Now I just need to get it funded!

This grant seeks funding for a 5th grade class to obtain activity monitors to use in brain conditioning exercises prior to reading and math. The idea builds upon compelling research indicating a direct correlation between increased heart rate (and therefore more oxygen and blood pumping to the brain) and cognitive performance (the brain’s ability to function and learn). This effort strives to improve standardized test scores in English Language Arts and mathematics through increased cardiovascular activity. This grant would adopting similar fitness practices used by schools across the nation who have seen great success through their innovation and creativity.

As part of the course I also designed a simple Weebly website for my mom so that she has a place where parents, administrators, and potential funders can get more information on the grant. It is also a place where progress will also be recorded. While I am confident I could design my own site using my EdTech 502 skills, I chose to keep things easy for her sake.

Many AECT standards were met during this course. I have summarized these as follows:

2.1 Print Technologies: ways to produce or deliver materials, such as books and static visual materials, primarily through mechanical or photographic printing processes.
We used a variety of print technologies in this course, mostly through MS Word and Google docs. The aesthetic appeal of a document is important to me and I think a well written grant also needs to look good on a page.

2.2 Audiovisual Technologies: ways to produce or deliver materials by using mechanical devices or electronic machines to present auditory and visual messages.
A/V technologies are used for professional production the grant proposal and query letter. Copy machines and printers are used for this task. We also had to read and evaluate the writing and design of many external websites and critique specifics of what made them great or terrible.

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.
This standard was met by devising a website to portray our grant proposal visually. The intent is not to publish our entire proposal but to glean the most important aspects that would be of interest to parents, administrators, and potential funders.

3.1 Media Utilization: the systematic use of resources for learning.
This standard was met throughout the course as I oversaw the development of my grant proposal. I began by assessing the need and determining a potential solution. I did online readings and research, collected supporting data, identified appropriate technologies and associated costs, and thought through specific plans to implement the project.

3.4 Policies and Regulations: the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology.
In my writing and website creation, I adhered to copyright and fair use laws.I examined my writing language to make sure it was fair and unbiased and would appeal to a broad spectrum.

4.2 Resource Management: involves planning, monitoring, and controlling resource support systems and services.
The grant writing process is complex and requires a significant amount of time. Such an exercise requires a thorough examination of the project from beginning to end, with all of it’s costs, rationale, support, arguments, and practicalities addressed.

4.4 Information Management: involves planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning.
Serious organizational skills are needed in order to seek and obtain a grant. Such values as  planning, monitoring, and controlling are essential. The grant is based on the careful assumption the once the grant is funded, the educator will be responsible for careful accounting of the program. This is something that has forced careful consideration to details throughout the semester.

5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation: involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information as a basis for further development. Summative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information to make decisions about utilization.
For the grant I have chosen to pursue, there was a significant amount of background research and evaluation necessary to see where the students are at, what can help them, what other schools with similar schools are doing, and so forth. I’ve also had to research the various technologies available, their pros and cons, in meeting the goals outlined.

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The Whole World in my Bag

I returned to Gorkha for my second attempt at offering both ACCESS teachers and students some training on technology. It was good to be back and I felt I was more prepared for the scenario and the students opened up more this time. They treated me like I was an old returning friend, which I am.As I’ve said in previous posts, it is a challenge to teach technology to students who barely have life’s necessities, to make my time and theirs worthwhile. They came on Saturday, their only day off to attend. They go to school 7 days a week and many come from great distance on foot. It’s not easy for me to leave my family for the weekend, to give up family time with them to travel on a bumpy, dusty, windy, cliff-hugging road. But I do it because I care about these students. I want them to know that technology is an important tool — and fun. When I started pulling all of my gadgets out of my bag, one very wise teacher said, “You’ve got the whole world in your small bag.” So, that’s why I do this.This time we watched a movie I made about them and Nepal. They loved it and it got their creative juices flowing. I then told them that the Prime Minister is coming to Gorkha and he wants to meet the ACCESS students. He wants to see if the program is worth continuing. This is their chance to be proud of their town, their school, their academic achievements. I gave them five questions and they wrote the answers. Then they took turns filming each response and taking pictures. Keep in mind these students have been learning English for 5 months. Here are a few of my favorite responses among the 40 students:

I love Nepal because:

  • It is my motherland
  • It is beautiful country and has many resource of water and wonders. It is just like a heaven. It has Mount Everest which is highest mountain in the world. So I love Nepal and I proud of my Nepal.
  • I love Nepal because I born in Nepal and all my family live in Nepal.
  • It is smaller than America but it is so simple and beautiful. I like my country very much.
  • It is a country full of natural beauty and greenery. It is the place where Lord Buddha was born. It lies in the lap of the Himalayas.
  • There is many kinds of temple. In Nepal is many forests and rivers. In Nepal is very lovely place. They love each other. Nepal is my born place.
  • Nepal’s people have Nepal’s aim.
  • In Nepal every person lives together and helps each other.
  • There are many kinds of festival.
  • I love Nepal because Nepal is one of the most beautiful country in the world. All love their birthplace and I also love my birthplace Nepal by heart. The culture of Nepal is many and different, but by being different culture, the pople of Nepal never fight in name of culture but all the people share their culture to each other. Nepal is an example of peace and friendship. So, I love and never forget my beautiful country Nepal.

One thing I like about living in Gorkha is:

  • It’s my birthplace, where I get birth and enjoy every moment of my life. As well as many love of my parents it is one of the historical and important places of Nepal.
  • It is a district of Nepal and here are many religions and temples
  • It is not so big but naturally beautiful
  • It is historically important and here are many architecture, wood, and art from ancient time
  • It is so beautiful and unity
  • People follow heir traditional culture. The are cooperative and it’s full of natural heritage. It’s so peaceful. There is unity.
  • Clean environment and full of opportunities
  • Our forefathers Gorkhali are very brave, clever, and they became success to save their life and nation
  • All the Nepali people came to Gorkha and pray for their long life.
  • There is no crime and people help other people

When I found out I was accepted into the ACCESS program, I felt:

  • Very happy
  • Very glad and excited
  • I think I can learn many new things
  • Very proud of me
  • I think that I learn something from here to make my future bright
  • There was no boundary of my happiness
  • I’m very lucky because I got opportunity to learn about English language and American’s culture. I like American’s country very much.
  • I became so excited and I felt that I am the lucky student

Learning English has been:

  • Very useful and so important
  • International language speaking all over the world
  • Very important in university and college
  • Backbone of human being
  • We don’t know the English then we don’t do anything
  • I can express my view and expression with many people from different country. I feel more comfortable speaking English

To me America is:

  • The future career
  • Very beautiful. If I got the chance to go to America I feel I’m very lucky in the world. America has different culture. There’s language, style of sit, style of eat, style of clothes. I love it. I’m fan of America. So I love America.
  • Very developed country, rich in scientific area, powerful country
  • There are many facilities. We can spend better life there.
  • It’s ahead in every sector
  • To get entertainment
  • Richest and big country
  • One of the importance country
  • America is one of the gifted country for technology. For me America is one of the helping and loving country who help us like student for giving scholarship and help for making good in English
  • Is like a god because America helps to read at any cost. No any countries has been helping this way. America is my future.

As always, I am the one who gained. I am the one enriched. Several of the students drew me pictures, but the words of one beautiful girl will remain with me:

Gretel,
Thanks for your group and thank you for you
Great people like you is few
Thanks for being our friend
And trusting us like student
All the beautiful things is for you
I want to give many more thanks for you
And many many love for you.

So, maybe the whole world is in my bag after all.

[I went with 3 educators who did teacher training all weekend and distributed books donated by the U.S. Embassy to regional school teachers. I also donated a printer so that the students will be able to print, scan, copy, and fax. It was a successful weekend for everyone. Part of teacher training involves teaching American culture and traditions, so the ACCESS teachers learned about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Students (and teachers) don’t get enough opportunity to do arts and crafts as the supplies are too expensive, so it was fun to cut/glue/tape/color with them. I was the ‘puzzle expert’ and helped each teacher assemble their puzzle. All these years on the floor with my children paid off.]

Tech Use Plan Presentation

It’s extremely gratifying to reach the end of my first semester in the EdTech program. I have worked hard to successfully juggle three courses, and I am looking forward to a break. However, I must admit I’m rather sad to end EdTech 501. It has been such an enjoyable course with an excellent instructor and it’s made me excited for the remainder of the EdTech program.

Our final project is the presentation below. For the last few weeks I have been analyzing technology use planning and the components of a well crafted technology plan. For this final presentation, I worked with three group members to create a Google doc presentation that we narrated in Slideshare.

Two AECT standards were met during this assignment:
3.1 Media Utilization: the systematic use of resources for learning
For this assignment I used various resources for collaborative learning and sharing, including Google apps (docs, presentation, survey) and Slideshare.
5.4 Long-Range Planning: focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.
Long-range planning was a key component of this assignment. I was required to proactively think through the next 3-5 years and develop a plan accordingly. Technology committees are tasked with continually assessing the present and planning for the future. This is a crucial role in the overall success of the school or institution.