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Digital-learning grant awarded to LJSHS

The Indiana Dept. of Education awarded more than $1.8 million in Digital Learning Grants to select Hoosier school corporations last week, with Lanesville Junior-Senior High School receiving a grant for the maximum $100,000.
Digital Learning Grants provide funding for school corporations to launch or expand existing one-to-one technology plans. Additionally, funds from the grant support school corporations in providing professional development, creating content and resources, modernizing avenues for parent and student communication and improving infrastructure, as well as purchasing devices.
‘I am excited to announce the recipients of the 2015 Digital Learning Grants,’ Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, said. ‘The selected school corporations developed thoughtful, student-centered plans to provide 21st century learning experiences within their district. Today’s award recipients serve as models for other school corporations around the state in how to use technology in the classroom.’
Steve Morris, superintendent of the Lanesville Community School Corp. and principal at LJSHS, teachers Allison Schalk and Catherine Freiberger and senior Peyton Blank made up the team that went to Indianapolis on March 3 and made a presentation at the offices of IDOE.
‘We had exactly 10 minutes to make a pitch as to why Lanesville deserved this grant, and the final word was spoken at 9:58. It turned out to be very beneficial to bring a student so the board could hear first-hand experience of how technology is used at Lanesville schools,’ Morris said. ‘(Blank) was very well-spoken, and I think her own experience played a big role during our pitch.’
Morris said an electronic field trip, in which students were able to watch and interact with doctors who were performing an open-heart surgery, spurred Blank’s decision to go into the medical field in college. He said she relayed that information to the grant board, who asked her and the other people on the team various questions after their presentation.
Morris said the main chunk of the grant would likely be used to pay for a digital-learning coach to be placed on staff to help with professional development, teaching models and delivering lessons to teachers. Future funding of the digital-learning coach would have to be evaluated, Morris said, on whether or not there was value to be found in the position.
‘What we talked about was, when it comes to technology, it’s all teaching, all learning and all creating at all levels,’ Morris said.
Some 88 school districts applied for a 2015 Digital Learning Grant, and, of those that applied, 19 corporations were awarded grants of up to $100,000.
The only other corporations in the region to receive a similar grant was Paoli Community School Corp. ($100,000) and Northeast Dubois County School Corp. ($86,000).

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