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June 16, 1999

U.S. Department Of Education awards grant to enhance technology in Battle Creek Public Schools

EAST LANSING, Mich. - A consortium of educational institutions that includes Michigan State University's College of Education has been awarded a five-year, $5.7 million Technology Innovation Challenge Grant by the U.S. Department of Education.

The grant project will be based in the Battle Creek Public Schools and will develop such things as instructional units that incorporate technology as an integral part of teaching and learning; high-level software for students that aligns with state and national standards; around-the-clock technology support for teachers; and a "community computer lab" for parents.

"It's an exciting project that I believe can be a model for communities nationwide," said Barbara Markle, the college's director of K-12 Outreach.

Through <edtech.connect>, an educational outreach project of the College of Education that provides school districts with technology planning and other services, MSU will work closely with Battle Creek area schools, the Michigan Department of Education and Sagestone Consulting to develop instructional software for student and classroom use.

"The real strength of the grant is that it has brought together a consortium of partners with different capacities, all of whom see the success of this project as an opportunity to bring the power of technology to teaching and learning," said Andrew Henry, associate director of <edtech.connect>. "The fact that grant activities extend beyond the schools and directly impact parents and the wider community makes this project that much more important."

Markle said the main goals of the project are to use instructional technology to improve teaching and learning in language arts, science, mathematics and social studies; provide equal access to technology and develop a long-term training plan; and use technology to measure and evaluate student achievement.

In addition to MSU and the Battle Creek Public Schools, consortium members include: Harper Creek Community Schools, Lakeview School District, Pennfield Schools, Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools, Battle Creek Christian School, Family Altar Christian School, Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek Area Educators' Task Force, City of Battle Creek, Michigan Department of Education, Sequoia Diversified, Sagestone Consulting, Improvement Path Systems and Willard Public Library.

This is the second Technology Challenge Grant MSU's College of Education has received in recent years. In 1996, the college teamed with Melvindale-Northern Allen Park

Schools in the Detroit area and a number of other organizations on a five-year, $6.4 million grant. The project participants are developing ways to enhance teaching and learning by using the World Wide Web.

For more information, contact Barbara Markle at (517) 353-8950 or Andrew Henry at (517) 353-5234.