Commissioner of Education David Hespe today announced the awarding of two grants that will accelerate the availability of educational technology for New Jersey's children as they strive to meet the state's rigorous academic standards.
"I am extremely pleased to announce the awarding of these two grants today," said Hespe. "Our commitment to educational technology has been extraordinary during the last six years. These grants simply continue our commitment."
The County Coordinated Services grant program will create one county-based support system in each of the eighteen counties receiving an award. This program will operate in conjunction with the county offices of education and the Educational Technology Training Centers in each county. The ETTCs, one located in each county, provide the necessary technology training for teachers who then return to the classroom well-prepared to help children use computers. This grant will be federally funded for two years by the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund.
Gloucester County Vocational Technical School, the Warren County Technical School and the Hunterdon County Educational Services Commission are examples of the grant recipients.
Gloucester Vo-Tech will create a support system, so that public and nonpublic schools, county agencies, county colleges and not-for-profit organizations will be able to share technology. Model distance learning classroom practices will be showcased on a local cable channel and at the fall countywide inservice.
Warren Vo-Tech will hire a technology coordinator to assist county schools in attaining their educational technology goals. An enhanced videoconferencing system will support the expansion of professional development activities at the Warren County Educational Technology Training Center.
The Hunterdon County Educational Services Commission's project will provide online curriculum-related activities for Hunterdon County students, related training for educators and technical support in building and maintaining technology infrastructure.
Commissioner Hespe also announced today, the awarding of Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities Grants to three Educational Technology Training Centers. This grant program is intended to increase opportunities for students with mild/moderate disabilities so they can experience the benefits of education through assistive technology.
The three grant recipients are the Educational Technology Training Centers at the Bergen County Technical Schools, the East Brunswick School District and the Burlington County Institute of Technology. The three centers will be required to conduct training sessions with students with mild to moderate disabilities, provide hands-on training to all parents and personnel of the schools related to technology, establish a network of professionals directory that can provide technical assistance, provide dissemination of information through multiple means to teachers, administrators, related service personnel and parents regarding resources and innovative practices to assistive technology. Additional information can be found on the department's website at www.state.nj.us/education.