Moursund, D.G. (2002). Obtaining resources for
technology in education: A how-to guide for writing
proposals, forming partnerships, and raising funds.
Copyright (c) David Moursund, 2002.
The proposal given below has been modified (with permission of the student) from one written by a student in Dr. Moursund's Spring 2002 Digital Age Education course. Students were asked to write a proposal for up to $3,000 for a school in which they had done students teaching and/or a field placement practicum. The RFP (in this case, the specific course assignment) was as follows.
PTO Request for Proposals
Each year our school's PTO funds one or more grants for
up to $3,000 each to individual teachers in our school. The
funds are to be used to: 1) Improve the quality of education
being received by the students that the teacher teaches; 2)
Advance the professional and leadership career of the
teacher; and 3) Pilot test ideas that might be implemented
school wide. Details of proposal requirements are as
- Proposals are due on or before 15 September. They
must be hard copy (Faxes and Email are not allowed).
Grants will be awarded on or before 1 October, and all
funds must be spent by the end of the school year.
- Proposals should contain a Cover Sheet that contains
information about the teacher submitting the proposal and
an Abstract. The Abstract should not exceed 150 words in
- The body of the proposal must not exceed three pages
in length. A "page" must not exceed 2,600 characters
(counting blank characters) in length.
- The proposal should contain:
- A careful statement of the educational problem(s) being addressed. Choice of problem(s) should be guided by the overall PTO intent of: i) Improving the quality of education being received by the students that the teacher teaches; ii) Advancing the professional and leadership career of the teacher; and iii) Pilot testing ideas that might be implemented school wide to improve the quality of education that students are receiving and to advance teachers professionally.
- A detailed plan of how the funds will be used to help solve the problem(s)
- How the project activities and overall project outcomes will be assessed.
- A budget. Funds cannot be used to enhance the teacher's income.
- For the projects that are funded, a Final Report (not to exceed three pages in length) is due at the end of the school year.
4th grade teacher
Pat Purple's Professional Preparation and Career
I have just completed a 5-year undergraduate and master's
degree program of study leading to K-5 certification in both
general and special education. My program of study included
an 18-credit concentration in Information Technology. In
addition to this, I have reasonably proficiency in Spanish
gained through three years of high school and two years of
college coursework, and a summer study program in
During the past five years, I have spent three summers
working in computer camps for students ages 6-12. My teacher
training has included practicum (field placement) experience
in both special and general education. My student teaching
was in a 4th grade general education classroom that included
three students on IEPs and four students with limited
Abstract of the Proposal
The Technology-Rich Instructional Program (TRIP) project
addresses the need for classrooms to engage students in
highly interactive learning environments that implement our
modern knowledge of Brain Science and various learning
theories. All of this can be accomplished through
IT-assisted Project-based Learning in which students make
routine use of modern information technology.
The grant will add to my classroom's current IT
facilities to create a rich IT-oriented classroom
environment. Students will learn to use the technology and
will routinely carry out short and longer-term projects that
involve developing print and electronic documents, desktop
publication, and multimedia presentation. They will all be
involved in full year projects to develop print and
electronic portfolios that represent their work and
illustrate how their work improved throughout the year.
Statement of the Problem
Project TRIP (Technology-Rich Instructional Program)
addresses the problem that students need to be interested
and motivated in order to learn. I want my students to view
their daily visits to my classroom as trips into an exciting
world of interesting, attention holding, fun learning
Recent research in Brain Science has helped us to understand that the amount of information flowing into the human brain through the five senses tends to be overwhelming. Thus, the brain is designed to filter out much of this information. The brain is designed to pay special and immediate attention to threats and opportunities (Moursund, 2000; Sylvester, 1998). The brain research indicates that in a classroom setting, a student's brain often wanders from the instruction and lesson at hand, viewing the materials as neither immediate threats nor immediate opportunities.
As a teacher I must find ways to motivate and interest my
students if I want them to learn the information I am
presenting or having them investigate. In my experience,
there are two things that consistently attract the attention
of students: hands on activities and computer technology.
Consequently it stands to reason that a curriculum that
relies more on hands on activities using computer technology
will be more interesting to students and produce improved
My classroom has two four Apple Computers: two relatively new iMacs (with CD-ROMs and CD-burners) and two ancient (25 MHz) LCIIIs. These computers are all connected to the Internet, and have basic applications on them. The iMacs have iMovie software, a powerful aid to processing digital video materials. We also have a VCR, a large screen color television set, and a connection to one of the iMac computers. The school has a computer lab that includes laser printers. These facilities alone, however, are not capable of providing the support for a technologically rich curriculum. In order to rely more heavily on technology I need other media such as portable keyboard units, digital cameras, a video camera, a scanner, and appropriate software.
Methodology and Plan of Operation
The methodology of this proposal is supported by research
in Situated Learning Theory and Constructivism (OTEC, 2002).
Both of these learning theories emphasis the importance of
the social setting of learning, and that teaching and
learning are human endeavors. They both support
Project-based Learning as a good approach to increasing
student motivation and learning (Moursund, 2002).
Constructivism focuses on the idea that students learn by
building on their current knowledge. Situated Learning
emphasizes that what is learned is highly dependent on the
overall learning environment. If the environment is
real-world-like and sufficiently hands on, then it will
support transfer of learning to the real-world work and
other setting the student will face in the future.
I will uses the TRIP project funds to significantly
improve the IT environment of my classroom and the routine
use of IT throughout the daily curriculum. The funds will
add the following resources in my classroom: 1) Six portable
keyboard units; 2) Two digital (still) cameras and one
digital video camera; 3) One flatbed scanner; 4) MicroWorlds
(multimedia) software; and 5) One color printer.
With these facilities, I will make routine and continuing
use of IT-assisted Project-based Learning (Moursund, 2002)
in each subject area in the curriculum. All students will
learn to make routine use of all of the equipment. Use of
the facilities will be integrated into daily classroom
During my teacher education program, practicum field
experiences, and student teaching I learned a lot about use
of IT in Project-based Learning. A number of superb lesson
plans are available on the Web and in (ISTE, 2000).
For example, each writing activity that I have students
do will be considered as a writing project. The product to
be produced is a high quality piece of writing that includes
appropriate graphics and is desktop published.
We will do a number of science projects that include
students taking pictures of flora and fauna, analyzing what
they are seeing, and writing science reports. Students will
be expected to do multimedia presentations on what they have
seen and learned.
Social studies projects will make extensive use of Web
research. Student written reports will include graphics, and
they will be expected to develop and present
multimedia-supported oral presentations on the topics they
Students will develop print and multimedia portfolios of
their work. The development of these personal portfolios
will be ongoing individual year-long projects for each
My school's principal has expressed special interest in
this project and has agreed to conduct one classroom
observation each month during the school year. She will
write a brief report on each of these monthly observations
and will meet with me each time to debrief her observations
to make suggestions to improve the effectiveness of my
I will send a letter home to parents indicating that
their child will be actively engaged in making extensive use
of computer faculties during the year. I will explain that
their child will be routinely bringing home pieces of work
that were done making use of the facilities. About halfway
through the year and at the end of the year I will ask them
to provide me with written feedback on how well they think
their child is doing in this IT-rich learning environment
and to provide suggestions for better meeting the learning
needs of their child.
The two other fourth grade teachers in our building have
agreed to look each term at the print and electronic
portfolios my students are developing. They will provide
feedback on the quality of the work and how it seems to
align with the required curriculum goals in our school. In
addition, each has agreed to observe my class twice each
term and provide me with feedback on what they see.
Budget and Budget Notes
ISTE (2002). National Educational Technology Standards
for Students: Connecting Curriculum and Technology.
Eugene, OR: Author.
Moursund, D.G. (2000). Highly Interactive Computing in
Teaching and Learning. Learning and Leading with
Technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE.
Moursund, D.G. (2002). IT-Assisted Project-based
Learning. Retrieved 7/6/02 from
Oregon Technology in Education Council (2002). Learning
Theories. Retrieved 7/6/02 from
Sylwester, R. (Editor). (1998). Student Brains, School
Issues: A Collection of Articles. Arlington Heights, IL:
SkyLight Training and Publishing, Inc.