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State Legislators Consider Creating Classroom Innovation Grant Program

Members of the Senate Education Committee approved a bill that creates a classroom innovation grant program. Under House Bill 1164, teachers can apply for the grant program that provides funding to utilize technology in creative and innovative ways to enhance the learning and achievement of their students. Senator Phyllis Heineman says technology is transforming all aspects of life. She says she wonders if technology is really transforming education, or if there’s more teachers can do to improve the learning environment.

“Today, our classrooms are filled with the born digital group, or as we now call them, the digital natives. How do we keep them powered up as they enter the classrooms? What are the potentials for technology in education and who’s going to create them? In many cases, it’s going to be creative, innovative teachers within their own classrooms. The great power of technology is that we’re going to be able to help those kids that knew it before we even started, and also the kids that didn’t quite get it, to maybe give them a chance to learn it again with technology. The power of technology, again, is that we can individualize learning. Technology can empower all learners to succeed, and that’s our goal,” Heineman says.

Other supporters of the bill say innovation should come from the classrooms and that it’s important for teachers to develop their own criteria for the programs. House Bill 1164 passed the Senate Ed committee unanimously and now moves to the full Senate.