This past fall, I submitted a grant for the purchase of fifteen iPads for our music department. The fifteen iPads only represent the start of what I’d like to obtain. I agree with many others that a 1-to-1 iPad initiative is a better solution than “classroom set” initiatives–but our district (although changing its stance on Apple somewhat, something I’ll write about at a later time) has no intent of moving forward with a 1-to-1 initiative, particularly at our “new” school.
Another teacher applied for the same grant funds in a “core” area, and was awarded the grant. No official announcements have been made, but a principal and a department chair took this other teacher aside and told them they won the grant. The grant’s guidelines say that you can only win one grant per school (if that), and that a school cannot be awarded grants in consecutive years. As a result, “No grant for you.” Not this year, not next year.
I’m disappointed by the result, but I do see flaws in my proposal (overall):
- It didn’t provide enough iPads for all the students in the program (then again, how far can $7500 go?).
- It didn’t provide funds for apps in addition to the iPads.
- There’s the risk of technology moving yet again, and leaving iPads behind.
- And music isn’t considered a “core” subject–so if a “core” subject, which is tested by state-mandated tests, requests a grant over music, who is going to get the award?
I’ll keep dreaming and pursuing alternative ways to meet my dream of an iPad for every student in my choir room–and ultimately an iPad for every student in our school.