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Mac awarded Digital Learning Grant
$75,000 awarded for digital curriculum work
By Eric Stoff, stoffe@maconaquah.k12.in.us

Maconaquah School Corporation is one of 32 school districts in Indiana to receive funds from the 2017 Digital Learning Grant, awarded by the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) Office of eLearning.

Maconaquah’s proposal for $75,000, the largest amount available to a district, will be used for the development, creation, and curation of digital curriculum material.

Maconaquah Technology Director Judy Off said this grant will allow the corporation to “move forward” with its technology initiative, which has become one of Maconaquah’s best-known accolades in recent years.

“A digital curriculum is at the heart of what we do each day in the classroom,” Off said. “This grant will allow teachers and administrators to have meaningful conversations and planning sessions about curriculum mapping, content creation, and content curation.”

Off said collaboration among Maconaquah staff members, other grant recipients, and experts in the field will “provide students with the best possible academic preparation.”

Superintendent Dr. Doug Arnold agreed, noting that one of Maconaquah’s five strategic goals is “to be the leading school corporation in north-central Indiana in the use of technology for teaching and learning.”

Maconaquah also was awarded one of the first Digital Learning Grants offered by the IDOE about six years ago, which allowed the corporation to implement 1:1 computing.

“I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of our staff who have written previous grants and who wrote the most recent Digital Learning Grant,” Arnold said, calling to mind the Imagining and Creating eLearning Grant that allowed Maconaquah to pilot eLearning days in 2013, and the PSTEM grant that allowed Maconaquah Middle School to become a state-certified STEM school in 2016.

“It is through this kind of grant that we are able to continue growing our use of technology to support the teaching-learning process,” Arnold said.

Sixty-four districts applied for this year’s grant program, according to an IDOE press release, and awards ranged from $35,000-$75,000. A total of $2.3 million was awarded to 32 districts.

“This was a competitive selection process and I congratulate these school districts,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Superintendent of Public Instruction in a press release. “I am confident they will use these dollars wisely, making a significant impact on learning for all students.”