Grants provide teachers with tech training

Vice President Al Gore announced Tuesday that 400,000 new teachers will receive training in using classroom technology through $135 million in new grants from the Department of Education, as well as $195 million from private-sector sources.

The $330 million in grants is aimed to benefit universities, K-12 school districts, nonprofit organizations and high-tech companies. The grants also should help ensure that teachers are comfortable with the technological education tools at their disposal.

The grants are part of the Clinton administration's broad educational technology agenda, which has four goals: increase the number of multimedia computers in classrooms across the country, encourage the development of educational software, train teachers to use technology effectively and connect every classroom to the Internet by 2000.

One program that received funding is the Nebraska Department of Education's Statewide Catalyst Project. The program received $1.8 million--to be dispersed over three years--which will help integrate technology education during the "pre-service" phase of teacher training at many of the state's educational institutions.

"We've been trying to work with our higher education institutions for an infusion of technology training in the education programs, and this [grant] will help accelerate that," said Dean Bergman, administrator of the Education Technology Center at the Nebraska Department of Education.

Many of the grants will focus on low-income and rural communities, as well as historically black, Hispanic and tribal institutions. Funds also will be invested to address the technology needs of students with disabilities.

Information on all of the grants is available on the Web at www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/PPI/teachtech/index.html.

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