Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The deadline has passed, thank you all!

Now that we are past the deadline for submissions for our Educational Technology Experimentation grant, we would like to thank all of you who have applied. The response to this competitive grant program exceeded all expectations, yielding over 150 initial proposals. We hope to get back to each of you before the end of December.

We hope you understand that in contrast to many of AVI CHAI’s grant programs for day schools, this grant program is competitive. With more than 150 applicants, we can only ensure that a small percentage of ideas will be funded.

Each application will be reviewed and evaluated by a number of people. We are sure that the selection process will be difficult, and it is likely that deserving applicants will not receive funding. Within the next several weeks, a small group will be invited to submit fuller proposals. Unfortunately, the remaining applicants will have to be turned down.

Please know that we have noticed recurring themes in your applications, so even if you receive notification that we cannot fund your request at this time, please know that we are paying heed to your educational technology needs.

This grant program was different for AVI CHAI in another way as well - we wanted to see if we could reach beyond the front office to the classroom teachers. We’ve heard from many of you that you would appreciate having a central structure for communicating and sharing technology ideas, so we will be giving some thought to how we might address that need as well.

Thank you again for taking the time to send us your proposal. We hope to get back to you shortly.

Best wishes for a happy Chanukah,
Nina Butler and Eli Kannai

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Grants for up to $10,000 are available for creative uses of technology in Jewish education - Questions and Answers

1) I’m in Israel. Can I apply for this funding support?

A: This funding is intended for educators in North American Jewish day schools. On the other hand, Israelis can partner with North American educators to design a solution to a pedagogic problem that will be implemented in a North American day school.

2) Can these monies be used by commercial vendors creating products for American schools?

A: The impetus for the grant must come from a teacher. The teacher can buy software or arrange for software design or development, but we won’t partner with the developer directly.

3) Does the money apply only to hardware purchases? Is it limited to non-hardware purchases?

A: No, and no.

4) Can you help me fund an existing program?

A: Our objective emphasizes innovation. You can apply, but we will favor new programs and it would take unusual circumstances for us to approve a grant for an existing program.

5) Is this only for Limudei Kodesh? Can the problem reach across Judaic and General Studies classes?

A: Your idea can assist students and teachers across the curriculum, as long as Judaic education is advanced.

6) Can this grant be used for school-wide efforts or only for class-room based initiatives?

A: The foundation is primarily interested in teacher-student initiatives, but school-wide efforts will be considered.

7) Can the description be more than one page long?

A: Yes, but please limit your efforts and ours at this preliminary stage.

8) Can we write the proposal in Hebrew?

A: Proposals must be submitted in English.

9) Does this money go to schools or teachers? Can more than one teacher in a school apply?

A: The Educational Technology Experimentation grants will be awarded directly to those teachers implementing the technological solution. However, the school’s administration must buy in to the teacher’s idea; at a later stage, we will require the administration’s signature on the proposal. In addition, , if hardware or software is neccesary for the program, the school must purchase it directly. It is entirely possible that we may award several grants within the same school.

10) Is this funding for only certain kinds of day schools? Is it limited by age of student or affiliation?

A: The school must be an North American Jewish day school. Other than that, we will consider funding regardless of age of student or affiliation.

11) Can supplementary schools apply for this grant?

A: The funding is targeting day school educators, not supplementary educators. An industrious supplementary school teacher may want to team up with a day school teacher on a project, though.

12) Are there specific application forms to fill out?

A: No. Take a look at the guidelines and write us a page or two addressing the points mentioned.

13) Why is the application so short? There are only a few questions.

A: We will be inviting a small selection of teachers to submit full proposal. At this initial stage, we prefer this brief application, being mindful of people’s time and energy.

14) My school has a cash flow problem and does not have the money to purchase hardware in advance - is there a way for the grant to provide the money up front to the school?

A: Our typical operating procedure is to provide some of the grant money up front and some upon completion of the project. These terms will be individualized with each final grantee.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Please use the comments to ask general questions

We will be posting some of your general qustions here, with our answers. If you have a question to add, please post it here as a "comment" and we will respond shortly.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Grants for up to $10,000 are available for creative uses of technology in Jewish education

As a first initiative in this area, the foundation has allocated funding to support technological solution to pedagogic challenges. Competitive grants of $2,000 to $10,000 are available for those educators who have identified and developed innovative approaches to using technology in their teaching. Proposals (guidelines are available at the link below) are due by November 25, 2006.

For more information about this grant download the instruction sheet.
Information about The AVI CHAI Foundation may be found on the AVI CHAI website at www.avichai.org.