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Innovation Grant

Innovation Network Funds

The State Board approved the use of funds to create several Innovation Networks. The Innovation Grant Program was created with the passage of Legislative Bill 519 in 2015. The competitive grant program provided resources and opportunities to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and consortiums to support the development, expansion, and investment in innovative best practices. The grant projects ranged from personalized learning, career academies, after school design networks, and digital ecosystem development. The NDE will now establish a set of Education Innovation Networks to support statewide and district access and feature development. This Innovation Network supports NDE’s Commitment to Equity of “ensuring equity of access by supporting quality instructional materials.”  The Education Innovation Networks will provide an opportunity for interested districts to apply for future competitive grants.

5 Education Innovation Networks

The goal of the “Instructional Materials-Professional Learning Fellowship & Innovation Network” is to provide a cohort of districts and ESUs with the role-specific knowledge, skills, and tools to plan for and effectively execute the three phases of adoption and implementation of high-quality instructional materials—select great materials, prepare to launch, teach and learn. The network leverages a combination of in-person trainings, school visits, and virtual PLCs over the course of 19 months (October 2019 through May 2021). It is designed to equip districts and ESUs with the knowledge, skills, and mindsets that they each need to effectively execute their roles as it relates to the review, adoption, and implementation of high-quality instructional materials. It is also designed to build a strong cohort experience among LEAs and ESUs that they can continue to leverage after the Fellowship ends. The network also includes a rigorous evaluation in order to determine if proposed outcomes are met.

A part of this specific Network would include districts and ESUs working with Teaching Labs, whose mission is to fundamentally shift the paradigm of teacher professional learning to achieve educational equity. The services, consulting, training, facilitating, and managing of the Network  would be a part of the estimated costs. Additional resources for participating districts ESUs are included in the budget estimates for the Network.

ESTIMATED COST: To accomplish this Education Innovation Network, $475,000 would be obligated for contracts and competitive grant supports for the Network.

Education Innovation Network (EIN) for Asynchronous Professional Learning (APL) Call for Applications

Education Agencies that are interested in participating in this first cohort of APL training are encouraged to apply using the link below the project information. The deadline to apply is  Wednesday, October 30, 2019.

Online, asynchronous learning (often referred to as E-learning) has become prevalent in many corporate and nongovernmental organizations because it provides greater access and flexibility to meet the needs of professionals in work settings. An Education Innovation Network (EIN) for Asynchronous Professional Learning (APL) is being established to advance the effective use of online, asynchronous learning for education professionals – teachers, early childhood care providers, professional staff, administrators, and faculty – in Nebraska’s education agencies.

Benefits of participation:

  1. Participants selected will receive $4,800 worth of training and coaching
    1. Planning for effective outcomes utilizing APL
    2. Application of effective instructional methods for APL
    3. Use of Articulate® Storyline and Rise elearning authoring software tools
      • Foundations course
      • Advanced techniques
      • Use of media in APL
      • Assessment and measurement in APL
    4. Suggestions for management of APL through learning management systems
    5. One-on-one coaching on APL projects
    6. Access to APL design professionals for suggestions and troubleshooting
  1. Participants will be invited to engage in peer learning opportunities
  2. Participants will be contributors to and reviewers of the first statewide collection of best practices, tools, and templates for APL by education agencies

Requirements of participant’s agency:

  1. Time commitment – Participants will need to be available for in-person training (up to 9 days for 2019 cohort and up to 6 days for 2020 cohort). Participants need 8-12 hours per month to participate in virtual training, to engage in peer learning and coaching conversations, and complete individual projects.
  2. Access to software – Participants need access to an Articulate 360 subscription for duration of participation in the EIN.
  3. Travel expenses – No travel expenses to in-person training events will be reimbursed. However, meals and snacks during training events will be provided.

Timeline for Participation (scheduled; subject to change)

2019 Fall Cohort 1 (up to 40 participants)

  • October 2019 – Application and selection
  • November 2019-June 2021 – Access to peer learning (Virtual)
  • December 10 – 13, 2019 – Orientation training and Articulate® foundations training (Required in-person)
    • 4 consecutive days in December 2019, in Lincoln
  • January-July 2020 – Additional training modules offered (Virtual)
  • June 2020-June 2021 – Access to coaching and support (Virtual)
  • September-October 2020 – (tentative) additional in-person training on APL tools and templates
  • June 2021 – Wrap-up workshop (in-person, both cohorts)

FALL 2019 COHORT 1 APPLICATION

ABOUT

This EIN will establish two cohorts of 40 participants each and provide direct training, coaching and peer-to-peer learning in the planning, design, and development of online modules for use in APL. Collectively, EIN participants will establish templates for APL guidance documents (e.g., guiding models, core design principles, etc.), templates for evaluation plans, and samples of design playbooks and standard operating procedures that can be accessed and utilized by any education agency in the state planning to use APL. The Network builds upon the work of the Digital EcoSystem and focuses specifically on supporting the professional learning associated with Blended Digital Professional Learning This Education Innovation Networks will provide an opportunity for interested districts to apply for future competitive grants pursuant to §79-1054 for participation in the established Networks and become involved in building, supporting, and scaling  innovations, as well as statewide implementation strategies, and enabling policy recommendations to support systemic improvement.A part of this specific Network would include districts working with Vivayic, a Learning Design company based in Lincoln, Nebraska for training, facilitation, consulting, and managing the network that would be part of the budgeted costs of the funds used. Additional resources for participating districts, professional learning, and broader communication are included in the budgeted estimates for the Network as well.

ESTIMATED COST: To accomplish this Education Innovation Network, up to $750,000 would be obligated for contracts and competitive grant supports for the Network.

This Education Innovation Network will include school districts and educational service units working together and with the Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC) as the primary contractor to develop and maintain a portfolio of innovative digital tools and resources. Identifying a core set of prioritized applications will be selected for focus. For each selected need, a steering committee of actively interested members will be assembled. These steering members will represent diverse perspectives on the project, such as large vs. small districts or an instruction vs. technical vs. administrative role. The  steering committee will research the area of need and explore, evaluate possible solutions, and may engage others to provide additional insight and information.

Solutions may include enhancement of an existing asset, or development or licensing of new digital tools and resources. Rather than only selecting from what is available, the intent of the innovation network is to imagine what could and should be and to take sustainable steps toward that innovation. The emphasis will be on producing and enhancing open, shareable resources and tools with the goal of broad adoption, use and building a community of continuous improvement. Support for communication, professional development and coaching will be integrated within each project plan to assure that the innovative resource is shared as widely as possible and used as effectively as possible.

ESTIMATED COST: To accomplish this Education Innovation Network, $1,500,000 would be obligated for contracts and competitive grant supports for the Network.

This two-year, would generate a 2:1 private sector match, creating a total, two year pool of $2.4 million to launch and grow a Network supporting 1) an ELO Design Studio, developing and disseminating low cost, high quality, ELO programming, staffing and evaluation innovations, 2) new ELO incubator program supporting underserved rural and NDE priority districts, and 3) ELO Centers of Excellence promoting and sharing ELOInnovations. Annually, Innovation grant funds would support these key components:

    • A competitive grant programs supporting ELO Expansion and Excellence (pursuant to §79-1054) including:
      • ELO incubator grant program (under $50k total per site) Supporting new, small scale ELO programs in rural communities below the 21st CCLC threshold and NDE priority / needs improvement schools using ELO supports to expand and enhance school day instruction. Grant funds would be leveraged with local 1:1 matching funds or in-kind contributions.
      • ELO Communities of Excellence grant program- Supporting existing ELO sites/communities with $20,000 – $40,000 grants to promote ELO best practices, including STEM innovations. Grants to these centers of excellence, selected to contribute to a portfolio of experiences, will enhance their STEM offerings and  their ability to offer regular PD and coaching opportunities showcasing ELO Innovations to statewide audiences and contributing to a digital toolbox to further disseminate best practices.
    • Design Studio and Network Facilitation and Administration. Beyond School Bells will raise matching funds; manage the Network and administer competitive grant programs, convene networking meetings and coaching opportunities; develop, field test and scale up new programming and staffing models; partner with NE Extension and others on program development / coaching; partner with NDE’s 21st CCLC program to develop new tools to enhance data collection on the impact of ELO interventions on student growth, and to capture and broadly disseminate lessons learned, enhancing NDE’s 21st CCLC program and other ELO program across Nebraska.

The vision for the ELO Innovation Network is to create a new public-private partnership that leverages public funds to 1) provide more opportunities for key state level partners to work closely with new and established ELO programs to grow high quality, locally sustainable initiatives that can serve thousands of Nebraska youth, including youth from Nebraska’s most challenging urban and rural educational environments, and 2) to identify and cultivate characteristics of high quality programming that can be shared with other communities across the state through a variety of in-person and on-line platforms. This nationally unique ELO Innovation Network will create new opportunities for Beyond School Bells to cultivate new local, state and national partnerships to that can sustain the Network beyond the two-year Innovation Grant start-up phase.

This Education Innovation Networks will provide an opportunity for interested districts to apply for future competitive grants pursuant to §79-1054 for participation in the established Networks and become involved in building,  supporting, and scaling innovations, as well as statewide implementation strategies, and enabling policy recommendations to support systemic improvement.

A part of this specific Network would include districts working with Beyond School Bells and the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation based in Lincoln, Nebraska to manage the Network and the efforts.

ESTIMATED COST: To accomplish this Education Innovation Network, $800,000 would be obligated for contracts and competitive grant supports for the Network over the next two years.

This Education Innovation Network builds upon the work of the Digital EcoSystem and focuses specifically on Data Visualization and Use for continuous school improvement.

This Education Innovation Networks will provide an opportunity for interested districts to apply for future competitive grants pursuant to §79-1054 for participation in the established Networks and become involved in building, supporting, and scaling innovations, as well as statewide implementation strategies, and enabling policy recommendations to support systemic improvement.

A part of this specific Network would include districts working with Don’t Panic Labs, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, for Application Development Services that would be part of the estimated cost of the funds being used. Additional resources for participating districts, professional learning, and broader communication are included in the budgeted estimates for the Network.

ESTIMATED COST: To accomplish this Education Innovation Network, $750,000 would be obligated for contracts and competitive grant supports for the Network.

Updated October 15, 2019 4:21pm