Section VIII: Proposed Budget Explanation

Note: This narrative is intended to accompany the Budget Summary, which follows this section

A unique aspect of this program is that it provides four days of intensive technology training for fifty teachers, giving them the skills, confidence, and time it requires to plan and carry out Internet-related learning activities in their classrooms. These teachers will be distributed throughout the district, with six to ten teachers from each of the schools, resulting in a peer support network that will accelerate the spread of technology integration throughout the district. Each of the participating teachers will attend 26 hours of training on basic technology use and particularly on Internet use and web page creation skills needed to carry out the objectives of this project. Stan Smith, Instructional Technology Coordinator for the district, will conduct the training sessions. Mr. Smith has had extensive experience planning and conducting teacher technology training, and this is the primary focus of his full-time position. This unique fact makes it possible to provide 26 hours of training to fifty teachers for only the cost of substitutes ($55/day per substitute). Additional stipends for the teachers and for the trainer are not needed, because the sessions are held during the school day. Not only is this training approach more cost effective than training after school hours, it is also favored by a majority of our teachers, as indicated by a recent survey conducted while planning this project.

With fifty teachers being trained for 4 days each, at $55/day for substitutes, the total cost of this training is only $11,000 (as a comparison, if the sessions were held after school, at the district rate of $15/hr., the cost would be $19,500, which does not even include the trainer's stipend).

Note: The expenses described above for the teacher training aspect of this program equal 22.1% of the total state request, fulfilling the requirement that at least 20% of the state budget must be used for professional development.

Not needed for substitute salaries.

Another unique aspect of this project is that it allows students and teachers to plan and carry out an innovative application of technology, leading to a very powerful learning activity, the WebQuest. The resulting collection of 50 WebQuests, which will be designed to address the Show-me Standards, will then be available on the World Wide Web for students and teachers throughout Missouri (and beyond) to use. The entire Materials budget is devoted to items that make this application possible. A great deal of care was taken in the research of these techniques to assure that the selected strategies and materials would facilitate practical use in teaching situations.

The software, selected based upon ease of use and price, will allow us to establish a large number of computers with the same software, making it much easier for teachers to learn and integrate technology use into their teaching. The selected software includes the following:

Adobe PageMill 3.0 - Web page authoring software, to be used to construct web pages with the WebQuest activities. Only fifty copies are needed because the iMac computers purchased with this grant come bundled with this program. The fifty additional copies are for the existing classroom computers of the fifty participating teachers, so that they can modify their WebQuest web sites they made during the training and so they can construct additional web-based activities.

AppleWorks 5.0 ­ Word processing software, to be used for production of printed guides that will accompany each WebQuest produced by the participating teachers. This will make it possible to distribute a booklet of guides to all 50 WebQuests. This booklet will also be made available as an Adobe Acrobat (pdf file) on the web site. Only fifty copies are needed because the Apple iMac computers purchased with this grant come bundled with this program.o Adobe PhotoDeluxe ­ Image editing software, to be used for creating and modifying images that that will be placed by teachers on the WebQuest web pages. An image editing program is essential for almost any computer work involving graphics, particularly web page authoring. The budget includes 124 licenses for this important program. This includes the 29 iMac computers purchased with this grant (it is not bundled with these computers), the classroom computers of the 50 participating teachers, the 30 computers in the Middle School lab, and the 15 Mac computers in the High School lab ($34 each for a total of $4,216).

WebStar 3.0 ­ Web server software upgrade, allowing us to effectively serve the WebQuest web pages on the Internet. An extensive site of 50 WebQuests will demand an updated web server package so that it will support a larger number of connections and traffic. Only one copy is needed, with an upgrade price of $299.

Adobe Acrobat 4.0 ­ Will allow us to create an Acrobat (pdf) file of the guide booklet for the 50 WebQuests designed by teachers. Acrobat files are the standard format for making such documents available to large numbers of people over the Internet. This guide book, which will be written by Stan Smith, the project coordinator, will include general information on WebQuests and integrating them into the curriculum. It will serve as an additional means of disseminating this grant program, making it easier for other districts to replicate the approaches. Only one copy of Acrobat is needed, costing $90.

Effective Internet learning activities, such as WebQuests, are best conducted with students working together in small groups of 3-4. The High School and the Middle School currently have facilities available that will allow this (computer research labs), but the elementary schools (Southeast, Ridgeview, Martin Warren, and Sterling) have no such facilities. These schools have no more than one Internet-capable computer in any particular room, making it impossible to conduct hands-on computer-related class activities. This grant will allow us to place a "mini-lab" of six Internet-connected computers in each of these four elementary schools so that students, working in groups of 3-4, can participate in the WebQuests created by their teachers. The following are materials (under $500) needed to complete these "mini-labs."

Computer carts ­ will provide tables on which to place the computers, and will make them mobile, so teachers can temporarily place the "mini-lab" in their classroom. This is particularly true for those schools that do not have an extra classroom available for the "mini-lab," which is true for Southeast School. Twenty-four carts are needed ($140 each, total of $3,360) for the "mini-labs." The five computers for the teacher-training center will not need carts.

8-port ethernet switches ­ will allow us to connect all six of the computers in each "mini-lab" to the network and the Internet. There is only one ethernet line to each classroom and 8-port switches will allow connection of all six "mini-lab" computers without a loss of bandwidth. At $299 each for five switches (includes a switch for the teacher training center) the total is $1,495.

Ethernet cabling ­ In order to make the "mini-labs" portable, and easy to connect, a set of high quality cables must be available at each of the schools (total of $180).
o Printer network card and ink cartridges ­ The participating teachers will be producing guide sheets for the WebQuests they create, which will be available in print form and as an Acrobat (pdf file) on the Web. They will need to print these sheets in the teacher training center during their four days of training. A printer already exists in this location, making it less expensive to simply purchase an ethernet card for this printer so they can print to it over the network (as opposed to buying 5 printers). Total cost, including ink cartridges, is $410.

This project takes advantage of many resources that are already available in the district, such as the computer research labs in the Middle School and High School and the existing classroom computers. Due to the lack of grouped computers at the four elementary schools, however, the budget includes 24 computers to create "mini-labs" of six computers each, so that students can work in groups of 3-4 on the WebQuests created by their teachers. It also includes five computers to establish the teacher training center, where groups of five teachers at a time will participate in four days of training for this project. Apple iMac computers were selected based upon the fact that our district primarily uses Macintosh computers, their price, and the high quality ratings that they have received. The total cost is $31,871.

The success of any technology integration project is based upon the training that teachers receive. The teacher training center, with a full-time technology trainer (Mr. Stan Smith), is an innovative approach to insure that teachers are adequately prepared. In addition to the five computers mentioned above, this training center will need a data projector. Although more expensive models are available, the selected InFocus projector ($2,900) is adequate for the size of the room and the number of teachers at a given time (only five teachers will attend the training on a given day).