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The seventh graders now have their iPads. This opportunity came an entire year earlier than anticipated. SISD (Sweetwater Independent School District) was able to make this happen thanks to a $99,040 technology grant, which was obtained following an application submitted by Mike Marlett, the district's Director of Educational Technology.
The Technology Lending Program Grants (TLPG) was implemented by the 82nd Texas Legislature to award funds to districts that already have a technology program in place. This school year, SISD began their 21st Century Digital Learning Initiative, which allowed for eighth graders to start using iPads loaned out by the school in their studies.
According to the Region 10 Education Service Center the goal of the program is to ensure that all students have dedicated access to a personal technology device.
Applications were submitted to the Region 10 Education Service Center on behalf of the TEA (Texas Education Agency).
The center awarded around 170 grants totaling to $9,500,000. SISD was one of approximately 20 school districts who fell into the middle category--based upon student enrollment, which were eligible to receive up to $100,000.
"We are very excited to bring more technology to the kids," elated Marlett. "We feel fortunate to receive the grant [as] there was much competition for the money."
He also acknowledges that the process in obtaining the grant was a "team effort" and is "proud to be a small part of this terrific team." He also commends SISD superintendent Terry Pittman for his continued pursuit of progress in learning for the entire district.
"Mr. Pittman has us constantly looking for ways to help our students learn," said Marlett. "These iPads are just one of the many advances we are making across the district to do that."