GOSA Announces Digital Learning Device Rural Grant Program

July 21, 2016

Today the Governor's Office of Student Achievement announced a new grant program that will enable rural, high-need local education authorities (LEAs) to purchase mobile devices for instruction. The Digital Learning Device Rural Grant Program, administered through the Connections for Classrooms Grant Program, will award funding through a competitive application process prioritizing LEAs that are poised to implement digital learning but lack resources to purchase sufficient devices to fully leverage their network connectivity. Approximately $5 million in grants will be available in this round. 72 LEAs are eligible to apply.

This round builds on the $77 million in grants that Connections for Classrooms has provided to 159 LEAs for district and school network upgrades over the last two years. As a result of these grants and federal E-Rate funds, many schools now have or will soon have wireless internet access to their classrooms. However, many schools, particularly those in rural and high-need areas, lack resources to purchase sufficient devices to fully leverage the increased connectivity.

Strong applicants to the Digital Learning Device Rural Grant Program will clearly describe how this grant will enable them to change instruction to implement digital learning, specifically facilitating learning with technology that gives students some control over time, place, path, and/or pace. In addition, they will demonstrate their need for devices, outline their device selection/deployment/maintenance plans, and provide assurance of network preparedness to support devices.

Eligible LEAs can apply for up to $75 per student. These funds are not intended to purchase a $75 device per student. Rather, as a whole, the total eligible funding amount should be used for devices that will best serve the students. All devices must be compliant with the minimum standards for online testing through the Georgia Milestones Assessment System.

The application deadline is October 25, 2016. Awards will be announced in January 2017.

Full grant program information, including the grant program guidelines, scoring rubric, application planning document, FAQs, and a list of eligible LEAs are available at this link.

About Connections for Classrooms

Connections for Classrooms is a grant program joining multiple state agencies around the common goal of ensuring Georgia schools and classrooms have the high-speed broadband access required for digital and blended learning. The program is part of a broader statewide effort to expand classroom high-speed broadband access in response to Governor Deal’s Digital Learning Task Force recommendations as well as the GaDOE’s efforts to enable personalized learning for Georgia students. For more information about previous rounds, click here.