Funding Sources

We know that obtaining funding for professional development and technology are critical to successfully meeting your goals for teacher and student improvement. It’s possible that your school or district can obtain funding from outside sources. Below are some resources to help you understand how Teaching Channel Teams can be funded.

Federal Funding Sources

Many federal sources of funding are targeted towards addressing high-need or high-poverty situations. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) distributes these funds to states and schools based on these needs. is where RFPs are announced and applications are submitted for all federal programs. Be aware that your entity must be registered and approved on well before the application period in order to apply. is the federal site for National Science Foundation programs (including the DRK-12 education grant).

Here are some of the federal funding programs that you should consider:

Title I, Part A: Improving Basic Programs — provides funds to assure that children in high-poverty schools meet challenging achievement standards. These funds can often be used to support supplemental programs, technology, and teacher training.

Title II, Part A: Improving Teacher Quality — provides funds to increase the number of high-quality, effective teachers and principals. Funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including professional development, such as ongoing training that helps teaches understand academic subjects, new teaching strategies, and how to help students meet high academic standards. The funds are granted to state agencies and then distributed to districts by a funding formula.

Title II, Part B — funds competitive grants intended to increase academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and instructional skills of their teachers. Partnerships between high-need school districts and STEM departments of higher education are at the core of these efforts.

Title III: Language Instruction for LEP and Immigrant Students — provides funds for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) children by helping them learn English and challenging academic content. Title III funds are intended to support professional development and curriculum, including technology and supplemental programs.

You will notice that many of these funding programs address the issue of providing high quality professional development for teachers. Here are just a few examples where federal funding might be appropriately used for Teams.

State-by-State Funding

Most state governments also provide educational funding that is unique to that state. Some of these sources may use federal funding that is flowing through that state. State funding can be allocated based on a funding formula or it can be competitive. It is a good idea to check with your state’s department of education or the office of your chief state school administrator to learn more about these opportunities.

Private Funding

With some research, it is surprising how many private and organization-related funding sources there are for educators and schools. Here are some online resources that can make your search more effective:

Foundation Center Foundation Center is the central resource for research on private foundations nationwide. It provides a comprehensive, searchable database to identify funders by region, funding area, and other key criteria.

Grantmakers for Education Grantmakers for Education is the nation's largest and most diverse network of education grantmakers dedicated to improving educational outcomes and increasing opportunities for all learners. You will find links to foundations dedicated specifically to education here.

Community Foundations Community foundations are grantmaking public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined, local, geographic area. They bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities. Community foundations vary widely in asset size, ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $1.7 billion. The Council on Foundations provides a searchable resource to locate such organizations

Grant Wrangler Grant Wrangler is a site that aggregates grants that are available for teachers. Grants are divided by category such as STEM Grants, Technology, Arts and Humanities, etc.

eSchoolNews This online publication provides information about a wide variety of education technology information, and also has a section that highlights related funding opportunities.

GrantSelect GrantSelect is a powerful online database which lists thousands of grant programs from numerous unique sponsors.

TeachersCount TeachersCount is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to raise the status of the teaching profession and provide resources to the education community.

Grant Writing Tips

Writing a successful grant doesn't need to be overly difficult as long as you do some careful planning and follow these suggestions.

Step 1: KNOW YOUR FUNDING SOURCE — Identify your possible funding source and carefully read through the application guidelines. Be sure your “idea” and your school or district meets the specifications outlined in the grant. Develop a checklist of all of the mandatory requirements of the grant.

Step 2: INCLUDE ALL THE KEY STAKEHOLDERS IN PLANNING — If your proposal is targeted at the state or federal level, the application is made through the district. Be sure you have administrative support for the proposal and invite key stakeholders to participate in a planning meeting.

Step 3: CLARIFY YOUR PROJECT & GOALS — In most grant applications, you need to be able to explain your project concept in just a few paragraphs. Clearly address what you want to accomplish with this funding, how student learning will be positively impacted by the grant, and who will be served by the grant. It will be particularly important to have very specific (numbered or bulleted) goals for the project. Most likely you will have to reference these goals over and over. Consider this guideline in order to make a SMART goal. This is a goal that is:

S = Specific with what, why and how
M = Measurable with tangible evidence
A = Achievable — challenging but not biting off too much
R = Results-focused
T = Time-bound

Example: By the end of school year 2015, all ten ELL teachers in our elementary schools will have used the Teams site to post two of the best video clips from their classrooms showing ELL strategies.

Step 4: CREATE A DETAILED BUDGET — Build a complete budget that includes all possible categories. Be sure to include costs for curriculum, supplies, technology, and incentive or stipend pay for personnel. If personnel costs are involved, don’t forget to include benefits. Finally, many school districts require that you show a cost for overhead. Sometimes this is referred to as “indirect” costs, and is a percentage of the total costs. Check with your district representative to be sure of your district’s policies.

Step 5: COLLECT NECESSARY DATA AND RESEARCH — Many grants ask that you provide data about your school, district, and the students served. Frequently you will be expected to provide information related to the following to bolster your case for consideration:

Information for Developing a Grant Proposal

The information below may be useful when developing a grant proposal that includes Teams. You may copy and paste the information below into your proposal.

Teaching Channel Teams

Through the use of Teaching Channel Teams, educators are able to collaborate online in communities at any time on topics defined by coaches, teacher leaders, and/or other colleagues. While the activity can occur over an indefinite period of time, the ideal frequency is weekly in order to keep levels of collaboration high.

Teaching Channel Teams has no limitations on a community's size. Entire schools or grade levels across a district or state can join a Group within the Teams site and work asynchronously, viewing and analyzing video, creating lessons together through various methods, such as Lesson Study or professional learning community processes and protocols. Educators can also group themselves into much smaller coaching or mentoring groups, applying processes and protocols such as the New Teacher Center New Teacher tools.

On Teaching Channel Teams, “instructors” are the leaders within a school or district, for example, teacher leaders, department chairs or grade level leaders, coaches, or district office administrators. The shape of Groups in Teams can be slightly less formal. The use of internal “instructors” builds capacity within a school or district, and more easily integrates the leadership and participation of face-to-face professional learning with the online learning on Teams.

The total hours on Teaching Channel Teams can vary due to the length of engagement created by the Group leader. For example, a coach can move her entire coaching process online, whereby the mentee uploads video of their class for reflection and discussion with the coach. In this way, the sum total hours of professional learning equals that which normally occurs face-to-face. This same idea can also hold true for professional learning communities created on the Teams site. Most spend a total of one hour online per week, looking at video or student work, and posting reflections or questions.

The most powerful communities within Teaching Channel Teams have clear focus, process, and community-building activity. Leaders are encouraged to approach Teams the same way they think about strong face-to-face professional learning, creating both time to learn and time to apply that learning as part of the professional learning experience. Teams Group leaders consider overall outcomes for the year, and then chunk up these outcomes into manageable weekly or monthly segments of work, utilizing clear process and structures to guide teachers toward the implementation of new strategies, most often connected to specific CCSS standard(s). An added benefit of Teams is that group members can influence the course design or curriculum, or create new additional groups of interest at any time, to follow a new line of inquiry or topic of interest.

Teaching Channel Teams Provides:

Collaboration on a wide scale — Teacher participants who have access to the Teams platform can work and learn from grade-and-content-level teacher peers across districts and wide geographical areas. In turn, this new learning can directly impact the performance of their students.

More cost effective than face-to-face instruction — Facilitators and content experts can interact with participants over an extended period of time without incurring travel and other expenses.

Impact on a large scale via a robust platform that encourages sharing — The Teams platform makes it easy for teachers to upload video and other classroom resources and artifacts. They can receive immediate feedback on actual classroom work from their facilitator and other Teams partners. It is this emphasis on moving from analysis and planning into classroom action, reflection, and change, that eventually leads to a real transfer of new skills into a teacher’s repertoire. This instructional practice and confidence also leads to more (and better) standards exposure for students.

Easy data capture — The digital platform makes it easy for teachers to collect a portfolio of their work, especially valuable in a new era of teacher evaluation. Similarly, the individual pieces of evidence produced from using Teams, as well as data from teacher interactions, can inform research into this new model of professional development.

Learning via video exemplars — The use of high quality video will allow participants to see exemplary teachers in action. Within video study groups, teachers can watch modeling of high value strategies and then immediately practice and document those strategies in their own classroom setting.

The Learning from Video Cycle

Teaching Channel includes video as a central tool in helping teachers grow their educational imagination about what deeper learning looks like, and as an evidence-based tool for analyzing their own teaching.

How enhance teacher professional development with video

Teaching Channel Learning From Video Cycle