How To Write An Award- Winning Grant Proposal

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Grants give teachers the opportunity to provide their students with technology they might not otherwise be able to afford. But it’s a competitive world where the winners take all, so it pays to be prepared.

1. Clarity

Before you do anything, you need to be clear on three things:

  1. The project for which you want funding. (It’s tempting to find grants first then suitable projects to match, but you’re unlikely to write a convincing application for a project you thought of on the fly.)
  2. The support of someone who ranks high enough to sign off on the application
  3. Your plan for the money — what is the need?

2. Every Application Needs A Need

Don’t wait till you find a suitable grant to write a compelling description of your need. Every grant is going to ask you to outline the problem, so you might as well have it ready.

What will clinch the winning application is the compelling nature of the need. Be clear about why this project is important to you and why you’re so excited it could happen thanks to the generosity of this grant funder.

Write out:

  • The evidence that supports the need — demographics, test scores, and even anecdotal evidence
  • The goals of the project — what will your students achieve if you’re able to buy the technology you need?
  • How will you measure success — what are the metrics? What tools will you use to capture them?
  • What exactly you need in the way of technology, people, and support

Having this already thought out means you can respond more quickly when you find a grant with an imminent deadline.

3. Be Meticulous

Don’t try to second guess what’s most important to the administrators of the grant. Give equal weight to every section and question unless directed otherwise. Assume they want a complete answer to everything they ask or they wouldn’t have asked it.

4. Be Clear

Extra credit will be awarded for concise applications that steer clear of unnecessary jargon. Don’t assume the people reviewing the grant are fellow educators. They could come from any walk of life.

5. Think Like A Teacher

What marks would you give a student who relied on unsupported assertions? “Some students can’t read” is weak. Describe the scale of the problem precisely.

6. It’s Not Really About The Technology

No grant funder wants students to have tablets, laptops, or whatever other technology you want to bring into the classroom. They want students to be able to read, to learn, to thrive, and to be prepared for life after school. The technology is the tool; it’s important to the application, but it’s not the outcome.

Make sure the students are the heroes of your application, not the technology.

Once You Get A Grant- Now The Fun Begins

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How SMBs can use Technology to Compete with Big Brands

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Taking on Goliath: how SMBs can Compete with Multinationals

The world’s biggest multinationals will see their profit growth drop by up to 5% over the next decade, according to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

That’ll leave a void in the global market that small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will fill. McKinsey predicts these companies will occupy 45% of the Fortune 500 list by 2025.

This remarkable shift is possible because of the technological tools small businesses now have at their disposal. With the following advantages, smaller companies are taking on the multinationals like David and the Goliath.

1. Increased flexibility

SMBs can take advantage of their small size and agility to seize new opportunities before bigger competitors can react. And, thanks to scalable cloud computing services, larger businesses are losing their old advantages, like dedicated IT infrastructures and in-house expertise.

Forbes predicts that 78 percent of small businesses will have adopted cloud computing solutions by 2020. With access to on-demand resource provisioning, even the smallest businesses can compete with the multinationals. If you are not already using the cloud, it's not too late. Current Technologies can have a cloud platform up and running within days to aid in your fight against the large multinationals.

2. Increased Visibility

The goal of marketing is to share a specific message with a specific audience. Or, if your product has universal appeal, with as large an audience as possible. Multinationals used to have all the advantages when it came to marketing, with plenty of money to buy radio and TV slots, place full-page ads in magazines and newspapers, and hire full-time PR and marketing teams.

Google and social media have changed that forever.

With Google AdSense, small businesses can promote their services to an audience whose search terms identify them as likely customers. And social media platforms allow SMBs to find and connect directly with their customers no matter where in the world they are.

3. Increased Understanding

Sophisticated data analysis used to be reserved for multinationals with enough money for full-time "data mining" teams. But the rise of Big Data has made analytics tools available to SMBs and even individual businesspeople.

Google Analytics and InsightSquared allow SMBs to mine their data for valuable insights and turn them into easy-to-read infographics. With easily read and usable data, the possibilities are endless. You can 

An (Almost) Level Playing Field

To be sure, multinationals still possess some advantages. For example, some own their entire supply and distribution networks, which means they can "outship" smaller companies and reach consumers first.

The good news, however, is that SMBs are in a better position than ever before to compete. Using new technologies, they too can connect with customers across the globe and carve out a space for themselves in the fast-shifting global marketplace for goods, services and ideas.

We Can Help In Your Quest!

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Making Tomorrow's Classroom Today

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Creating the Right Network Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s Digital Learners

Changes in how teachers use technology to reach students is causing network administrators to reconsider the way they think about network bandwidth, and these changes are speeding up hardware refresh cycles. Are you ready?

Two huge factors are driving these rapid changes in educational networking:

  1. The way that faculty members are using media to reach students
  2. The number of devices each student brings on campus

The changes will require network administrators to rethink their network bandwidth situation.

Teacher's and student's need for more network bandwidth is placing some institutions in a tricky spot, especially if wireless access points were just upgraded two or three years ago. However, the new upgrade is one that will meet school’s needs well into the future.

Video Drives the Network

Everyone wants their YouTube and cat videos. And in class, professors are not projecting video onto a central screen. They are giving students a URL to watch the video on their personal devices. The class is now responsible for 20 - 200 network streams instead of one.

That and students constantly checking for mail and social media updates mean a dramatic increase in the bandwidth required to each classroom, and to the campus as a whole.

New WiFi to the Rescue

The good news is that a new wireless networking standard, 802.11ac Wave 2 has now entered the field. 802.11n Wave 1, the highly successful predecessor to Wave 2, could provide bandwidth of more than 700 Mbps. Access points for 802.11ac Wave 2 can provide up to 7 gigabits per second of speed. It can also provide that high-speed access to some devices while providing lower speeds to older clients. The whole network does not slow down when old devices are present.

802.11ac Wave 2, which was certified by the WiFi Alliance and rolled out late 2016 solves many wireless issues but creates a need for a faster and more robust backbone. Current Technologies is partnered with Aruba Networks, Cisco Systems, and Aerohive Networks to customize a  wireless access system using the most up-to-date technology that delivers superb WiFi performance.

New Wireless Means new Wires

Most campuses have gigabit ethernet supplying their access points. Obviously, 7-gigabit access points need more than one gigabit Ethernet, so some campuses have begun dropping 10-gigabit lines to their APs. Also, these faster APs require Power Over Ethernet+, which may involve new injectors or Ethernet switches. These are not small costs because they involve changing physical infrastructure in existing structures.

Moving to 802.11ac is not like the move from 802.11a to 802.11n. The new move is a significant upgrade to the infrastructure.

We Can Help With The Transition

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We need to embrace technology to make learning more engaging. Because when students are engaged and interested, that is when learning takes place.
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