Every day, I see the advantages online learning offers students, and I think about how lucky students are to be learning during a time when so much is possible in education. Nationwide, schools are providing students with online and blended learning curricula and engaging them with interactive lessons and dynamic content that help boost student success and increase graduation rates.
Below, you will find a list of investments associated with a successful blended or online learning program—everything from hardware and software to Internet connectivity, curriculum, and personnel—and resources that can help you with funding.
To get started, you’ll need to build the foundation for your program. The costs associated with this include bandwidth and wireless/wired connectivity, implementation services, power (electrical) access, and product training.
Occasionally, you will need to upgrade and update your hardware and content. You also might need to purchase new headphones for students to use, printers, and other accessories for the classroom.
Year over year, you will need to maintain your content and curriculum licenses. You also will want to ensure you have the right staff members and will need to provide them with ongoing professional development to help them grow their expertise and drive greater student success.
How am I going to pay for this?
Many times, an online program can be funded in the same way as any other program within your district. You also will discover funding sources that may be available to pay for some—or all—of your online or blended learning program.
- Career and Technical Education Grants
- School Improvement Grants (SIG)
- Special Education (IDEA)
- Title I, Part A, Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies
- Title II, Improving Teacher Quality
- Title III, Part A, English Language Acquisition
- Title IV, 21st Century Community Learning Centers
- Advanced Placement Incentive Program
- High School Graduation Initiative
- Investing in Innovation (i3)
- Race to the Top (RTTT)
If your school is eligible, you could also qualify for funding from local and national education foundations.