Moore County Schools announced today the award of $441,849 in Digital Learning Initiative grants by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

The grants are to support the development and dissemination of local innovative digital learning models aimed at promoting effective digital learning practices spread across all North Carolina K-12 public schools.

First, a two-year Digital Learning Implementation Grant in the total amount of $145,370 to expand classroom instruction in engineering and design from kindergarten to 5th grade to grades 6 through 12.

“We have seen transformational change in our K-5 classrooms through the intersection of engineering and design and digital learning. We now see an enormous need to fuel a similar transformation within our secondary schools so that our students are able to continue to grow and thrive in this new type of learning environment,” said Assistant Director for Technology Steve Johnson. “Many of our K-5 students have experienced these highly powerful learning environments and this work must continue as these students transition to their secondary school experience.”

Second, a three-year Digital Learning Initiative Innovation Academy Grant in the total amount of $296,479 will support Moore County Schools as a model demonstration site for digital learning in the state, regularly hosting educators from across North Carolina for small group classroom visits, and at an annual statewide conference and student showcase event.

“Design thinking allows students to think like engineers by creating opportunities in teams to brainstorm ideas, coordinate a plan of attack, create a proposed solution, test the solution and then improve upon their efforts based on careful observation,” said Johnson. “In today’s rapidly changing world, students need the ability to experience failure as a necessary step in the improvement process. Incorporating design thinking into the classroom allows students to directly experience this, thereby building a mindset and culture of continuous improvement.”

Priority for grant awards was given to districts and charter schools aligning work to the NC Digital Learning Competencies and one or more of the following: micro-credentialing, personalized learning, digital literacy skills for students, or innovative partnerships with Institutes of Higher Education.

photo courtesy of Moore County Schools

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