Browse Month: August 2023

What K–12 Organizations Need to Combat Current Cyberthreats

As K–12 institutions continue to expand their digital footprints by adapting new technologies, concerns of ransomware attacks also continue to grow. In fact, according to SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report, ransomware attacks were up 827 percent in 2022 for K–12 schools. How then do schools mitigate vulnerability?

In this article, Suchi Rudra shares how schools can safeguard against cyber threats by

  • using next-generation firewalls;
  • securing connections;
  • implementing incident response planning; and
  • automating daily cybersecurity tasks.

Read more

Most Popular Funding Opportunities Last Month

In the previous month, educators were looking for funding opportunities in the areas of arts, technology, academic achievement, and more. Check out which grants GetEdFunding educators viewed the most in July.

Racial Equity in STEM Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports bold, groundbreaking, and potentially transformative projects that advance the scholarship of racial equity and address systemic racism in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development. Contexts may include prekindergarten through grade 12; two- and four-year undergraduate and graduate institutions; municipal organizations; STEM workplaces; and informal STEM settings such as museums, community organizations, and media. Proposals should articulate a rigorous plan to generate and disseminate knowledge and evidence-based practice via fundamental or applied research led by or in authentic partnership with individuals and communities who experience inequities caused by systemic racism.

Deadline: Requests are due October 10, 2023.

SCA Grants

Sony Corporation of American and its operating companies offer funding to programs that support education and creative, artistic, technical, and scientific skills that are necessary for tomorrow’s workforce. Previous education grants have funded a wide range of environmental media teaching and research projects; meaningful environmental education events and programs; quality education programs for at-risk students; arts and arts education; equipment for educational nonprofits and academic institutions, including major colleges and universities across the country; youth mentoring educational program to teach students about workplace etiquette and various careers available in the technology and entertainment industries; and multiple other mentoring opportunities, including one-on-one, school-based, or in the workplace.

Deadline: Applications are accepted year-round.

HDR Foundation, Education Grants

The HDR Foundation has provided nearly $3 million in grants to nonprofit organizations located where HDR employees live and work in communities throughout the United States. Preference is given to discrete projects that show promise for lasting impact and projects that can be replicated or scaled. The foundation has three priority areas of focus: education, healthy communities, and environmental. Under the category of education, the foundation supports projects that focus on architecture, engineering, design, environmental science, and consulting and planning. Recent education-related grants have supported a high school robotics program; a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) academy; academic success programs for underserved middle school students; and hands-on STEM activities to increase youth interest in careers in technological, engineering, and scientific fields.

Deadline: Letters of Intent for large grants are accepted August 7 through August 29, 2023. Applications for large grants are accepted September 1 through September 25, 2023.

Toshiba America Grant Program for Science and Mathematics Educators

Toshiba America Foundation accepts applications from teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. The foundation seeks to support teachers by providing funds to support classroom projects. The foundation strongly encourages projects planned and led by individual teachers or teams of teachers for their own classrooms. Successful projects tap into the natural curiosity of students, enable students to frame their own scientific questions, and incorporate the expertise of community partners. Applications must be for project-based learning.

Deadline: Deadlines vary based on grant amount.

Verizon Foundation, Education Grants

The Verizon Foundation grants education initiatives that support projects promoting digital skills development for kindergarten through grade 12 students and teachers. Examples include summer or afterschool programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); teacher professional development; and research on technology-infused pedagogy.

Deadline: Applications are accepted year-round.

5 Strategies to Lower Classroom Noise Pollution With or Without Technology

Zone Learn is designed for learners and built for schools. Students finally have a headset that’s made for them. With soft, comfortable ear pads that kids love, Zone Learn is designed for the deep, sustained learning that students need to excel in school. It’s specifically designed for smaller head sizes to meet the needs of young learners. And, it’s also durable enough to hold up against the activities of a typical school day. Learn more about your versatile ordering options today.

According to the World Health Organization, the volume of a classroom should be less than 35 decibels for good learning conditions. But today’s classrooms are much noisier. The average classroom today can be as loud as 77 decibels – that’s equivalent to the sound of a vacuum cleaner!

The rise in 1:1 device policies, new instructional methods and changing dynamics in the classroom make now a great time to evaluate how noise impacts students – and educators. Cutting noise pollution can help everyone in a classroom hear and be heard in ways that can also personalize learning. There are learning outcome advantages too. Students need instruction to be 15-20 decibels louder than background noise to support higher learning recovery rates. Headsets help students focus by removing those external distractions.

Educators looking for ways to lower noise pollution and keep students focused can try one or more of these tips, tools, and tactics.

Mute machines and devices

The technology and devices in and around learning environments in school or at home contribute to continuous background sounds. The beeps, buzzing, and whirring from these devices might seem par for the course, but they can distract students.

What to do

District and school leaders should factor in sound output when evaluating school equipment. Paying attention to noise levels as well as features that easily mute notifications and other sounds can help lower the overall classroom noise.

Provide microphones

Students need instruction amplified 15-20 decibels louder than background noise. Without that amplification, learning loss can occur. A microphone can help the teacher’s voice cut through classroom noise pollution.

What to do

The Yeti Microphone provides broadcast-quality sound to give educators confidence that students can clearly understand information and instructions.

Improve acoustics

Classrooms are often built to maximize space, but that’s often done at the cost of sound. In districts or schools, administrators and school leaders can help teachers modify classrooms to reduce the impact of noise. If teachers are leading classes in a remote or hybrid style, tip sheets can be created so teachers can set up personal spaces properly.

What to do

For both in-person and remote settings, adding rugs to bare floors, hanging curtains over windows, or putting soft materials like felt or cork on walls can improve the acoustics of a room and reduce noise.

Use an app

Apps are handy for many aspects of classroom management. That’s the case for reducing classroom noises as well. Educators can choose from a variety of paid and free apps to help manage classroom noise.

What to do

There are many available apps that measure and display noise levels. The visuals in the apps range from stoplights and bouncing balls to smiley faces so educators can choose what works for their classroom best.

Hand out headsets

By reducing background noise, headsets can help students differentiate between ambient noise and educational content they need to hear. They also make audio clearer. So whether students need to hear instructions from a teacher or educational technology, headsets, especially those designed to wear for extended periods of time, can help students hear with greater ease and less frustration throughout the school day.

What to do

The soft foam padded ear pads in Logitech Zone Learn create noise isolation and keep students comfortable. Plus, the headset has adjustable side arms to fit students’ heads.

Taking just a few of these steps can make a big difference in cutting noise pollution in schools and districts, while boosting focus and stamina among students.

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