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Accessing the World from Your Classroom with advanced telecommunications

by Tyler Wantulok on August 22, 2012

It's not news that technology can give students and teachers access to the world from the classroom. We all know it's possible, but when we begin to consider the details of how it actually works the picture becomes murkier. What is the technology exactly? More importantly, how do you get the technology into your classroom?

The good news is funding is available to help purchase advanced telecommunications technology through the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program. We laid out answers to DLT frequently asked questions below.

What is the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program?
It is a program designed to support technology projects in economically disadvantaged and highly rural locations. The programs are designed to create distance learning and telemedicine capacity via the acquisition of equipment, instructional programs and technical assistance with eligible equipment.

How much money can be awarded through the DLT program?
Between $50,000 and $500,000.

Are matching dollars required?
Yes, a minimum of 15% is required and additional match contributions can increase overall proposal scores.

What is the deadline?
Applications are due in the Spring of 2013.

Who can apply?
First of all, to be eligible, the applying organization must be currently delivering, or proposing to deliver, distance learning or telemedicine services for the term of the grant. Applicants must be an organization legally. They can be a partnership, a Indian Tribe or tribal organization, an incorporated organization, or a consortium. They can also be a private, for-profit or non-profit, corporation. Examples include: educational services centers, higher educations institutions, education and training providers, tribal organizations.

What are some examples of successfully awarded distance learning programs?

  • Teachers shared between multiple educational institutions
  • Vocational training and certification
  • Dual credit, advanced placement distance learning classes
  • Students telecommunicating with 2 and 4 year colleges
  • Foreign language distance learning

What are some example of successfully awarded telemedicine programs?

  • Home healthcare
  • Telestroke and telecardiology
  • Specialists in urban areas connecting with rural clinics and hospitals
  • School based health centers
  • Telehealthcare services for correctional facilities

To learn more about how Pine Cove Consulting's RUS grant Case Study, click here.

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