Thursday, February 04, 2010

Grant Reviewers Needed

As you are likely aware, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was recently released by the CSDE, called 21st Century Learning Environments. Many of you may even be totally engrossed in writing a proposal as I type this post! Proposals are due February 11, 2010.

Unfortunately, those proposals don't just score themselves, you know! So, I need to assemble a group of stellar educators willing to give their time and expertise to review proposals. Anyone is eligible to be a reviewer - even if you have been involved in writing a proposal - as long as you meet the following qualifications:

• are knowledgeable about ed tech (not necessarily in an ed tech job though),

• are a “smart” educator, who knows what “good” instructional techniques and principles are, and understands teaching and learning deeply.

• are available on March 10 to get together with other reviewers and decide final scores.

• believe that you can objectively review a proposal and score it against a set of specific measures.

• are willing to give your time and expertise for the good of the educational technology cause. :-)

If you've never been a reader before, this is our process: On or around February 19, each reviewer will receive a packet containing between 4-6 proposals to review and score, according to the rubric included in the RFP. Then, on March 10, all reviewers will meet at CREC in Hartford, along with the proposals they reviewed and their score sheets/comments. Reviewers will sit at tables with 4-5 other reviewers who have reviewed the same proposals and debate the merits of each proposal, discussing why each reviewer scored the various sections as he/she did, and together arriving at a collective score for each of the sections of the rubric. It will likely take approximately 45 minutes to thoroughly discuss and review each proposal as a reviewing team, so reviewers should expect to spend the entire day at CREC. Yummy refreshments and lunch will be served.

I will add that nearly everyone who has been a reviewer in the past has expressed that the experience was extremely valuable professionally.

FYI - reviewers will be asked to review proposals from outside their geographical areas, so that conflicts of interest can be avoided.

Doesn't all of this sound fun? If you are interested (or know a colleague who might be) and meet the qualifications described above, send me an email ( with your name, email address, snail mail address (to send proposals for review), the name of the school district in which you work (if you work in a district) and the name of the RESC in which that district is located. If you have any connections to other districts with which you might have a conflict of interest, include that information too. And - let me know if you've never reviewed grants before, so that I can prepare hazing and initiation rituals be sure to group new people with more experienced grant readers when I form the reader teams.

Thank you for your consideration to become a reviewer!