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FMU receives $1.2 million grant for technology in the classroom

FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to train teachers to use technology in the classroom.

Francis Marion will receive $631,679 from the federal government over the next three years, with the remaining 50 percent of the grant coming from matching funds already budgeted by the university.

The award is an extension of a $110,000 “Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology” grant the university received this past year.

The money also is a portion of $128 million in federal grants, announced by President Clinton on Saturday, that will be distributed through the program over the next three years.

The program has four key components: place education students with technology-proficient educators; provide them with resources to use technology tools to work with students in schools; gain hands-on experience in using video-conferencing in teaching; and participate in an annual virtual technology summit.

The grant will also allow for activities such as faculty travel to technology conferences.

The grant proposal was written by Jane Madden, FMU’s director of grants, and her husband, Michael Madden, an associate professor of education at FMU.

“This grant provides a splendid opportunity for Francis Marion University to focus attention on a critical needs area in the preparation of teachers,” said FMU President Fred Carter.  “Mike and Jane Madden and other faculty colleagues involved in this effort deserve our gratitude for securing the resources to have an enormous impact in the classroom.”

“This is a substantial grant for Francis Marion and the Pee Dee region. These funds will directly impact the preparation of students for an ever-changing technological world,” said Robert Sawyer, dean of the FMU School of Education, who also praised the hard work of the faculty.

Michael Madden will be working with FMU School of Education faculty to incorporate technology in their courses. Bill Whitmire, an FMU assistant professor of education and mathematics, will work directly with classroom teachers in area schools to increase technology. Peter King, an FMU assistant professor of biology, will handle administration of the grant.

“This grant really supports the teacher education program and especially the link to area schools,” Michael Madden said. “It will allow our students to have access to training that will be second to none in the state.”

FMU is one of only 110 institutions nationwide – and only two in South Carolina – to receive this type of grant, he said.

Sen. Fritz Hollings, Sen. Strom Thurmond and Rep. Jim Clyburn were instrumental in helping FMU secure the grant, said Michael Madden.

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Last Published: June 7, 2004 4:59 AM
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