August 2019, Volume 1

Welcome to Our First Edition

Welcome to the first edition of #INspirEDgrants!

We are excited to bring you information and helpful tips related to federal grants, such as outside "the box" possibilities for using Federal monies and how to complete grant applications more efficiently and effectively.

Our main article this month is an introduction to micro-credentialing by Dwayne Marshall, Sr. Federal Grants Specialist. It will hopefully give you some food for thought on the next wave, and way, educators can enhance their craft in working with students.

Other features might include Did You Know?, Upcoming Deadlines, How Do I Do This Again? and other helpful resources.

Our goal is to provide at least one new idea, possibility or tip to help navigate the grant process. Please let us know if there is something you'd like to see us cover in future editions.

Enjoy your day!

Making a Case for Micro-Credentials

According to Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist and author of “The World is Flat,'' Thomas Friedman, people as a society are, for the fourth time in the modern age, “fundamentally going to change how we approach work.” The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. So, what are the implications for students and educators?

Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist at Google puts it this way. “We are preparing kids for jobs that don’t exist to use technologies that haven’t been invented to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.” The burden to prepare tomorrow’s problem solvers rests largely where it’s always rested, on the shoulders of K-12 education and its educators. How though, can school districts possibly meet the demand for providing quality and necessary professional development for their teachers in order to equip them to answer this charge? Social Emotional Learning (SEL), STEM, Project Based Learning (PBL), Career and Technical Education (CTE), Competency Based Education (CBE) are all pieces to the “Preparing Students for the Age of Agility Puzzle”, but how and when will this professional learning occur?

A 2016 article, Micro-Credentials: Driving Teacher Learning and Leadership, published by

Digital Promise revealed that despite nearly all educators (84%) regularly participating

in formal “in-service” professional development opportunities, very few (20%) reported

satisfaction with the training. The Center for Public Education had this to say about professional development in education in 2013: “Despite its prevalence, the workshop model’s track record for changing teachers’ practice and student achievement is abysmal. Short, one-shot workshops often don’t change teacher practice and have no effect on student achievement.”

Again, how and when will educators close the professional learning gap from where we are now to where we need to be in the near future, if not yesterday? Teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate, in part because of ineffective professional development. According to the “Compendium of Evidence on Title II, Part A, Program-Funded Strategies” published in 2014, the reasons educators choose to stay or go can be explained by the following: Working Conditions, Mentoring & Support, Teacher Prep and Professional Development, and Compensation.

If only there was a way to provide quality, on-demand, job-embedded professional development that could (in addition to providing learning opportunities for the half dozen “Age of Agility” acronyms mentioned earlier), increase leadership capacity of those at the helm (thus improving working conditions), provide formal training for mentors (thus providing support for novice

teachers), provide an avenue for potential career pathways in education beyond administration

(thus creating an objective way to justify salary increases or stipend opportunities), and offer validation (in the form of credit towards license renewal), to those educators who already engage in informal professional development on their own time. What if I told you there was a way and more than a dozen states have already begun exploring its potential?

Micro-Credential (MC) pioneer, BloomBoard, defines Micro-Credentials as “a digital form of certification earned by demonstrating competency in one specific skill (or, a small number of related skills) via a portfolio of evidence (evaluated by a third party) created through demonstrated practice.” MCs give educators autonomy over what topics are areas of interest and how to best demonstrate mastery (reflection, video, etc.) in those areas. MCs are “shareable” meaning they can be displayed in the form of a digital badge on social media platforms, email signatures, and resumes. Clicking each interactive digital badge would display a description of the MC, artifacts submitted to earn the MC, and the date the MC was earned.

Think about it.

How do you really know what someone can do?

Imagine how this could impact hiring practices, teacher leader identification, professional development effectiveness, and teacher preparation programming. Consider potential increased productive peer collaboration. Why pursue a MC alone when you could work alongside a colleague as you pursue this certification together? Think about validation for educators who spend hours and hours of their personal time pursuing informal professional development. Most importantly, think about the impact that a supported, well-equipped and validated educator has on their students.

As stated earlier, educators are charged with carrying the burden to prepare tomorrow’s problem solvers “for jobs that don’t exist to use technologies that haven’t been invented to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.” While some may argue this has

always been the case for educators, this fourth iteration of the Industrial Revolution;

this fundamental change in how work is done raises the bar exponentially. The amount of professional learning that is being asked of educators is not viable in our current professional learning construct. Success in the “Age of Agility” depends upon the ability of people to think differently about how we solve problems. MCs are certainly a different approach to professional learning. Are Micro-Credentials the answer to all problems in education? No. Are they a step in the right direction? I wouldn’t have made a case for them if I didn’t firmly believe it.

Dwayne Marshall

Senior Federal Grants Specialist-IDOE

For more information on this topic, and/or how to implement at the local level see the resources below or contact me at:


Twitter: @DAusben80


Micro-Credentials: Driving Teacher Learning & Leadership - Digital Promise, 2016


How the Micro-Credential Revolution is Changing Professional Learning - Getting Smart, 2019

Rethinking Educator Professional Development with Micro-Credentials - Getting Smart, 2015


Momentum in Micro-credentialing: A New Era of Educator Growth and Advancement

Free Federal Grants Resource

Did you know the Indiana Department of Education provides a free resource, TransACT®, to support the dissemination of parent notifications required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB)? Parent Notices, which is part of TransACT®, provides more than 200 legally-reviewed parent notices, letters, and documents to fully support the federal communication mandates of ESSA programs, with some allowing you to fill-in local information before printing. The robust collection of notices are available in five languages: Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Hmong, and Spanish.

Please click here to view Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Parent Notices video of the presentation from TitleCon 2019. The presentation provides a more in-depth look at what TransAct has to offer.

We would like to invite you to please consider signing up if you've not already done so, especially as the school year begins. This is a free resource, a time saver, and the forms help meet monitoring requirements.

If you have questions, please don't hesistate to contact Alma Flores at

(317) 233-4936 or AFlorescarlos1@doe.in.gov.

Did You Know?

The Title IV team has created a Title IV Toolkit to help in completing the Application.

Items in the Toolkit include:

  • Focus Area Graphic to show the topics for each area
  • Pre-planner showing dates, to-dos, and things to think about as you write your grant
  • Resource Guide providing ideas you might find useful within your grant
  • Flow Through Chart outlining the different steps necessary to complete the grant application
  • Budget Video to walk you through how to complete the budget page

It will be well worth your time to take a look at the Toolkit before and during the writing of your grant application.

Upcoming Important Dates

2020 Application Deadlines
  • August 31, 2019: Title 1(c); Title II(a); Title III, Title IV(a), Title V(a)

  • September 30, 2019: SIG 1003(a)

  • Fall 2020: Title IV(b)

2019 Amendment Deadlines

  • September 1, 2019: SIG 1003(a); SIG 1003(g); Title II(a); Title IV(a); Title V(a)
  • September 15, 2019: Title I(c), Title III

2019 Encumbrance Deadlines

  • September 30, 2019: Title I(a); SIG 1003(a); SIG 1003(g); Title I(c); Title I(d); Title II(a); Title III, Title IV(a), Title V(a)

Expenditure Deadlines

  • September 1, 2019: Title IV(b)

Full Calendar of dates for Title Funds.

Twitter Accounts to Follow


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