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Educational TechnologyWelcome to the Educational Technology section! Below and in the Innovation and Improvement box, you will find programs and services we provide to promote and support the integration of technology into teaching and learning. Although they are no longer required, we can approve public school district technology plans when needed for grant applications.​​​

 FY 21 Elementary and Secondary Relief - Digital Equity Grant

​Eligible Applicants: 
Illinois Local Education Agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEA’s and have an EBF Final Percent of Adequacy level of 70% or lower are eligible to apply.  

Program Purpose: 
The purpose of the Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Equity RFP is to assist school districts in closing the Digital Divide and enabling digital-age teaching and learning. School districts may use funds to provide students with technology tools and home internet access necessary for technology-rich remote learning experiences.  

Program Description: 
Equitable access to technology devices and internet connectivity is one of the foundational components upon which today’s schools create enhanced and empowered digital learning experiences. In order for digital learning opportunities to continue beyond the school, especially in the event of e-learning or remote learning, students must have access to technology and reliable internet access at home.  

The Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Equity RFP is a one-time grant opportunity that utilizes Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to assist districts in reducing barriers to the continuity of education by addressing the technology and home connectivity needs.   

Grant funds will be awarded based on the criteria as identified in the grant application. Grant application questions will assess device needs, the availability of home access for students, and the way in which additional funds will complement the district’s existing technology plan. In addition, the application will ask districts how they are supporting all students, including but not limited to students with disabilities, English learners, and students from low-income families.   

Applicants can request funding for computing devices, home internet connection devices, or both.  For applicants applying for only one of the two funding priorities, provide evidence via the technology survey and in the narrative section of the application that all students have equitable access to devices or internet connectivity – whichever one the district is not applying for funding. 

Application Deadline:
Applications for the Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Equity Grant are due no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, August 14​, 2020. 

Pre-Application Requirement: 
Applicants must complete the Illinois School District Technology Survey. All surveys will be evaluated by the Learning Technology Center, and all surveys responses must be approved by the Learning Technology Center prior to submitting the grant application.  

  • Submit survey by deadline of August 1, 2020 
  • On the 2nd page of the survey, mark that the survey is being completed as part of an ISBE grant application in order to initiate the review process. 
  • Review will take up to two weeks. The purpose of the approval process is to identify and resolve inconsistencies or questions related to technical details prior to grant application submission. 
  • Applicants will be notified upon approval. If not approved, applicants will be contacted to schedule a review call.  
  • If needed, consult with the Learning Technology Center in the completion of the inventory, grant application, or related district technology planning process.  

If the district does not have a policy on damaged or stolen items, the district needs to develop/adopt one as it is a federal requirement. 

Technical Assistance Webinar:
A technical assistance session was held on Thursday, July 23 at 1:30pm. This technical assistance session covered eligibility requirements and application procedures.  

 FY 22 Elementary and Secondary Relief - Digital Equity Grant

Eligible Applicants:
​Illinois Local Education Agencies (including state-authorized charter schools, university lab schools, Regional Offices of Education on behalf of qualifying safe schools and alternative programs) with an FY 22 Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) Tier 1 designation are eligible to apply.

Program Purpose:
The purpose of the program is to assist school districts in closing the digital divide and enabling digital-age teaching and learning. School districts may use funds to provide students with technology tools necessary for technology-rich learning experiences. All purchases must be prioritized first to ensure 1:1 ratio of devices to students.

Program Description:
The President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December of 2020. The purpose of these funds is to directly fund Illinois school districts to support their local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ISBE conducted a Remote Learning Survey at the outset of the school closures in spring 2020 to gather information from districts pertaining to how they intended to deliver remote instruction. Over 90% of the 655 districts that responded reported that remote learning consisted in whole or in part through the delivery of worksheets and paper packets. This suggests confluent challenges with school/district access to devices to deliver instruction, student access to devices, and/or connectivity. This grant was awarded during FY 21 to 450 districts that were below 70% EBF Adequacy. Prior to the pandemic, survey results collected by the Illinois Learning Technology Center (LTC) indicated that Illinois districts possessed sufficient devices for 51% of their enrolled students. The first rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) formula grants and Digital Equity grants allowed for the purchase of approximately 600,000 devices to support virtual learning.  Illinois LTC survey results from FY 21 indicate that no less than 13% of districts in Illinois still are not 1:1.

The Standards and Instruction Department identified a list of eligible applicants and allocations. The FY 22 Digital Equity Formula Grant will build upon the first round of Digital Equity grants to further close the digital divide by targeting Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Regional Office of Education Alternative Safe Schools with a Tier I designation on the 2022 Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) data.

All expenditures must be prioritized first to ensure a 1:1 ratio of computing devices to students. LEAs may then use funds to purchase technology tools or professional learning necessary for creating technology-rich classroom environments that maximize learning

Financial Background:
ISBE awarded $79,731,976 of combined ESSER I and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief I funding to narrow the digital divide via the award of [WT2] Digital Equity Formula Grants. The FY 22 request for the Digital Equity Formula Grant is $52.5 million. It will be funded with federal ESSER II dollars. Funding allocations for LEAs will be determined by a formula. Awards will be for two years, starting July 1, 2021, and ending August 31, 2023. The extended award timeline is necessitated by supply chain issues in the technology sector arising from the pandemic. The formula will provide a $20,000 base allocation per grantee in addition to a per-pupil award that will be distributed according to the enrollment identified in the FY 22 EBF formula.


Application Deadline:
Monday, November 15, 2021

Pre-Application Requirements:
All previous fiscal year Digital Equity Performance Reports must be satisfactorily completed and approved by ISBE prior to application approval for FY 22.

Applicants must complete the FY 22 Illinois School District Technology Survey.   All surveys will be evaluated by the LTC, and all surveys responses must be approved by the LTC prior to submitting a grant application.  Please complete this survey by November 1, 2021.  A technology survey worksheetPDF Document is available to assist with the completion of the survey.

Forms and Templates:

 Elementary and Secondary Relief - Digital Professional Learning Grant

​Eligible Applicants:
Illinois public school districts, state-auth​orized charter schools, and Regional Offices of Education (ROEs) are eligible to apply. Priority points will be given to those applicants that are furthest away from 100% or more Final Percent of Adequacy as listed on the fiscal year 2020 Full FY 2020 Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) Calculation spreadsheet at the link: isbe.net/ebfdist

Program Purpose:
The purpose of the Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Professional Learning NOFO/RFP is to assist school districts in enabling digital-age teaching and learning. School districts may use funds to provide educators with professional learning opportunities that drive digital-age learning, integrate technology across subject areas, and develop digital citizenship.

Program Description:
Equitable access to technology-enhanced instruction, curriculum, and assessments is one of the foundational components upon which today’s schools create enhanced and empowered digital learning experiences. Quality professional learning for educators and parents/caregivers on the meaningful use of technology is critical in effectively enabling digital learning.

The Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Professional Learning NOFO/RFP is a one-time grant opportunity that utilizes Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to assist districts in reducing barriers to the continuity of education by addressing professional learning needs related to digital remote learning.

Grant funds will be awarded based on the highest needs as identified in the grant application. Grant application questions will assess professional learning needs and the way in which additional funds will complement the district’s existing professional learning plan. In addition, the application will ask districts how they are supporting all students, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities, English Learners, and students from low-income families.

As part of the application process, applicants must complete the Illinois School District Technology Survey prior to the submission of the application.

Application Deadline:
Applications for the Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Professional Learning Grant are due no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020

Pre-Application Requirement: 
Applicants must complete the Illinois School District Technology Survey. All surveys will be evaluated by the Learning Technology Center, and all surveys responses must be approved by the Learning Technology Center prior to submitting the grant application.

  • Submit survey by deadline of August 28, 2020 
  • On the 2nd page of the survey, mark that the survey is being completed as part of an ISBE grant application in order to initiate the review process. 
  • Review will take up to two weeks. The purpose of the approval process is to identify and resolve inconsistencies or questions related to technical details prior to grant application submission. 
  • Applicants will be notified upon approval. If not approved, applicants will be contacted to schedule a review call.  
  • If needed, consult with the Learning Technology Center in the completion of the inventory, grant application, or related district technology planning process.  
  • Applicants who have completed a survey for the Digital Equity RFP application do not need to submit this survey again.

If the district does not have a policy on damaged or stolen items, the district needs to develop/adopt one as it is a federal requirement. 

Technical Assistance Webinar:
A technical assistance session was held on Tuesday, August 18 at 10:30am. This technical assistance session covered eligibility requirements and application procedures.​

 Reasonable Security Practices

105 ILCS 85/27(e) states that "Each school must implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices that otherwise meet or exceed industry standards designed to protect covered information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. Any written agreement under which the disclosure of covered information between the school and a third party takes place must include a provision requiring the entity to whom the covered information is disclosed to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices that otherwise meet or exceed industry standards designed to protect covered information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. The State Board must make available on its website a guidance document for schools pertaining to reasonable security procedures and practices under this subsection."

The Learning Technology Center of Illinois (LTC) has developed a list of security best practices, based on the ​CIS Controls, a prioritized set of actions that collectively form a set of best practices that mitigate the most common attacks against systems and networks. ISBE endorses these set of best practices as the reasonable security practices all districts should adopt.​

 School Technology Revolving Loan Program

The School Technology Revolving Loan Program (STRLP) is a 3 year loan with 2 percent interest rate. Since the inception of the program in fiscal year 1999, over $87 million has been loaned to qualified or approved school districts. Loan applications are received from June 1 until December 1 each year. Decisions on loans can be made in September/October, December, March and/or May of each year, depending on the number of applicants and available funding.

In fiscal year 2022, districts, charter schools, and nonpublic schools recognized pursuant to 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425 (Voluntary Registration and Recognition of Nonpublic Schools) housing kindergarten through 8th grades are eligible to apply. In FY 2023, the loan will be extended to qualifying districts serving 9th through 12th grades. The loan will continue to cycle in that manner. Loan payments are due twice a year -- on June 1 and Dec. 1, or on March 1 and Sept. 1. Loans receive a 15-day grace period. Any loan payment not received within those 15 days is charged a 5 percent penalty.​​

 SketchUp Pro License

Trimble SketchUp Pro allows users to create 3D models of anything. Educators are using it on many grade levels and in many subject areas from computer technology to math, geography, and science. In 2013 the ISBE received a grant providing all public K-12 school districts in the state access to SketchUp Pro.

Trimble SketchUp Pro allows users to create 3D models of anything. Educators are using it on many grade levels and in many subject areas from computer technology to math, geography, and science. In 2013, ISBE received a grant providing all public K-12 school districts in the state access to SketchUp Pro. ISBE’s current grant is for the SketchUp Pro 2021 license. This license will allow public school districts to use the program until July 2022. Trimble SketchUp Pro 2021 grants are not available to individuals or private schools. Trimble does offer highly discounted SketchUp Pro EDU licenses to private schools.

Please e-mail Erich Grauke with the following information to receive your SketchUp Pro 2015 license.

  • Name of District/contact person
  • Number of computers to be licensed. Please specify the number that are networked/standalone, as well as their OS (Mac/Windows) and type (desktop/laptop).​​​

 Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)

Public Act 101-0516, the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) protects the privacy and security of student data and personal information collected by online applications, websites, and services when used for K-12 school purposes​. Effective July 1, 2021, school districts will be required by the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) to provide additional guarantees that student data is protected when collected by educational technology companies, and that data is used for beneficial purposes only (105 ILCS 85).

For assistance in implementing provisions of SOPPA in your district, please contact the Illinois Learning Technology Center​.

Model Data Privacy Policy and Procedures

ISBE has adopted the following Illinois Association of School Board’s PRESS sample materials pursuant to 105 ILCS 85/28(e), amended by P.A. 101-516, as its model student data privacy policy and procedures:

  • Policy 7:345, Use of Educational Technologies; Student Data Privacy and Security
  • Administrative procedure 7:345-AP, Use of Educational Technologies; Student Data Privacy and Security
  • Administrative procedure exhibits 7:345-AP, E1, Student Covered Information Reporting Form, 7:345-AP, E2, Notice to Parents about Educational Technology Vendors, and 7:345-AP, E3, Parent Notification Letter for Student Data Breach, and 7:345-AP, E4, Notice of Parent Rights Regarding Covered Information​.

Any district that requests copies will receive them free, regardless of membership status. If you are a staff member in a district that subscribes to PRESS, please contact your own district superintendent to access these materials through your district's PRESS Online account. If your district DOES NOT subscribe to the IASB PRESS service, please email the Illinois Association of ​School Boards with the subject line of Student Data Privacy Policy Request and indicate in your email which of the materials listed above you are requesting.

The IASB email link provided is intended for use by districts who do not subscribe to PRESS.

IASB wishes to thank and acknowledge the IASB PRESS Advisory Board who reviewed the sample materials.​​​

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