Educators are among the many on the frontlines of COVID-19. During a time of immense disruption, you have been adapting your teaching methods, testing new skills, and discovering new solutions to advance learning in profoundly new ways. At National Geographic Education, we see you and we’re here to support you. That’s why we have launched an emergency fund for educators who are designing instructional resources — whether in the classroom, teaching remotely, or a combination of the two. The fund will distribute support ranging from US$1,000-$8,000 to individual educators (or to an individual educator working in collaboration with other educators or National Geographic Explorers) to design instructional resources that help educators effectively teach in remote or hybrid learning environments.
If you’ve never applied for one of our grants before, the process may seem intimidating, but we’re here to make the steps as simple and clear as possible for you. Veteran educator Ryan Miller shares his top tip for determining how much funding to apply for:
“I think one of the hardest items teachers may have is deciding what amount to apply for. I took the amount of money I get paid to teach, found an hourly rate, and used that number to estimate how much to request. This also requires consideration of how much time you need to complete your work and other ancillary costs associated with the work.”
Educator Angela Germano describes what she found most helpful while writing her application:
“I found it helpful to write a paragraph for myself first to plan out my thoughts on what I wanted my students to get out of this project and how these funds would help my students to achieve more during these times of virtual and hybrid learning. I also tried to find a way to capture attention for the project by engaging readers with a hook that brought them into why this project would be both engaging and educational for students (not just that I needed these supplies, but why those supplies would help students be excited to learn more). I also found it useful to make sure that I reread each question carefully and made sure to answer all parts of the grant questions.”
Finally, informal educator and National Geographic Explorer Linda Freeman shares a tip to help build your confidence as you get started on your own application:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our everyday lives in so many ways. Yet, at the same time, the pandemic has removed many barriers to innovation. The National Geographic Society’s COVID-19 Remote Learning Emergency Fund for Educators provides an opportunity for you to propose an innovative idea for implementation in your classroom. You may be wondering if now is a good time or if you are the “right” person to propose an innovative idea in education. Let me share something that I have learned:
There is always room for a new idea!
Innovative ideas are like seeds. They are small but potent, filled with untapped energy and possibility. Like seeds, innovative ideas need the right environment to grow. By responding to this Request for Proposal, you will activate the growth of your idea. Writing it down and sharing it with others will give it light and water.”
As you start writing down your idea, we have two supports — virtual Design Labs and a private Facebook group — to help give it that water and light it needs as it begins to grow:
- We are offering weekly virtual Design Labs for you to talk directly with peers and National Geographic Education staff for ideation, inspiration, and technical support. Design Labs will be 90 minutes and capped at 30 participants per session to allow for conversation and breakout rooms led by expert educators. We will provide an overview of the opportunity, share tips and resources, answer questions, and engage in conversation to help you think through your ideas, next steps, and how you can be successful in this process. Sign up for a Design Lab here and ask questions by visiting @NatGeoEducation on Twitter.
- We’ve also created a closed Facebook group for support. This is a space for you to ask questions, get advice, and learn as a community without the confines of a schedule. National Geographic staff and expert educators will post regular tips and best practices to help you think through your application.
Click here for more details on the Fund and guidance on the application. From all of us at National Geographic education, thank you for the work you do for your students, your peers, and your community, especially during these unprecedented times. We’re proud to stand beside you and we’re proud to support you!