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FIPSE and Penguins July 18, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

raytux   So, I have not yet jumped off the electronic precipice and turned my lab into an entirely open source shop, but I know some of my readers have offered to push me. “Yo, McVey! Swim with the penguins already.”

This month I will be a grant reader for the federal Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE). I sat through a two hour overview of the program and how their E-Reader grant reading system worked. There was nothing phenomenally challenging in the system but what astounded me was this was the first time grants FIPSE allowed the electronic submission of grants. It was only a few short years ago that I spent time in a posh hotel in Virginia reading federal grants, that time for Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3). Those days of hotels, flights, food, and fellowship are over. The turn around time is astonishing also. The competition was announced a month ago, the deadline was last week, and they should all be read and assessed by the end of the month. Whoosh.

In another bit of electronic news, I received word today that Inspiration.com was going to give me 45 licenses for their new statistical software InspireData. I will have to expand on the joys of using this tool in the classroom in another post. The gift was valued at over $3500, which we might be able to leverage toward the application for another grant. The things I am learning about grant writing these days. It is good to have a building full of professional grant recipients to help me along.

On the downside, I had an interesting breakfast conversation with a former astronomer this weekend who lamented the grant mindset of his former job. “Man, you couldn’t make a photocopy without a grant account.” Let’s hope we don’t go that far and get the fun sucked out of our jobs.



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