Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology (MERIT)

For more than a decade, the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College (KCI) has hosted the premier educational technology-focused professional development program for educators. MERIT is Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology, a research-based, educator development program designed to help teachers bolster their curriculum with student-centered, technology-enhanced learning activities to motivate, challenge and inspire the diverse learners and leaders of the future.

The MERIT Program seeks to show through qualitative and quantitative measures that engaging technology in the hands of a well-trained teacher can improve student learning.  Participants have the opportunity to learn to use and contribute to a variety of resources for collaboration, and are required to design projects not simply to provide dynamic learning experiences for their students, but also create open educational resources that will be of value to other teachers and students near and far. In helping to make learning and teaching more dynamic, MERIT is working to bring education out of the past and into the future that unfolds before us constantly.

MERIT Program starts Saturday, May 21, 8:30am-3:30pm AND
then the Summer Institute July 5 - 15, 2016, 8:30-3:30pm

Who should apply?

MERIT is a competitive program with an extensive application process and is open to California teachers and educators (librarians, administrators, teachers on special assignment) of a variety of disciplines, grade levels, and school types, including college and university. International applicants are encouraged to apply, too! The program includes a special focus on math and science, where there is a significant need to help students develop confidence in and excitement for their future possibilities with these subjects. Participants in MERIT range in age, years of teaching and experience with technology, but all accepted applicants have the common potential to help their colleagues develop their understanding of and techniques with a variety of powerful technologies. We regret that not all applicants can be accepted into the program.

Important dates for MERIT 2016

MERIT Program Starts MERIT Summer Institute (9-days) Application Process Opens Applications Due Acceptance Notices sent by:
Saturday, May 21, 2016
8:30a - 3:30p
July 5 - 15, Mon-Fri 
8:30a - 3:30p
Apply Today! Monday, January 18, 2016, 11:59pm March 1, 2016

Information Sessions for Applicants

Interested teachers and educators are invited to attend either the face-to-face or online information sessions to learn more about the MERIT program and application process.

Online Webinar: Tuesday, December 8, 2016, 4:00 - 5:00pm
Details will be posted here

Thursday, December 10, 2016, 4:30pm - 5:00pm
This in-person information session is located at the Krause Center for Innovation, Room 4006, Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022  [map]

Parking information for the Krause Center for Innovation
Park in Lot 4, bring some change with you, the parking fee is $3 cash (cash, debit or credit). Look for the 2 yellow vending machines. The KCI is the larger domed building to your right as you ascend the driveway into Lot 4. If you cannot attend one of the info sessions, feel free to contact the program at the address below. The volume of questions increases shortly before the deadline, and we cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered in time for an applicant to meet the deadline. We encourage all applicants to ask questions as early as possible.

What is MERIT?

 MERIT is a unique experience

MERIT Program

 Take a glimpse of a typical MERIT program

MERIT Summer Institute 2010

MERIT Program Mission Statement
To promote innovation with technology, pedagogy, and content that will have measurable positive impact on education in the Silicon Valley and beyond.

MERIT Program Goals

The MERIT Program will:

  1. Model a 21st Century classroom environment that demonstrates a) critical thinking and problem solving, b) communication, c) collaboration, and d) creativity and innovation that teacher-participants can replicate in their classrooms.
  2. Integrate innovative technology tools and practices into the program learning environment that enhances teacher-participant engagement and learning.
  3. Guide development of MERIT Teachers’ technology-enriched, student‐centered learning projects designed to improve students’ learning outcomes.
  4. Present and model assessment strategies for educational technology projects, teaching practices, and learning outcomes.
  5. Develop MERIT Teachers’ leadership in peer coaching, mentoring, and training skills in school and district venues as well as conference presentations at the local, state, and national levels.

MERIT Teacher Learning Outcomes

MERIT Teachers will be able to:

  1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
  2. Design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments
  3. Model innovative, digital-age work and learning in a global and digital society
  4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
  5. Engage in professional growth and leadership with confidence

MERIT Teacher Incentives*

10 total college quarter units from Foothill College (5 units from the Summer Institute are paid by the KCI, the other 5 units paid by participant)

$600 stipend upon completion of all summer institute requirements (for California teachers only)**

1 cool technology tool to enhance teacher participants’ project work

$600 stipend upon completion of academic year requirements (for California teachers only)**

 Note: All incentives are designed to support the ongoing innovation of technology into the curriculum. 

[*Incentives subject to change]
[**Program funding specifies that stipends are offered only to California teachers]

MERIT Teacher Rewards

Participants who complete all the requirements of the two-week Summer Institute receive 5 Foothill College quarter units (continuing education units), a $600 stipend and a technology tool to enhance their projects.  All incentives are designed to support the ongoing integration of technology into the curriculum, and by following through with fall and winter academic classes, training, activities, and project implementation, participants will receive an additional $600 stipend in March of the year following the Summer Institute.  These activities include helping other teachers learn to integrate technology meaningfully and therefore allowing the benefits of the MERIT Program to spread well beyond the classrooms of the participants.

To see a graphic overview of the MERIT Program, view or download the MERIT2016_Flowchart document in the attachments section below. Also, check out these pages in this site:

Requirements and Application

Northern California public school educators are highly encouraged to apply for a place in MERIT. The MERIT program also accepts private and charter school applicants, as well as applicants from all over California. International applicants are encouraged to apply. Non-local participants must provide their own housing and travel.

Applications are due Monday, January 18, 2016, at 11:59pm (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Contact Us

If you have questions not answered in this site, you can email your questions to: meritapplications@krauseinnovationcenter.org

Steven McGriff, Ph.D. 
Instructional Technologist, Professor in Residence, Krause Center for Innovation [650-949-7681]

For future reference or bookmarking...use this shortcut for this page: http://tinyurl.com/KCI-MERIT