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Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology (MERIT)

For more than a decade, the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College (KCI) has hosted one of the premier educational technology-focused professional development programs in the United States.  MERIT is 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.

Participants range in age and experience with technology, but all who are accepted have shown the potential to help their colleagues develop their understanding of and techniques with a variety of powerful technologies.  While the program is open to teachers and educators of a variety of disciplines, grade levels, and schools, the program includes a special focus on math and science, where there is a significant need in so many schools to help students develop confidence in and excitement for their future possibilities with these subjects.  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.

Important dates for MERIT 2014

MERIT 2014 Summer
Application for
MERIT 2014 opens:
Applications Due:   
Acceptance Notification
July 7 – 18, 2014
8:30am - 3:30pm
December 1, 2013January 20, 2014, 11:59pmby February 28, 11:59pm
all the applicants are so good, it's taking longer!

Information Sessions for Applicants

Interested teachers and educators are invited to attend one of the following sessions to learn more about MERIT. Advance signups not required. Just show up.

Tuesday, December 17: Session 1, 4:00-5:00pm and Session 2, 5:30-6:30pm

Wednesday, January 8: Session 3, 4:00-5:00pm and Session 4, 5:30-6:30pm

All sessions are held at the Krause Center for Innovation, Room 4006, Foothill College. 

Here is a page with driving directionsPark in Lot 4, bring some change with you, the parking fee is $3 cash (quarters or dollars). Look for the 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?

Want a glimpse (OK, about an 8-minute-long glimpse) of a typical MERIT Summer Institute?  Take a look.

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.

Program Goals

MERIT provides experiences and opportunities for educators to:

  1. Create a 21st Century classroom environment that models a) critical thinking and problem solving, b) communication, c) collaboration, and d) creativity and innovation for all learners.
  2. Integrate innovative technology tools and processes into the learning environment that enhances student engagement and learning.
  3. Design effective and efficient technology-enriched, student‐centered learning projects that improve learning outcomes.
  4. Develop assessment strategies for educational technology projects, teaching practices, and learning outcomes.
  5. Develop leadership in peer coaching, mentoring, and training facilitation in school and district venues as well as conference presentations at the local, state, and national levels. 

Participant Incentives*

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

$750 stipend upon completion of all summer institute requirements (for California teachers only)**

1 cool technology tool to enhance teacher participants’ project work

$750 stipend upon completion of academic year requirements (for California teachers only)**

"Beyond the Minimums" mini-grants awarded to select participants through a competitive application

    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]

Participant Rewards

Participants who properly complete the two-week Summer Institute and its preparatory components receive 5 Foothill College continuing education units, a $750 stipend (see above), and a 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 classes, training, activities, and project implementation, participants will receive an additional $750 stipend (see above) in the spring 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.

Northern California public school teachers are encouraged to apply to be part of MERIT. Information meetings are provided at the KCI.  All those interested in MERIT should give the application careful consideration well in advance of the deadline.

For a visual overview of the MERIT Program 2014, view or download the attachment below, MERIT Program Summary 2014.pdf.

Requirements and Application

Applications are due Monday, January 20, 2014, at 11:59pm

To see a graphic overview of the MERIT Program, view or download the MERIT2014_Overview document in the attachments section below. Also, check out these pages in this site:


Contact Us

If you have questions not answered in this site, you can email your questions to:

Best wishes,

Diane Main, MERIT Program Director

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

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Krause Center for Innovation, Foothill College • 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 • • 650-949-7680