Nearly 100 Idaho public schools are chasing $3 million in innovative technology grant money from the State Department of Education.
Grant requests total $26 million, up 34 percent from the first round of technology grants funded by the legislature last year.
The competitive grants are aimed at schools to develop pilot programs in innovative and effective ways to use technology.
"Since 2007, we have worked to make sure every student has equal access to the best educational opportunities," said Tom Luna, state schools superintendent. "The increase in technology grant applications is evidence we need a statewide solution to closing the digital divide."
Last year, 81 schools sought $19.4 million in grants.
Discovery Elementary School in Meridian was one of 11 schools that received a grant in 2013-2014. The school of 535 students used Netbooks and iPads to collaborate on projects. Teachers said students became more engaged and attentive. Teachers were able to get instant data on how students performed.
Awards will be announced before July, when state money becomes available.