The New Albany-Plain Local School District is one of 12 districts that will receive grant money from eTech Ohio to add more technology in their classrooms.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District is one of 12 districts that will receive grant money from eTech Ohio to add more technology in their classrooms.

"This will help us determine the role online learning and digital learning can play in teaching and learning," Superintendent April Domine said.

Forty districts applied for the funds, said Katy Coy, communications director for eTech Ohio.

The grants will be used for "blended learning programs," which combine "online and face-to-face instruction to maximize learning outcomes for students," according to eTech Ohio, a state agency.

New Albany-Plain Local will receive $130,000 over two years: $80,000 in 2012 and $50,000 in 2013. Officials plan to expand blended learning opportunities for students within the next year.

"I think no grant opportunity could be more timely," technology coordinator Jon Stonebraker said. "Our teachers continue to create innovative ways to use quality digital content in the curriculum. When ... I went to school, we used paper maps. Now students use Google Earth to see the streets of Paris and overlay the average incomes of its residents."

Domine said the grant to expand blended learning coincides with the district's strategic plan to create new ways of teaching to better prepare students for work in a global economy.

"The time to intentionally create curriculum (that) mixes the face-to-face interactions and experiences on our K-12 campus with anytime, anyplace digital learning is now," Stonebraker said.

The district is eligible for an additional $20,000 in fiscal year 2013 from eTech Ohio to support the programs. The stage agency "promotes access to and use of all forms of educational technology needed to advance the education and accelerate the learning of the citizens of Ohio," according to its website.