Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Get Ed Funding

April 15, 2013

Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities

Free and Inexpensive Resources

Professional Development Opportunities

On-the-Go Learning

STEM Gems

“Worth-the-Surf” Websites

BOOKMARK THESE!

In Partnership With:
DDL




Grants, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities



Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is CDW-G’s new website to help educators and institutions find the funds they need to supplement already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding is a free and fresh resource, which hosts a collection of more than 1,200 grants and other funding opportunities culled from federal, state, regional and community sources and available to public and private, preK–12 educators, schools and districts, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations that work with them. The site offers customized searches by six criteria, including 41 areas of focus, eight content areas and any of the 21st century themes and skills that support your curriculum. Once you are registered on the site, you can save the grants of greatest interest and then return to read about them at any time.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Celebrate Students’ Talents

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Talent Development Award celebrates K–8 educational organizations committed to the deliberate cultivation of high-potential students’ talents, skills and passions. Major criteria considered for the Talent Development Award include alignment with the foundation’s commitment to identifying, cultivating and/or promoting exceptionally talented students who have financial need; high apparent effectiveness as demonstrated through internal reviews, external evaluations and/or scientifically confirmed research; strong leadership with a clear vision and the capacity to influence stakeholders; a noteworthy, innovative solution that could be replicated. The amount of the award varies.

Deadline: Rolling

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Ignite Creative Expression

The Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards is a global online competition that encourages youth to creatively express their vision for driving positive change in local communities. It’s an extension of Adobe Foundation’s philanthropic commitment and its global signature program, Adobe Youth Voices, which aims to ignite creative confidence in youth around the world by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. Now in its second year, the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards invites youth to explore issues that are important to them and to present potential solutions through photo essays, music videos and other forms of visual storytelling. Youth participants aged 13–19 team up with adult educators and submit original, high-quality content for online viewing and voting. The competition offers eight standard content categories representing various forms of visual storytelling. A ninth category—the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards UNICEF Challenge—invites entrants to develop a video proposal for a project they would like to launch in their local community. Finalist entries are judged by a diverse panel of professionals working in art, film and other creative fields, and also by the general public through social media engagement. Winning projects receive software, hardware, opportunities to advance creative ideas toward implementation and other prizes. Additionally, winning entries are featured at distinguished exhibitions, including international film festivals and other arts organization events.

Click Here for More Information

Deadline: April 19, 2013

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Connect the Past to the Present

Monticello and The HISTORY Channel invite teachers and students to participate in a digital art-based project that encourages students to connect Thomas Jefferson with their hometown. Students simply submit an original handmade postcard addressing the following theme: While Thomas Jefferson lived more than 200 years ago, we believe he is still relevant today. The contest includes $10,000 in prize money (see the website for category breakdowns) and a chance to have students’ work featured on Monticello’s website. In recognition for their efforts, two teachers will receive $250 each for use in their classroom library fund or fieldtrip fund.

Click Here for More Information

Deadline: April 26, 2013

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Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

How can educators transform their school’s technology offerings overnight? Easy—they can enter the eleventh annual Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes from CDW-G and Discovery Education. School employees can register once per day from now until May 3, 2013, to win one of two grand prizes, as well as 16 weekly prizes. Each grand-prize classroom is valued at $40,000 and includes 20 notebook or tablet computers, an interactive whiteboard, student response devices, a projector, a document camera, staff and student training and more. New this year, the Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes capitalizes on Pinterest, in addition to Twitter and Facebook, to display prizes, winners and innovative ways to use the technology. Follow Win a Wireless Lab on Pinterest, @WinWirelessLab on Twitter and “like” Win a Wireless Lab on Facebook for all the latest news. Also, download the Win a Wireless Lab infographic to post in your school and share with colleagues.

Deadline: Register once per day through May 3, 2013.

Click Here to Enter Sweepstakes

Click Here to Download Infographic

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Free and Inexpensive Resources



Listen to the Music in Poetry

The lessons in this issue of Smithsonian Education introduce students to the rhythms of poetry. The focus in on two poetic forms that originated as forms of song: the Ballad stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the Blues stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The exercises take poetry off the page and put it into terms of movement, physical space and, finally, music. This is the first Smithsonian in Your Classroom with a soundtrack. At a special web page, Smithsonian Folkway – Soundscapes, students can listen to musical ballads and blues from the catalog of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Download Free Lesson

Click Here to Access Free Recordings

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Create Online Tutorials for Active Learning

The Guide on the Side software is a freely available tool developed at The University of Arizona, which allows librarians to quickly and easily create online, interactive tutorials that are based on the principles of authentic and active learning. All you need is the ability to use a Word-like (WYSIWYG) editor; no HTML or other coding is needed. An example tutorial can be viewed online.

Click Here to Access Free Software

Click Here to View Example Tutorial

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Experience American Government in Action

Government in Action is an online 3-D multiplayer game in which participants role-play a member of Congress as a way of exploring American government. Gameplay takes place both in Washington and in the player’s home district. The game randomly assigns players a congressional representative and political affiliation; the president of the United States is randomly determined with each play. The game allows players to meet with the president and go to the Supreme Court. Players have limited resources to spend, and cooperation with other players is crucial to finding success in the game. Government in Action was designed by Muzzy Lane Software and is part of the Practice Series from McGraw-Hill Education.

Click Here for More Information

Click Here to Access Free Demo

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Access and Organize Digital Learning Activities

Created by the nonprofit CFY, PowerMyLearning includes digital games, tutorials and interactive simulations for K–12. All of the digital assets included in the site are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Educators can organize the digital learning activities into customizable playlists that can be assigned to specific classes or students. CFY has selected the websites with dozens of playlists that can be used “as is” or customized to suit educational needs. Educators and families can view students’ activity on the site. CFY plans to expand the K–3 assets with the inclusion of more than 1,000 activities for lower elementary students.

Click Here to Access Free Digital Resources

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Sponsored By:

Professional Development Opportunities

Transform Your Educational Environment

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) invites educator technology leaders to participate in its educator-focused, vendor-neutral Leadership Initiatives designed to address key challenges of incorporating technology into the educational landscape. To address the emerging use of mobile learning in schools nationwide, for example, the Leadership for Mobile Learning (LML) initiative aims to increase the capacity of district leadership to overcome the barriers and develop, plan, implement and manage policies to effectively use mobile devices for the improvement of teaching and learning. LML has recently released a new resource to help school leaders navigate the mobile learning landscape. It provides key information and tips to educate and support administrators interested in implementing mobile learning.

Click Here to Visit CoSN Website

Click Here for More Information About Mobile Learning Initiative

Plus: CoSN is inviting education technology leaders nationwide to join its exclusive network, Teaming for Transformation II. This second phase of CoSN’s Teaming for Transformation initiative connects teams of K–12 district leaders who are committed to a digital conversion that supports student-centered learning in a transformative educational environment. From June through October 2013, members will engage face-to-face and virtually on epic-ed—a national online community of practice. A key component of the network’s face-to-face engagement will be a two-day visit to Katy (Texas) ISD, one of the premier districts leading a digital conversion through mobile learning.

Deadline: May 30, 2013 for online application; all districts applying will be notified about their status in early June 2013.

Click Here for More Information About Initiative

Click Here to Complete Online Application

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Learn the Stories Behind Shakespeare’s Stories

On April 22, the day before Shakespeare’s birthday, you’re invited to join Shakespeare Uncovered: On Air, Online, & in the Classroom, a free interactive workshop presented by WNET New York Public Media and hosted by Big Deal Media’s Amazing Resources for Educators community at edweb.net. The workshop, which will take place online from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) / 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (PT), highlights the recent PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered, which tells the stories behind the stories of some of Shakespeare’s greatest works: As You Like It, Henry IV, Henry V, Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard II, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. (You can view all the television episodes online.) The six-part program explores the world and works of William Shakespeare through interviews with actors, directors and scholars; visits to key locations; clips from film and television adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays; and excerpts staged especially for the series. During the online workshop, Shakespeare Uncovered Executive Producer Stephen Segaller will provide an overview of the series, and WNET Outreach Producer Janice Fuld will showcase the classroom resources developed to bring the series—and Shakespeare—to life in the classroom. The session will include an opportunity to view and discuss videos from the series, an overview of the companion website and a discussion of strategies for exploring the series and related content with high school students.

Click Here to Register for Online Workshop

Click Here to View Series Episodes

Click Here to Access Classroom Resources

Click Here to Visit Companion Website

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On-the-Go Learning



Navigate Treacherous Social Situations

The girl-gamer audience is the focus of the Vancouver, B.C.–based gaming studio Silicon Sisters. The first female-owned and -run video game studio in Canada, Silicon Sisters builds games for women and girls by women and girls. In April 2012, the studio released its first Studio 26 game, and it plans to release its next game—“Summer of Secrets”—shortly. The games are geared toward tweens and teens, and the storylines are built around the complicated social hierarchy of high school. The player participates in Studio 26 as a young girl who’s a newcomer to a school. She comes from a nomadic family, which has made it difficult for her to maintain long-term friendships. As she enrolls in this, her 26th school, she strikes a bargain with her parents: if she can make friends, they’ll stay put. So the player of School 26 must help the character do just that: build friendships and navigate the moral dilemmas of school. These range from power struggles to peer pressure, romance, betrayal, alienation, acceptance—all real and relevant situations that girls face every day. The player must select appropriate emotional responses to certain scenarios and answer quizzes that provide insight into personalities. The emphasis is on empathy and networking. The cost of the app for the iPad is $4.99; for the iPhone/iPod touch, $2.99; and for the Android, $2.99.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access App for iPhone/iPod touch

Click Here to Access App for iPad

Click Here to Access App for Android

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Put a Poem in Students’ Hands

Curated by the Academy of American Poets, Poem Flow is a free app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that lets students access some of the world’s most beautiful thoughts through mobile devices. As students turn the device in their hand, the poem converts to a gentle reading animation. Everyone reads the same poem on the same day, creating an instant, invisible community. Students get 20 poems for free, including a week of a poem-of-the-day; additional poems cost less than a penny a poem. Previous poems remain, building a book on the mobile device. Poets and authors include Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Donne, Bunyan, Swift, Johnson, Blake, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Whitman, Dickinson, Thoreau, Emerson, Longfellow, Poe, Twain, Tennyson, Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams and others. Works include “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” “Leaves of Grass,” “Paradise Lost,” “The Road Not Traveled,” “Canterbury Tales,” “The Highwayman,” “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Walden” and more. The Academy of American Poets provides context for each poem and poet.

Click Here to Experience a Poem Flow

Click Here to Access Free App

Plus: Invite students to choose a favorite poem and carry it in their pockets to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. During the day, encourage readers to unfold and read their pocketed poems in celebration of the visions of poets. They can share their poetry selections on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

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STEM Gems



Integrate Scientific Explanations and Practice

After several rounds of public input, the first major overhaul of the national standards for science teaching in 15 years has just been released. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for sweeping changes in the way science is taught in the United States, emphasizing hands-on learning and critical scrutiny of scientific evidence. The standards are organized in three dimensions: key concepts, crosscutting concepts and practices. Key concepts are broadly important and teachable over a series of years, such as the subject of climate change, which gets more complex as students build on their knowledge. The second dimension is crosscutting concepts, ideas that span the scientific disciplines such as energy and matter, cause and effect or systems. Lastly, students will be expected to understand the practice of science, undertaking scientific inquiry and comparing the practices of science with those of engineers. Learn more about the Next Generation Science Standards by reading the FAQ, watching a video showing how to read the standards or checking out the document showing how content included in the standards progresses from kindergarten through grade 12.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access FAQ

Click Here to See Disciplinary Core Progression

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Celebrate Women Working in STEM

The new website Grandma Got STEM (GGSTEM) heralds some of the female leaders in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Those featured on the site include particle physicist Helen Quinn, mathematician Mary Ellen Rudin and chemist Ada Yonath—the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in that field in 45 years. What do these women have in common with each other and countless other women? They’re all somebody’s grandma! The brainchild of Rachel Levy, a mathematician at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, Grandma Got STEM is intended to counter the canard that being a mature female with second-generation descendants equals an inability to understand complex or modern ideas.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: Levy is seeking stories about “geeky” grandmas from around the world. She also provides a free “STEM-ma” a day to readers who follow her blog or Tweets or set up an RSS feed.

Click Here to Submit “STEM-ma” Story

Click Here to Receive Free Daily “STEM-ma” Features

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Capture the Future from the Past

Popular Science (PopSci) magazine has partnered with Google to offer its entire 140-year archive for free browsing. Each issue since 1862 appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. This resource encapsulates the ongoing fascination with the future, and science and technology’s potential to improve everyday life. Enter any keyword into the PopSci search box and dive in. As an alternative approach, you can use an online tool to plot how often any given word appeared in PopSci throughout the years: see the rise of “robots,” the decline of “aeroplanes” and the “wartime” booms.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Word Frequency Tool

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“Worth-the-Surf” Websites



Fight the Dark Ages

The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) connects young people who are inspired by the civic virtues portrayed in the Harry Potter books and who want to apply them to the real world. This fan network organizes over social media platforms (Facebook, Livestream, YouTube, Twitter) to spread awareness and solutions to issues such as equality and human rights, and in support of charitable causes. Groups of students and community members in Harry Potter Alliance Chapters come together to create real “Dumbledore’s Armies” across the world. The chapters take the messages of the Harry Potter Alliance out into local communities by focusing on creative and innovative ways of activism. In the past, these projects have included raising money for Darfur and Burma through trick-or-treating, penny drives and bake sales; organizing book drives; collecting food for local food banks; organizing benefit concerts; breaking out of the Muggle mindset through movie screenings, crafts tables and reading programs and doing “Magical Acts of Kindness.” Find a chapter in your local area by going to the “Find A Chapter” web page.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Find a Chapter

Plus: Literacy has been a central focus of the Harry Potter Alliance, and April marks the organization’s annual Accio Books! campaign. This year the nationwide book drive supports Read Indeed, a nonprofit founded by Maria Keller, age 12, who aims to collect and distribute 1 million books to needy communities before her 18th birthday. You can participate in regional book drives with your local HPA chapter or mail donations directly to the Read Indeed headquarters. And don’t forget to join a house—Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin—to log points toward the House Cup competition on the HPA website. As Hermione knows well, you can’t hunt Voldemort without lots and lots of books!

Deadline: April 30, 2013 for Book Drive

Click Here for More Information About Literacy Initiative

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See “Acts of Congress” Firsthand

George Washington’s personal copy of the Laws of the United States, First Session 1789, also known as the Acts of Congress, will be on display at the 13 Presidential Libraries through a special partnership between the National Archives and the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The tour began on March 1, 2013, and will make its final stop on September 21, 2013. (View the tour schedule online.) After the tour, the Acts of Congress will take permanent residence at The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, currently under construction by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association on Washington’s estate. At each Presidential Library, visitors will have a chance to become part of history by offering their personal reflections on the Constitution and the American presidency. Visitors are invited to contribute their thoughts via The Acts of Congress and You blog: If students could ask our Founders one question, what would they ask? As President of a new nation, what would be the first thing they would do? What would be the key theme of their first Inaugural Address?

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to View Tour Schedule

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Explore a Writer, His Achievements and His Times

Produced by the University of Virginia Library, with support from the Department of English, Mark Twain and His Times is an interpretive archive that focuses on how “Mark Twain” and his works were created and defined, marketed and performed, reviewed and appreciated. The site lets readers, scholars, students and teachers see what Mark Twain and His Times said about each other in a way that can speak to us today. The site is organized into nine main sections. Three display various aspects of the career of Mark Twain in his time. “Samuel Clemens as Mark Twain” focuses on the issues of his identity and popular image. “Marketing Twain” focuses on the particular ways in which his texts were published, promoted and sold. “Mark Twain On Stage” focuses on his career as a live performer and the issue of performance in his work. The other sections are each organized around specific major texts, from Innocents Abroad to Pudd'nhead Wilson. Each section has its own homepage where visitors can access various resources and exhibits—some archival, some interpretive.

Click Here to Visit Website

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