Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Take It With You - Sponsoring the Big Deal Book - 6/2/2013

June 3, 2013

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

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities

Free and Inexpensive Resources

Of Special Interest

Powered-up Professional Development

STEM Gems

“Worth-the-Surf” Websites

In Partnership With:
DDL




Grants, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities



Connect Learning and Creating

The Digital Media and Learning Competition, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, and in collaboration with the Born This Way Foundation and Mozilla, is calling for proposals that offer youth a chance to “Project Connect” this summer. The Project:Connect–Summer Youth Programming Competition is intended for US-based nonprofit learning development and civic engagement institutions and organizations (including learning development organizations such as museums, libraries, afterschool and summer programs). The competition supports single or multiday participatory and hands-on learning experiences (labs, hackathons, pop-up events) to be held from July through September 2013. Workshops or hackathons will support youth working with peers, mentors and educators on learning and creating experiences toward a better web for all. Program participants may design or create social apps, badging programs and learning content. Up to $10,000 will be awarded per institution.

Deadline: Online application due by June 10, 2013, at 5 p.m. (PST); see website for full timeline

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Enhance Student Achievement Through Service Learning

State Farm has teamed up with Youth Service America (YSA) to offer Good Neighbor Grants of up to $1,500 for programs enhancing student achievement through service learning in K–12 public schools in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Each grant engages participating teachers and students in a service and learning program that promotes academic achievement, 21st century student outcomes and stronger communities. The grant program requires a 14+ week Semester of Service starting in the fall of 2013 and ending on Global Youth Service Day (April 11–13, 2014). YSA will offer a series of regional trainings in selected geographic locations. Each regional training will introduce grantees to the elements and expectations of the program, presenting the suite of tools, resources and support that YSA will provide. Attendance at one regional training is a required element of participation in the grant program.

Deadline: June 23, 2013

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Engage Families in Learning Together

Toyota and the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) have launched Toyota Family Learning, a six-year initiative that will create a new model for literacy by expanding it beyond the walls of the classroom and into homes and communities. This new initiative will engage families in learning together both online and offline, incorporating digital elements launching later this year, including a website, mobile app and social media. The first phase of Toyota Family Learning is a grant program for communities to fund new family mentor and service-learning programs targeting vulnerable families. Schools, libraries and community-based organizations that provide services to families are eligible to apply. Submissions will be evaluated on a number of factors, including strength of existing services, commitment from community partners, and strength and innovation of proposal. Five organizations will be awarded a three-year, $175,000 grant, in addition to a wide range of NCFL learning materials and training and communication support. Fifteen grants will be awarded over the course of the six-year initiative. Grantees are expected to begin implementation for families in October 2013 and continue delivering services through May 2016.

Deadline: June 24, 2013

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Lead the Information Field to the Next Horizon

The Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award recognizes the unique teaching contribution of an individual as a teacher of information science. The award is sponsored by the Institute for Scientific Information and is administered by the Information Science Education Committee. The award consists of $1,000 in cash, plus $500 toward travel or other expenses to the grant recipient, contingent on the recipient’s attending the annual meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) on November 1–6, 2013, in Montreal, Canada. To be eligible for the award, individuals must be directly engaged in teaching some aspect of information science on a continuing basis, in an academic or a nonacademic setting. Nominees need not be associated with an educational institution; however, teaching information science must represent a significant work responsibility, although it need not occur within the traditional classroom.

Deadline: July 1, 2013

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Exemplify Excellence in Literary Writing

Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines (PRESLM), sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), recognizes students, teachers and schools for producing excellent literary magazines. The student literary magazine program is open to all senior high, junior high and middle schools throughout the United States, Canada, Virgin Islands as well as American schools abroad. The program’s mission is to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines and seek excellence in writing and schoolwide participation in production. Judges will evaluate and rank the magazines according to the following criteria (maximum 100 points): Literary (80 points total)—Content/Quality (50 points), Rhetorical Variety (15 points), Editing/Proofreading (15 points); and Design/Graphics/Production (20 points). An entry fee of $25.00 to cover administrative costs is required. Magazines submitted must have been published between September of the previous year and July of the entry year. The PRESLM rubric (the Evaluation Guide used by the judges) can be downloaded at no charge from the website.

Deadline: July 2, 2013

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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 1,400 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.

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Enter The Big Deal Book of Technology Take-It-With-You Contest!

The Big Deal Book of Technology is a small book with BIG staying power! Our readers say that they keep their books close by as the go-to resource for the best curated mix of grant opportunities, newest apps, interactive web destinations and more. Now here’s another way to put this go-everywhere book to good use:

“Like” Big Deal Media on Facebook and then enter the Take-It-With-You Contest by posting a photo of you, with a copy of The Big Deal Book of Technology in hand, on our timeline. (Provide a brief description of the locale and, of course, your name!) If you don’t have a hard copy of the publication, you can download a copy (or just the cover) from http://www.bigdealbook.com. Each month through October 31, 2013, we’ll give away one $50 gift card to Starbucks, Amazon or Barnes & Noble, to the photo capturing the most “likes” during the month posted. (Feel free to send a different photo each month.) We’ll announce each month’s winner on our Facebook page.

With summer right around the corner, there's no telling where the Big Deal Book of Technology may show up! We've already had a Big Deal Book of Technology sighting at the Taj Mahal in India!

Whether you’re two blocks from home or in Timbuktu, we want to see your photos with a Big Deal Book of Technology.

Click here to enter: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Deal-Media/526332544047755

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Free and Inexpensive Resources



Inspire Your Students to Create Abundance

In the best-selling and highly readable book, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Dr. Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, cofounder of Singularity University (along with Ray Kurzweil, chief of engineering at Google), and well-known science writer and coauthor Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology and many other exponentially growing technologies—including educational technology—will enable innovators to make greater gains in the next two decades than in the previous two hundred years. To help educators tap into the ideas of the most brilliant minds in these areas, Dr. Diamandis is providing copies of Abundance to teachers and others interested in “abundance thinking” for just the cost of shipping and handling ($6.95). For every copy requested through the link below, Dr. Diamandis and his publisher (Simon & Schuster) will also distribute a free digital copy of Abundance to high-achieving, underprivileged high school students and their teachers. In addition to a free copy of the hardcover book, you’ll receive a series of three free videos that cover the major insights of “exponential and abundance thinkers” and how they leverage technology. You can also download a free chapter of Abundance by clicking on the “About the Book” tab at the top of the web page describing the book.

Click Here to Get Free Abundance Book and Videos

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Explore Modern Tools for Collaboration

Next Vista for Learning is a free video sharing service focused on helping teachers and students share insights creatively using a variety of digital media technologies. These and other modern tools for exploration and collaboration can be used to help teachers see new possibilities for their students and themselves. Throughout the school year, Next Vista hosts video creation contests for students and teachers in three categories—Light Bulbs, Global Views, Seeing Service. All videos in the regular collections of NextVista.org are for a student audience, highlighting the creativity of students and teachers around the world. The site also hosts a large collection of career videos to help middle school and high school students better understand and connect to their future possibilities.

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Click Here to Access Career Videos

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Put Numbers in Human Terms

Dictionary of Numbers is a Google Chrome extension that “translates” large numbers into terms that are easy to visualize. With the extension, any time students encounter a large number on the web, they can highlight it and get a simple explanation of just how big that number is. For example, if they came across the number 238,900, they would quickly find out that that number is the average distance in miles to the moon.

Click Here to Access Free Dictionary

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Share Memories of the School Year

In this lesson from ReadWriteThink, students use their prior knowledge to reflect on the school year. They create a story of their memories using digital images, clip art and PowerPoint. Images are placed in sequential order and enhanced using descriptive text captions. After students have created their digital scrapbooks, classmates edit each other’s work using a checklist. Students present their digital scrapbooks to an audience to reflect on what they have learned and to share their knowledge with the school community.

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Of Special Interest



Encourage Learning Over Summer Vacation

This summer, PBS KIDS will provide families with a variety of free educational resources to encourage young learners to continue learning and exploring over summer vacation. To combat the summer slump, PBS KIDS has developed 10 weeks of special on-air programming, a variety of online resources and partnerships with Pottery Barn Kids, Education.com, Scholastic and Grandparents.com.


PBS KIDS is working with Pottery Barn Kids this summer to highlight the importance of reading through the Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge. From May 24 through August 26, 2013, families can find activities and tips from PBS KIDS, including a “PBK Favorites” booklist, certificate of completion and bookmark, in stores and online. Children who complete the list and bring it to a Pottery Barn Kids location will receive a free book, or parents can enter their child into an online drawing for a backpack full of books. Additionally, PBS KIDS will be providing tips to help families create a literate home at participating Pottery Barn Kids retail locations and on the Summer Reading Challenge website.

Click Here to Learn More About Summer Reading Challenge


Beginning May 20, 2013, families can visit Summer Reading Adventures hosted by Education.com to access a number of summer reading resources, including a “Do-It-Yourself” (“DIY”) Reading Camp. “DIY” Reading Camp includes everything parents need in order to host 10 weeks of learning fun right from their own living rooms and backyards. Each camp week includes a dozen projects and activities, including specially selected PBS KIDS content, for parents and children to do together. PBS KIDS and Education.com will also encourage families to read over the summer months with the “We’ll Read 10” pledge, which offers families the chance to win one of five Kindle Prize Packs.

Click Here to Learn More About Summer Reading Adventures


As the national “Ambassador of Summer Reading,” WordGirl is challenging youth to read every day this summer through Scholastic’s Summer Challenge, a free online reading program in which students can log their reading minutes to earn rewards and help set a new 2013 world record for summer reading to beat last year’s record of 95,859,491 minutes.

Click Here to Learn More About Summer Challenge


Grandparents can help children with reading, too. PBS KIDS is working with Grandparents.com to offer resources to provide grandparents with ideas and literacy-building activities that they can do with their grandchildren over the summer break.

Click Here to Access Literacy-Building Activities

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Break Down Social Boundaries

Registration is now open for the 12th annual National Mix It Up at Lunch Day. More than 5,000 schools across the country are expected to take part in the event, set for October 29, 2013. Teaching Tolerance launched Mix It Up at Lunch Day in 2002 to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and sit with someone new at lunch for just one day. The event is hosted by schools at all grade levels nationwide. Schools participating in this year’s activities are encouraged to register using Teaching Tolerance’s Mix It Up map. This year each school that registers for the event will help turn the map a darker shade of green. The Teaching Tolerance website offers participating schools an array of free online resources to help explore social boundaries and plan their event.

Click Here to Visit Website and Register for Event

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Powered-up Professional Development



Use Data to Strengthen Instructional Practice

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) have released the Closing the Gap Professional Development Toolkit, the latest product of the collaborative Closing the Gap: Turning Data into Action project. Providing educators with a step-by-step curricular plan and a set of professional resources, the toolkit helps educators use educational data to strengthen instructional practice and improve student achievement. Through a series of reports and resources, Closing the Gap provides schools with best practices for reviewing and implementing student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS) solutions to become a more data-rich culture.

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Flip Over Flipping

The 6th Annual Flipped Conference is scheduled for June 18–19, 2013, in Stillwater, Minnesota, and worldwide through the FlipCon13 Virtual Conference live stream. Virtual attendees can participate in keynote sessions; a panel of students, parents and educators; and 28 concurrent sessions. A moderated online communication channel will enable virtual attendees to contribute questions and participate in discussions. Four strands, with 28 hours of content, will be broadcast in their entirety: featured speakers; sessions for teachers new to Flipped Learning; mastery learning for more experienced educators; and tools of the trade. The Virtual Conference is $105 per person for live streaming directly from FlipCon13 or the archived sessions, which will be available for six months. Deep discounts are available for groups, such as school and district Professional Learning Communities (PLC). The course combines the FlipCon13 Virtual experience with a four-week online component. Seats are unlimited for the virtual event.

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Get Girls Interested in STEM

The STEM Center for STEM Education for Girls is hosting the STEM Think Tank and Conference, July 17–19, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee, with the theme Girl Meets STEM: Developing the Next Generation of Professionals. The Think Tank and Conference will bring together national leaders in K–12 education for girls and young women (independent, public, charter and parochial), university K–12 outreach coordinators and researchers, leaders of successful university STEM programs, girls’ informal educators and members of industry. The conference theme will allow participants to discuss and learn from each of these groups, translating lessons learned across the lives of females. The online and onsite registration during the conference will be $300.

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Discover Where Science and Art Meet

Making connections between art and science in the classroom can provide students with ways to hone their observation skills, discover connections and experiment with new ideas. The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access is hosting two online education conferences for teachers and students that showcase astrophotography as a prime example of the intersection of these two subject areas: “Understanding Astrophotography: Where Science and Art Meet,” a look at how scientists transform raw data from telescopes into beautiful images that help tell a story about the universe (June 12, 2013, for students and educators), and “Do-It-Yourself Astrophotography: Applications for the Classroom and Beyond,” an educators’ session highlighting ways to facilitate powerful STEM learning for students through project-based learning that engages students in creating their own public astrophotography exhibitions, to authentic investigations of moon phases, light and color, or size and scale in the universe (July 10, 2013). Students can also complete Smithsonian Quests based on the conferences and earn digital badges, such as the Astrophotographer badge, by demonstrating their skill at capturing an image of Solar System objects, stars, nebulas and galaxies using the MicroObservatory online telescope, as well as enhancing the image, comparing the image to a professional’s and interpreting what the image shows.

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Relate the Past to the Present

Facing History and Ourselves works to combat racism, antisemitism and prejudice, and nurtures democracy through its educational programs worldwide. Since 2006 Facing History has worked with more than 8,000 educators to connect the past to the present through online courses, workshops and webinars. Become a fully trained Facing History teacher by signing up for a seven- or eight-week online course. Summer online courses are convenient for those with busy schedules and will grant you access to Facing History’s full Educator Network in time for the start of the school year. Membership in the organization’s Educator Network grants you access to the complete Facing History website, its extensive lending library and one-on-one support from a Facing History program associate. Look in depth at Facing History resources such as Red Scarf Girl or Freedom Riders, or explore themes such as antisemitism, bullying, civic participation and moral decision making in one- to two-week online workshops. Like the online courses, the workshops are facilitated by experienced Facing History staff and offer participants strategies and ideas on bringing the materials into the classroom. Explore Facing History themes and topics in live, interactive, facilitated online learning events. Features such as two-way audio, multipoint video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, rich media and breakout rooms allow Facing History staff and scholars to engage with participants with the benefits of a traditional classroom in a virtual setting. All sessions are one to two hours and are recorded for those who cannot attend the live event. Check the website for costs and schedules.

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STEM Gems



Team Up to Teach Computer Science

After graduating from University of California Berkeley in 2002 with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science, Kevin Wang turned down industry jobs to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area. A few years later, he got a masters degree in education from Harvard and then went to Microsoft to work as a software developer. Before he arrived at the office every morning, Wang drove to a nearby high school and taught first-period computer science. He told colleagues and friends about his experience and recruited them to teach in local schools. The word spread. In 2009 Wang launched Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS), a grassroots, employee-driven program that recruits mentors and places high-tech professionals passionate about digital literacy and computer science education into high schools. TEALS provides both curricula and highly qualified teachers for technology literacy and computer science courses so that the schools can offer these courses without any training or significant development costs to the schools themselves. Because TEALS teachers always team-teach with a schoolteacher, the schoolteachers learn the course material and eventually teach the courses by themselves later in the day.

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Go to Mars with MAVEN

NASA is raising awareness for its upcoming launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft with its Going to Mars campaign. The MAVEN spacecraft, scheduled for launch in November 2013, will study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere; the craft will examine why Mars lost its atmosphere and how that catastrophe affected the history of water there. To liven things up, the mission managers have invited the public to submit haiku messages that could be tucked into a DVD that will go with the craft. Anybody on planet Earth is welcome to participate! However, to create a login, entrants must be 18 or older. If students under 18 would like to enter, they should ask their parent or teacher for help. Three lucky poets will get the chance to include their haiku, specifically written for the occasion—and everybody who submits something will have their name included on the DVD. The poems will be accompanied on the MAVEN by some student artwork, selected by popular vote in a separate contest.

Deadlines: July 1, 2013, for haiku submissions. Starting July 15, the public will vote on the three winning poems to travel on the spacecraft’s DVD. Winners will be announced on August 8, 2013.

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“Worth-the-Surf” Websites



Use Writing As a Tool for Change

One significant change to learning in the 21st century comes in the form of “transmedia storytelling,” a process of writing and reading stories that invites participants into stories in ways that they have been unable to do before digital technologies and the Internet allowed them to connect in so many ways, so quickly. The National Writing Project’s Digital Is website aims to collect and create resources, stories and reflections on what it means to write, teach and learn today. Thoughtful educators from schools, universities, libraries, museums and youth-serving institutions are invited to join in this effort using new digital tools and Internet environments to give writers/learners a rich set of new opportunities to compose, create and publish. As these new tools take their place alongside older tools—pencils, journals, print publications—the National Writing Project seeks to host a place for educators and writers to stop and reflect on what it all might mean for their work as educators.

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Go Beyond Dates and Data to Questions and Connections

Young people often think of events that happened before they were born as ancient history—and terminally boring! Now, in time for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in July, a new website called Gettysburg by the Numbers (GBTN) is helping to make history come alive for students, teachers and families. Created by the nonprofit TeachersFirst.com, GBTN is a web-based, interactive experience to draw in users and help them relate a landmark event in American history to their own lives. The site presents student-friendly (and carefully researched) facts, such as the age of the youngest soldier (12), the food issued to soldiers, the clothing they wore and the weapons they used. Original infographics and animations help deliver the information. Once students are intrigued, the site urges them to dig deeper with questions designed to motivate them to do research and spark lively discussions. Designed for middle school students and older, GBTN includes extensive teaching materials: correlations to Common Core State Standards; lesson ideas in social studies, math, history and information literacy; project rubrics; downloadable handouts; vetted web resources for further study; and teacher-to-teacher tips. The site is mobile friendly, and an app for tablets is in development.

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Bring the Natural World into the Classroom

ARKive.org offers an extensive collection of videos and images of plants and animals. You can navigate the galleries by selecting one of the broad categories—animal, plant, eco-region or geo-political region— and then choose a subject within that category. The videos can be downloaded for classroom use. ARKive also offers dozens of online games and age-appropriate activities for students. For example, Butterflies and Blooms challenges students aged 7–11 to think about the relationship between summer flowering plants and the butterflies that depend on them. Design a Conservation Program helps students aged 14–16 to learn about the importance of biodiversity as well as the economic benefits and services ecosystems provide. The Animal Survival game requires students to keep a sand lizard alive by correctly answering questions about the lizard’s daily life.

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Click Here to Access Free Age-Appropriate Activities

Click Here to Access Free Animal Survival Game

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BOOKMARK THESE!

Big Deal Media provides timely, relevant resources in a rapidly changing educational environment, created with insight and attention to detail by seasoned educational publishing professionals and practicing K–12 educators. “Like” Big Deal Media on Facebook to learn how other educators are using Big Deal Media resources and to share your own ideas and experiences.


Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s “Amazing Resources for Educators” on the edWeb to get frequent updates on grant deadlines, free resources and hot, new websites for 21st century learning. And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’ve unearthed!


Explore the Web Wednesday feature on Big Deal Media, where you’ll find new interactive experiences and resources that incorporate 21st century themes and skills into the study of core subjects.

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