Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

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

Tap Twitter As a Teaching Tool, Raise Awareness of Bullying & More

October 15, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Of Special Interest

On-the-Go Learning

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites

In Partnership With:
DDL




Grants, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities



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.

Click Here to Enter Take-It-With-You Contest

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Inspire the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is sponsoring an award for the top environmental educator in the country. Nominees for Environmental Educator of the Year may be formal or informal educators, but all must have demonstrated successes in motivating others to help preserve and protect our environment. To support an educator—whether a classroom teacher or a community program leader—submit a short video explaining why your nominee deserves the award. The recipient of the award will receive $10,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2014 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, from April 3 to 5.

Deadline: November 1, 2013

Click Here for More Information

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Demonstrate Exemplary Science Teaching

The Shell Science Teaching Award, a partnership between Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), recognizes one outstanding K–5 classroom teacher, who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school and the community through exemplary science teaching. Special projects may be mentioned but should not be the main focus of the candidate’s application. The award recipient will receive $10,000. The recipient and two finalists will each receive an expenses-paid trip to attend the 2014 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, from April 3 to 5. Ten semifinalists will each receive certificates of distinction.

Deadline: November 8, 2013

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Increase Students’ Interest in Mobile Technology

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty advisor, to apply their STEM knowledge, ingenuity and creativity to develop an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community. The goal of the challenge is to increase student interest and knowledge in STEM subjects and mobile technology through an engaging learning experience. The four top middle school and four top high school teams will be selected as 2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge winners. Each of the eight winning schools will receive $15,000 cash grants plus professional support and training to help them build out their app concepts and bring them to life. Students on each winning team will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and be invited to present their developed apps in person—on their new tablets—at the National Technology Student Association Conference in Washington, D.C., in June 2014.

Deadline: December 3, 2013, for submissions

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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 1,700 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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Sponsored By:

Resource Roundup

Put the Pedal to the Metal

One of the biggest questions math educators face when teaching higher-level high school content is, “How do I make this relevant? How do I make this matter to students?” Race 2 Achieve is a project-based math curriculum that is not only aligned to Common Core standards, but also focused on the interests of students. Through NASCAR engineering and Hendrick Motorsports, students not only learn key concepts; they also learn how to apply those concepts in a real-world scenario through the development of their own model racecars.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Engage Students in Creative Thinking, Teamwork and Problem Solving

Designed for the elementary learner, LEGO Education’s WeDo Robotics is a cross-curricular set and series of activities. With WeDo Robotics, students can build animals, soccer players and more, and then add movement with drag-and-drop software. Lessons for literacy, math, science and social studies make it easy to get students started writing stories, solving problems and creating innovative projects.

Click Here to Access Program Tour

Plus: Dr. E’s WeDo Challenges gives students a chance to build a WeDo creation and share it with other WeDoers around the world. Each month, there will be a new WeDo challenge to try. The current challenge, WeDo Monsters, is due by October 31, 2013.

Click Here for More Information

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Use Social Media As a Learning Tool

KQED Education provides a free online “Guide to Using Twitter in Your Teaching Practices” to help your school community jump into using social media, especially Twitter, as a learning tool. The guide was produced in collaboration with the Trust and Safety Team at Twitter.

Click Here to Access Free Teaching Ideas

Plus: Do Now is a new series of activities for students to respond to current issues through the use of KQED’s award-winning online media resources and social media tools, such as Twitter.

Click Here to Access Free Activities

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Prepare to Transition to Online Assessments

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has made available “Implementing Online Assessments: Pathways to Success,” an online resource to assist states and school districts in ensuring technology readiness for implementing next-generation online assessments aligned to the Common Core by the 2014–2015 school year. The resource offers an in-depth look at the approach that four states—Delaware, Idaho, North Carolina and Virginia—took in transitioning from paper-and-pencil to online assessments throughout their states. Each case study examines the state’s method for upgrading technology infrastructure, providing training and communicating with districts. Each study also looks at one district’s implementation process for the state. The case studies are supported by a set of free downloadable resources that were used as the states ramped up and launched their assessments.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

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Support Inquiry, Conceptual Understanding and Problem Solving

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has produced “Core Math Tools,” a customizable suite of software tools and apps for high school educators aligned with the Common Core. The suite is available for free download, and the apps and tools can be used to engage students in a variety of areas, from general algebra resources to interactive graphing tools. Specialized “how-to” pages help educators use the tools in the classroom.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

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Explore the World with Maps

National Geographic’s MapMaker Kits offer K–12 students the opportunity to work with key mapping concepts at a variety of scales and to see the world in new ways. Unique large-scale maps allow students to immerse themselves in the exploration of environmental and cultural aspects of the world. MapMaker Kit activities engage students in the manipulation and analysis of a variety of geographic information sets, helping them build skills in critical thinking, representation of data and mental mapping. Each kit enables the user to download, print and assemble maps of the world, individual continents and the United States in a variety of sizes.

Click Here to Access Free MapMaker Kits

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Of Special Interest



Take an Active Role in Bullying Prevention

Each October, individuals and organizations nationwide work together to raise awareness of bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month (NBPM), an initiative of the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center. Whether you’re an educator, education leader, parent or other community member, you can take action to prevent bullying and harassment by fostering a culture of caring and respect in your school, home and community. The PACER Center features a wealth of resources online, including educator toolkits for bully prevention, educational activities and information for parents and teachers.

Click Here to Visit NBPM Website

Click Here to Access Free Resources

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Be a Peace Hero

Purple Wagon is a comprehensive website developed by Judith Myers-Wall, a professor at Purdue University. The site is for “parents and teachers and their explorations and discussions of war, peace and peacemaking.” Click on Educators/Teachers and find a large number of classroom activities and resources, including a list of children’s books on peace, a lesson on making a peace heroes book, an activity in which children make an origami crane (a symbol of peace) and curriculum guides from a variety of organizations and institutions. The site also has a section with resources for military families that include Staying Connected with Children: Activities for Deployed and Deploying Parents and Talking with Students About Deployment: A Guide for Teachers. All of the resources focus on elementary-aged children, but many of the activities can easily be adapted for older students.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Activities for Military Families

Click Here to Access Guide for Teachers

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Be Brave, Bold, Smart and Safe

The We Do Listen Foundation offers free animated stories, games and lessons designed to help young children learn how to be good listeners, what to do about bullies and how to practice good sportsmanship. All of the books feature the character Howard B. Wigglebottom. In addition, children can create their own Howard B. Wigglebottom stories on the We Do Listen website. The foundation provides tools and templates for writing and coloring their stories—online and offline.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Bullying-Related Resources

Click Here to Access Writing Templates

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On-the-Go Learning



Capture the World in a New Way

Autodesk’s free 123D Catch app lets students take up to 40 photos with their iPad or iPhone and then submit them to the Autodesk Cloud to automatically convert them into realistic 3-D models that they can view, share and download. Students can control their 3-D model viewpoint by moving and rotating their device or by simply using the Multi-Touch view controls. An interactive startup guide walks users through the process.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Identify Rare Tree Species

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. This free app for the iPad and iPhone uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds and bark. Leafsnap turns users into citizen scientists, automatically sharing images, species identifications and geocoded stamps of species locations with a community of scientists, who will use the stream of data to map and monitor the ebb and flow of flora nationwide. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of the northeast and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store for iPad

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store for iPhone

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Design Complex Structures

Developed for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices, SimplePhysics lets students design complex structures for everything from tree houses to Ferris wheels. The app then simulates their design with a sophisticated physics engine. The design must not only be strong enough; it must also stay within budget. With the built-in Leaderboards, students can compete with people all around the world to see who can create the most cost-effective designs. The app is available for $1.99 in the iTunes and Google Play App Stores.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Click Here to Visit Google Play Store

Plus: Students can familiarize themselves with the app by using the online Walkthrough, Cheats and Strategy Guide from Gamezebo.

Click Here to Access Free Strategy Guide

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Sponsored By:

STEM Gems

Learn in the Cloud

Rourke Educational Media provides many options for e-content, both in the classroom and in libraries. Rourke’s e-Learning content features standards-based educational e-Books that can be used by many students and teachers simultaneously. Rourke’s e-content is leveled to obtain the proper Guided Reading Level (GRL) and correlated content to meet Common Core State Standards as well as individual state and national standards. The company’s technology programs are cloud based giving access from web-connected devices at home or school. There are no renewal or subscription fees. Teacher’s notes and teacher’s guides are also available.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Bridge the Gender Gap in Tech

The AspireIT program, from the nonprofit National Center for Women & Information Technology, pairs female high school and college students with K–12 education organizations, such as ISTE and The College Board, to run computing outreach programs for middle school girls. AspireIT is an extension of the center’s Aspirations in Computing development initiative, designed to provide leadership opportunities and scholarships to young women interested in technology. The high school and college women involved can apply for a grant of $3,000 to $5,000 to go toward creating their own program for middle schoolers in their area. Students in the program meet to teach the younger girls computing concepts, such as programming, game design and app development. Programs can range from eight hours in one weekend to 35 hours over several months. The high school and college students not only gain confidence through teaching technology; they also get paid a small salary from the grant and have a tech job to put on their résumés. The AspireIT Toolkit will help answer your questions about the structure and function of AspireIT and will point you to many additional resources. Download the toolkit in its entirety or by section at no charge.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Download Free Toolkit

Plus: Through October 31, 2013, young women in high school can apply for the National Center for Women & Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing, to receive prizes and scholarships for computing-related achievements and interests.

Click Here for More Information

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Put Students’ Futures in Motion

Honeywell and NASA recently launched FMA Live! Forces in Motion, a newly expanded version of the award-winning hip-hop physics education program that inspires middle school students to learn and enjoy math and science in a compelling, fun and memorable way. Using live actors, hip-hop songs, music videos, interactive scientific demonstrations and video interviews with scientists and engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the FMA Live! program teaches Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and Universal Laws of Gravity. (The name of the program comes from Newton’s Second Law of Motion: Force = Mass x Acceleration.) FMA Live! brings physics to life by using real-life examples that are relevant to today’s world, giving students the dose of inspiration needed to turn them on to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Over the course of 10 weeks, the show will reach 30 middle schools in nine northeast and central US states, including stops in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Brooklyn and Syracuse, New York; Paramus, New Jersey; Euclid, Ohio; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Oak Lawn, Illinois; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A similar schedule is slated for western states next spring.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: The FMALive! website includes National Science Standards–based teaching resources, free downloadable streaming videos, music from the program and a comprehensive educational guide with lesson plans. Whether combined with the live program or used separately, the site contains a lasting set of tools to support the standards’ Forces and Motion learning objectives for students in grades 5–8.

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Enrich Students’ Math and Science Learning

In 1987, the National Security Agency (NSA), the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States, created the Math Education Partnership Program (MEPP) to reach out to students who may be interested in a math or science career. With the MEPP series, the agency hopes to capture students’ interest and expose them to the broad range of things they can do with math, no matter what careers they choose. The MEPP Speakers Bureau has developed a series of 45- to 55-minute interactive talks, meant to take place inside a classroom, to engage students in different facets of math. In addition to the talks (the most popular of which are for children at K–5), MEPP provides science-fair judging and a partnership program in which an employee works one-on-one with a school to tutor students in math and science, as well as assist robotics clubs and computer labs.

Click Here to Visit Website

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites



Critique and Construct Historical Narratives

Historical Thinking Matters, a website focused on key topics in United States history, is designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives. Four student investigations of central topics from post–Civil War US history—Spanish American War, Scopes Trial, Social Security and Rosa Parks—foster historical thinking and encourage students to form reasoned conclusions about the past. Resources for instructors, preservice teachers and teacher-educators offer classroom materials and strategies, examples of student and teacher work and supplementary sources. Historical Thinking Matters is a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, and the School of Education at Stanford University.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: A 10-part presentation, “Why Historical Thinking Matters,” walks viewers through a model of how to think and study like a historian who analyzes and compares information. An introduction to the site’s approach uses documents to explore conflicting firsthand accounts of the 1775 Lexington Green skirmish.

Click Here to View Presentation

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Experience the Sights, Sounds and Culture of China

The new Web Path Tours is an annotated portal to high-quality resources on China. Gregg B. Jackson, professor emeritus at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is curator of this free online study tour. On their virtual journey, students will view China’s dramatically diverse terrain, flora and fauna. They’ll explore the country’s history, philosophy and religions, and take a look at its family life, housing, clothing and festivals. And there’s more: students will see the splendid collections of China’s major museums, watch the best Chinese-made movies and take in music, dance and other performance arts. They’ll also get to consider experts’ speculations about China’s future. The site includes 200 hours of resources, all in English—even the many resources originating in China.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Go on a Book Lover’s “Read Trip”

Students can explore the world through literature with the help of the LitMap Project, a geographic book database. Information about the books is mapped onto the LitMap by where the books take place or the place they are about. The mapped books include nonfiction, fiction, mystery, science fiction—any kind of literature that can be associated with a specific geographic location. A blog features helpful instructions for LitMappers (LitMapping 101), location-based book reviews (Read Trippin’), authors on the locations that inspire them (Write on the Map), lists of great books about a given location (Explore)—and more.

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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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