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January 2013 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Spark Innovation, Bring Literature to Life, Reenergize Learning & More - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Spark Innovation, Bring Literature to Life, Reenergize Learning & More

January 2, 2014

In Partnership With:

MASL_MISSOURI

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Online Learning Plus

On-the-Go Learning

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites



 

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

 


Spark the Spirit of Innovation

The TEAMS program is an annual STEM competition that challenges students to work collaboratively and apply their math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real everyday engineering challenges. Each year the competition develops original academic and innovative concepts focused on a theme based on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. Tackling these challenges requires critical job-readiness skills, such as collaboration, analytical thinking and multidimensional problem solving. The theme for 2014 is Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities – Improving Urban Infrastructure. Working in a written competition format, teams of four to eight students compete for competition day, division and state awards. Top-ranking state teams are invited to compete for Best in Nation. To prepare for the competition, each registered school and group receives preparatory materials, including a Coach Guide, competition scenarios or topics that will be presented during the event, supplemental hands-on activities, lesson plans and tips for group decision-making and problem-solving strategies. These materials are available in the Coach online account, accessible after team registration is active.

Deadlines: The one-day competitions will take place at more than 100 locations nationwide between February 10 and March 22, 2014, through a partnership with high school educators, universities, corporations and professional organizations. The TEAMS national competition will take place June 27–July 1, 2014, in Washington, D.C., during the national Technology Student Association (TSA) conference.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Integrate Digital Media into Classroom Activities

The 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program will recognize 100 tech-savvy educators as PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators. K–12 educators can apply for the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program by submitting a 60- to 120-second video and completing two essay questions that describe their leadership in digital learning. A panel of judges will select the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators. One hundred local winners will be awarded year-long professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium and exclusive resources, invitations to special events, membership into a robust professional learning community and networking opportunities with innovative educators and thought leaders. In addition, winners will receive ongoing support from their local PBS member stations. The top 15 applicants will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in a digital summit hosted at PBS national headquarters. This two-day event will offer attendees access to renowned speakers and experts, strategies for delivering best practices in digital education that they can immediately apply to the classroom and networking opportunities with educators from across the country.

Deadline: February 14, 2014

Click Here for More Information

 

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Design Vehicles for Future Space Exploration

NASA has issued a new engineering challenge for teams of high school and college students to design, build and test vehicles on the simulated surface of another world. The Human Exploration Rover Challenge aligns with NASA’s commitment of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s. The results of the competition will contribute to the design process for NASA’s future exploration goals. Each rover entered in the competition will be human-powered and will carry two students, one male and one female. Each six-member team, which includes the drivers, will build its own rover. The assembly by the team will be timed and evaluated for safety. Then the race over the course will be timed, with each team getting two attempts to achieve their fastest time. Whichever teams turn in the fastest assembly and course times will win the challenge. There will be three high school and three college team winners. The culminating event for the rover competition is scheduled for April 10–12, 2014, at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA uses these challenges not only to help build capacities necessary for a human Mars mission, but also to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Deadline: February 7, 2014, for registration

Click Here for More Information

 

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Argue a Case Before the Supreme Court

Created by The Harlan Institute, FantasySCOTUS is the Internet’s premier Supreme Court Fantasy League. By utilizing the expertise of leading legal scholars and the interactivity of online games, The Harlan Institute wants to bring the law school experience into the high school classroom, introducing students to the US Constitution, the cases of the US Supreme Court and the US system of justice. The Harlan Institute’s long-term strategic goal is to develop condensed law school courses that can be taught at no cost in high schools across the country using engaging online programs. Building on the success of the 2013 Virtual Supreme Court project, The Harlan Institute has partnered with The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) to host the second annual Virtual Supreme Court competition. This competition offers teams of two high school students the opportunity to conduct research on cutting-edge constitutional law, write persuasive appellate briefs, argue against other students through video chats and try to persuade a panel of esteemed attorneys during oral argument that their side is correct. The competition has two stages, which mirror the process by which attorneys litigate cases. In Stage One: The Briefing, a team of two students will write an appellate brief arguing for one side of the topic. In Stage Two: Oral Arguments, The Harlan Institute and ConSource will select the top four briefs taking the affirmative position and the top four briefs taking the negative position, and seed them for oral arguments. All eight teams will compete in a virtual oral argument session over Google+ Hangout. The first round of oral arguments, the District Court, will match up the top eight teams. The four teams that advance will meet in the second round of oral arguments, the Court of Appeals. The top two teams that advance will meet in the final round of oral arguments, the Supreme Court. These two teams will compete virtually in front of a panel of prominent appellate attorneys. Members of the grand-prize–winning team—the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS—will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to Washington, D.C., to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2014. Members of the runner-up team will each receive an iPad; members of the third- and fourth-place teams will each receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

Deadlines: Stage One: February 28, 2014. Stage Two: first round, March 2014; second round, April 2014; final round, May 2014. Constitution Day celebration, September 2014.

Click Here for More Information About FantasySCOTUS

Click Here for More Information About Virtual Supreme Court Competition

 

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Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is CDW-G’s 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 1,900 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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Resource Roundup

 


Prepare a Feast for a Hobbit

If students are familiar with either J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels or Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, then they know how important food is to hobbits. In The Fellowship of the Ring, the hobbits Merry and Pippin fret that Aragorn, the human ranger who has joined their expedition, doesn’t know about—and won’t make time for—a second breakfast, or "elevenses,” luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. Tolkien chose to begin both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring with food-filled parties—the first an unexpected dinner for dwarves, the second a grand birthday feast for Bilbo. And so it’s not surprising that for some fans of Middle-earth, food has become another bridge into the world that Tolkien so masterfully created. Many sites offer inspiration for putting together a hobbit homage menu. One site, from Warner Bros., allows fans to submit and rate recipes. Another, from Strange Horizons, offers a detailed exploration of food in Tolkien’s novels. Another place for recipes that are both tasty and feel authentic to the hobbit world is Middle-earth Recipes, which features contributions by the Fellowship of Middle-earth, an online fan community.

Click Here to Access Warner Bros. Recipes

Click Here to Explore Food In Tolkien’s novels

Click Here to Access Middle-earth Recipes

 

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Give Students a Voice in How to Work with Them

If your students were to create a users guide on how they learn, what would it look like? With the instructions on this web page, students can write a users guide that explains to users—classmates and teachers—how to work with them: what motivates them, calms them, coaches them. The task requires students to make decisions about style, structure and content (as required by the Common Core State Standards) in order to effect an audience toward a specific purpose: work well with me. The users guide gives students a voice in determining how teachers and peers understand and relate to them.

Click Here to Access Guide Instructions

 

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Explore the Breadth of Human Expression

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives and museums and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA offers users a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images and more—from libraries, archives and museums around the United States. Users can browse and search the collections by timeline, map, format and topic. They can then save items to customized lists and share their lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by DPLA’s content partners and staff.

Click Here to Explore Digital Exhibitions

Click Here to Search Timeline

Plus: The DPLA website includes an App Library where students and educators can go for inspiration, and numerous resources invite and guide individuals to create new apps.

Click Here to Visit App Library

 

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Online Learning Plus

 


Merge Mobile Learning with the Maker Movement

Mobile Learning Explorations is a professional learning community where educators and industry experts explore the potential of laptops, tablets and other handheld devices to enrich learning, bridge the digital divide and extend learning beyond the traditional school day. Members of the community receive invitations to free webinars and live chats, CE certificate for attending/viewing the webinars as well as access to all of the recorded webinars, presentations, resources and online discussions. Upcoming webinars include "The New PBL … Merging Mobile with the MakerEd Movement” (January 9, 2014, at 4 p.m., ET), and "Igniting the Spark! Build, Play, Learn – Fun STEM Activities for School Year & Summer Programs” (February 19, 2014, at 4 p.m., ET). Preregistration is not required for Mobile Learning community members.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Catch a Live Broadcast from Antarctica

TIME For Kids (TFK) and edWeb.net will be presenting "TFK Live From Antarctica!” on January 23, 2014, at 1 p.m., ET. In this webinar, TFK science writer David Bjerklie and photo editor and photographer Don Heiny will broadcast live from Antarctica and talk about their experiences and the work being done on the icy continent by the National Science Foundation. They will also answer questions from teachers and students live during the presentation. Educators can submit a question from their class when they register. This special webinar from the furthest reaches of Earth is being presented as part of TIME For Kids’ community for educators on edWeb.net, Real World Literacy and the Common Core.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Get Ready to Use the iPad

Whether you have a single iPad in your classroom or are rolling out iPads to an entire class or school district, you need to be sure that you know exactly what you’re doing with the device. Do you know how to use tabbed browsing and iMessage? Or how to improve Siri or unlock the Lost Mode? All of those skills and more are must-haves for anyone using an iPad. ModernLessons’ online course The Comprehensive Guide to The Apple iPad (Beginner) provides you with that knowledge and more.

Click Here for More Information

 

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On-the-Go Learning

 


Think Like a Programmer

Kodable is a free educational iPad app by SurfScore that offers an introduction to programming concepts for children in kindergarten through grade 2. The app teaches children logic and problem solving skills. In the game Lost in Place, the fuzzFamily has crashed their spaceship on Smeeborg and need students’ help to explore the planet’s Technomazes. Students use their finger to drag and drop instructions for their fuzzes to follow. Then they hit Play to watch the fuzzes roll through the maze with curiosity. But children must beware: fuzzes are very logical and will follow every command exactly as it’s told. Children get rewarded with stars, coins and even extra members of the fuzzFamily as they successfully complete mazes. Kodable comes free with 30 levels of programmable fun. In-app purchases unlock additional worlds, as does Kodable Pro.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Plus: The Kodable Learning Guide: Smeeborg provides information about each section of Kodable, including in-depth information on key concepts, answer keys and bonus activity ideas.

Click Here to Download Free Learning Guide

 

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Walk Through the Steps of Problem Solving

MathBoard is a configurable math app developed by PalaSoftware for the iPad and iPhone. The app is appropriate for all school-aged children, beginning in kindergarten, with simple addition and subtraction problems, through elementary school where learning multiplication and division can be a real challenge. MathBoard allows teachers to configure the app to best match students’ abilities. More than just standard drills, MathBoard encourages students to actually solve problems, not just guess at answers. The app provides multiple answer styles as well as a scratchboard area where students can work out problems by hand. Students can also turn to MathBoard’s Problem Solver for further help. This teaching feature walks students through the steps required to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division equations. In addition, the app includes quick reference tables that serve as a valuable learning tool. New to MathBoard is the inclusion of Math Activities: "Find the Sign,” "Equality/Inequality” and "Match Math” (a memory game). Each activity is based on the current settings level, so the difficulty will vary based on the student’s knowledge. The app is available for $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

 

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STEM Gems

 


Put Great Ideas into Action

MIT-K12 promotes STEM education by engaging MIT students in creating videos that teach basic scientific and engineering concepts to primary school students in an entertaining way. The site is comprised of tools and systems that allow educators from anywhere in the world to submit requests for demonstrations of scientific principles or experiments. MIT-K12 also provides educators with an environment where they can learn from one another about ways in which to improve pedagogical practices and techniques.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: If you want to watch the MIT-K12 videos in your classroom, but your school blocks YouTube, you can view them on TechTV instead.

Click Here to Access TechTV

 

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Immerse Students in Design Thinking

Tynker offers interactive courses for children in grades 4–6 to learn programming at their own pace at home as well as through a grade-based curriculum for schools. In Tynker Workshop, students design and build their projects. The workshop uses a scaffolding approach that moves from interlocking bricks to more advanced concepts, including syntax-driven programming. Students start by creating a scene, adding images and sounds, and then use visual code blocks to rapidly program their ideas as logic. The Media Library and Art Studio will help students to get creative.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: Tynker offers teacher tools, including a teacher dashboard and an online gradebook. Tynker also offers a Starter Pack with lessons and project ideas.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Discover the Physics in a Downhill Ride

First Skiers presents an interactive timeline and map of the history of skis around the world. The timeline, from National Geographic, begins in 8000 BCE and continues through present day. The timeline displays when, where and how people have used skis around the world throughout time.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: After examining the history and development of skiing, students can learn about the physics of skiing. The Science of the Winter Olympics: Downhill Science, a video from the National Science Foundation, presents a four-minute overview of the physics of skiing. The video examines the roles of gravity, acceleration and friction on the speed of a skier.

Click Here to Access Free Video

Plus: After watching the video, you can delve into more detail with this lesson plan from the University of Utah’s math department.

Click Here to Access Free Lesson Plan

 

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites

 


Go Behind the Scenes at the White House

Discovery Education has launched a new Virtual Field Trip series, "Of the People: Live from the White House,” offering middle school and high school students unique access to White House professionals, experts and personalities. This webinar series of 30-minute virtual events isbroadcast live from the White House and is open to all classrooms nationwide. Each webinar in the "Of the People” series provides students and educators with a behind-the-scenes look at White House operations and an introduction to administration officials. The webinars address topics that range from community service to climate change and from foreign policy to science and technology. Students have the opportunity to submit questions live. The Discovery Education website hosts an archive of previous Virtual Field Trip sessions.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Boost Students’ Media Literacy

Developed for use in elementary school and middle school classrooms, Teaching Kids News features timely and relevant news stories written on a level that students can comprehend. Every day (except on holidays), Teaching Kids News offers a new article, based on what’s actually happening in the world. Every story is in student-friendly language and appropriate for grades 2–8. Each article is accompanied by discussion questions, writing prompts, reading prompts and vocabulary words. Beyond making the vocabulary accessible, Teaching Kids News provides context for each news story so students can understand what’s going on and why. The curriculum connections encourage students to think critically not only about the story itself but also about the way the story is presented: Does the journalist have a bias? If so, what is it? How might the story be written differently by another journalist?

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Enjoy Beatrix Potter’s Picture Letters

The original ideas for many of Beatrix Potter’s stories can be found in the manuscript picture letters that Potter wrote to children of friends and family members. Perhaps the most famous example is The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which began as an eight-page letter to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of Potter’s former governess, Annie Moore. With Annie Moore’s encouragement, Potter borrowed back the letter, copied it out and revised it for publication. At least six publishers rejected the book, but it was a huge success when the first trade edition finally appeared in 1902. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903), The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher (1906) and other books in the Peter Rabbit series were based in whole or in part on her picture letters. This online exhibition from The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City offers the opportunity to read Beatrix Potter’s picture letters.

Click Here to Visit Beatrix Potter Exhibition

Plus: The Morgan Library & Museum hosts an online exhibition that untangles the complex origins of "Auld Lang Syne,” which has become, over time, a globally shared expression of friendship and longing.

Click Here to Visit "Auld Lang Syne” Exhibition

 

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Travel From Troy to Ithaca

The Odyssey, written by the poet Homer around 800 BCE, is one the greatest human works of all time. An interactive map by esri plots Odysseus’ epic 10-year voyage in The Odyssey on a real-life globe, placing the sirens, the cyclops and the lotus-eaters in a recognizable geographical context.

Click Here to Access Interactive Map

Click Here to Access Interactive Map Legend

 

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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, freeresources 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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