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February 2013 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Visit GetEdFunding.com

February 5, 2013

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

IN THIS ISSUE

 Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

 Free and Inexpensive Resources

 Powered-up Professional Development

 On-the-Go Learning

 STEM Gems

 Worth-the-Surf Websites

 Bookmark These!

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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 1,000 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 Search Funding Opportunities

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Improve Education by Engaging Families

The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) is accepting nominations for the 2013 Toyota Teacher of the Year Award. The award will give an outstanding educator $20,000 to support an innovative family engagement project and national recognition for his or her exemplary work with families. The educator will also win a scholarship to the National Conference on Family Literacy. In addition, one national runner-up will receive a $2,500 grant for his or her program and a scholarship to the conference. Educators working directly with children and families in family-focused education programs, Title I schools, preschool programs, libraries or other community-based organizations are eligible for the award. All nominations must be submitted online using the application provided on the NCFL website. The form must be completed by the nominee’s principal/director/coordinator, with the answer to the final question to be written by the nomine e.

Deadline: Online applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on February 13, 2013.

Click Here for More Information

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Increase Global Understanding Through Exploration

The National Geographic Student Expeditions Scholarship Program provides financial support to high school students who are legal residents of the United States or Canada, seeking educational summer experiences they otherwise could not afford. The program seeks to provide opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds and to enhance the group dynamic and learning opportunities for everyone involved. Students travel to different countries, focusing on photography, wildlife and conservation, community service, archaeology and ancient cultures, and creative writing. The scholarship program generally considers students eligible if their parents’ combined income is less than $50,000 and they have few other assets.

Deadline: The completed scholarship application must be received by postal mail no later than March 1, 2013.

Click Here for More Information

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Inspire Young Creative Writers

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers is a nine-day creative writing program for student writers who are finishing their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school. The institute takes place from June 22 through June 30, 2013, in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Hosted by the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers, the institute offers participants intensive workshops, craft sessions and studio courses designed especially for young writers and exposure to world-renowned authors through readings and Q&As. At the heart of the institute are daily workshops in poetry and fiction. Working closely with one faculty member and a core group of peers, participants generate new work, revise work in progress and form a supportive community committed to sharing and receiving feedback on their writing. Craft sessions with the Young Writer s faculty examine aspects of craft and imagination of particular interest to young writers. Through hands-on studio courses in bookmaking and performance, participants explore new avenues of creativity and experiment with different ways of sharing their writing. In addition, participants attend readings each evening, experiencing the transformative power of poetry and prose presented live. The institute welcomes participants of diverse backgrounds, life experiences and writing styles. High school English teachers, principals and guidance counselors are invited to nominate up to three outstanding students to apply for admission to the institute or, in the case of need, to apply for an institute scholarship.

Deadlines: Applications for program admission are accepted on a rolling basis; however, priority application (postmarked by March 1, 2013) is encouraged as workshops fill quickly. Scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2013.

Click Here for Program Details, Application Forms and Nomination Information

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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



Bring About Thoughtful Learning

Are you interested in developing lessons and activities that integrate artistic disciplines across subject areas? Integrating dance, painting and music into math, science and history can provide your students with new ways of seeing and learning, improve their critical thinking skills and offer them a chance to create authentic responses to what they are learning. Artful Thinking, a program developed by Harvard Project Zero and the Traverse City (Michigan) public school system, provides activities and lessonsdesigned to teach students how to develop thinking dispositions that support thoughtful learning. Students can delve into concepts that range from genetics to social movements to topography to disease.

Click Here to Learn About Artful Thinking

Click Here to Explore Curriculum Connections

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Teach History Through Film

The writers of this blog post on the New York Times Learning Network’s website suggest several ways teachers can use the Oscar-nominated films LincolnArgo and Zero Dark Thirty to teach history. Among the suggestions are to examine whether the films reflect reality and, in the case of Zero Dark Thirty, to look at how the filmmakers obtained their information, much of which was classified. The blog post also includes additional resources and tips for aligning the movie-based lessons to the Common Core State Standards.

Click Here to Access Free Movie-Based Lessons

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Journey to Freedom

Scholastic has developed a new series of interactive lessons about the Underground Railroad. "The Underground Railroad: Escape from Slavery” takes students on a virtual trip from a southern plantation to freedom in Ohio. The trip is divided into four sections: On the Plantation; Escape; Reaching Safety; and Reaching Freedom. In each section, students listen to short narrated stories and browse through slideshows. Each section of "The Underground Railroad: Escape from Slavery” has a teacher’s guide andwriting activities for students to complete. The interactive lessons are appropriate for grades 3–6 and are optimized for use on interactive whiteboards.

Click Here to Access Free Interactive Lessons

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Reach a Unanimous Decision

iCivics recently released its seventeenth interactive educational game for students. The new game, We the Jury, includes two civil cases—one that relates to a dispute over baseball memorabilia, and the other to a dispute at a car dealership. In the game, students become one of six jurors at a trial, during which they hear the facts of the case, along with closing arguments from the plaintiff and the defendant. Then they go off to the jury room where they deliberate for up to five days before handing down their verdict. During deliberations, students examine evidence, listen to the opinions of other jurors and try to reach a unanimous decision. Throughout the process, students are reminded of the roles of jurors and are cautioned to stick to only the evidence and arguments permitted by the judge. In addition to the interactive game, the iCivics website includes a free downloadable Game Guide for teachers and reproducibleEvidence sheets for students.

Click Here to Access Free Educational Game

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Powered-up Professional Development



Start Your Own Learning Community

Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is a grassroots open-education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. At P2PU, people work together to learn a particular topic by completing tasks, assessing individual and group work, and providing constructive feedback.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Create with Code

Whether you are completely new to coding or a developer looking to learn a new language, LearnStreetcourses make it engaging and fun to create with code. The interactive courses are designed to help you learn by actually writing real code and getting immediate feedback. Try a free course—no background needed—and learn the basics of JavaScript, Python or Ruby. Or build your coding skills in Code Garage, where you can validate fields in a form, build a sample pocket calculator or create your own ATM.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Learn by Doing

Code School opens the door to a new way of learning by combining video, coding in the browser and gamification to make learning a new technology fun. The online learning platform teaches a variety of programming and web design skills. The courses range from beginner to advanced levels, and participants get to earn rewards and badges as they learn. Each course has at least five levels. Each level begins with a 10- to 15-minute screencast, followed by a series of code challenges participants must solve to make it to the next level. Once participants complete the course, they will unlock the final video that helps them continue their learning. Participants will also receive a badge after they have completed the course, and they can win prizes that include discounts for additional educational materials, such as $5 off another Code School course.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Join a Professional Learning Community

edWeb.net hosts professional learning communities that offer free webinars and continuing education certificates. Join an edWeb community to get advice from experts, exchange ideas and resources with peers, ask questions/get answers and discover ways to improve teaching and learning. New, upcoming webinars include "Blended Learning: Extending Classes Online, "The Brain and Learning,” "Digital Media for Social Learning” and "Keys to Successful Online Learning and Community-Building.” Register for upcoming webinars on edWeb.net.

Click Here to Visit Website

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On-the-Go Learning



Move Thoughts Around the Page

With Inkflow: Think Visually!, an iPad/iPhone app from Qrayson, students can sketch mind maps, draw pictures, write freehand or do just about anything else to capture ideas as easily as they can with pencil and paper. All of the pages on which they sketch and write can be organized into little books that include page-turning effects.

Click Here to Access Free App

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Tap a Beating Heart

Virtual Heart allows students to take a closer look at how the human heart functions. This free iPad app, from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, lets students speed up and slow down the virtual heart rate. The app presents four views of the heart: the electrical system, the valves, blood flow and the interior of the heart. Students can experience each view with or without labels. The first time students tap a view, a short introduction is displayed.

Click Here to Access Free App

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Investigate the World’s Endangered Animals

WWF Together, a free iPad app from the World Wildlife Fund, features eight interactive stories about endangered animals around the world, including giant pandas, tigers, elephants, marine turtles and polar bears. The app contains origami of each animal that folds up, creating an animated video students can share with their friends and family through Facebook, email and/or Twitter—plus, students will find downloadable instructions for making their own origami. Students can try out "tiger vision,” stay as still as the polar bear during a hunt and chop the panda’s bamboo. On the 3-D interactive globe, students can discover how far away they are from 60 different animals around the world. High-definition, full-screenvideos and image galleries feature photos by renowned environmental photographer Morten Kold by. The animals currently featured are pandas, marine turtles, elephants, tigers, polar bears, bison, whales and snow leopards. New species stories—which students can fold and share—are added regularly. Stories about rhinos, gorillas, sharks and jaguars are slated for addition later this year.

Click Here to Access Free App

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Discover the Story Behind the Scenes

Students can go behind the scenes of Steven Spielberg’s historical epic Lincoln with this interactive ebook from the Disney Book Group. Students will see how a crucial time in America’s history was recreated and brought to the screen with photos, art, interviews, music and historical narrative. Created with Apple’s iBooks Author app, the ebook will allow students to immerse themselves in Abraham Lincoln’s most critical period as President of the United States. Download the free ebook to view a clip from the film. The content includes a chapter by historian and author David Rubel and behind-the-scenes photos from the set of the film.

Click Here to Access Free eBook

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STEM Gems



Study the Chemistry of Snowflakes

This video from the American Chemistry Society’s (ACS) Chemistry for Life series tracks theformation of snowflakes from their origins in bits of dust in clouds that become droplets of water falling to Earth. When the droplets cool, six crystal faces form because water molecules bond in hexagonal networks when they freeze. The video explains that ice crystals grow fastest at the corners between the faces, fostering development of the six branches that exist in most snowflakes. As snowflakes continue to develop, the branches can spread, grow long and pointy, or branch off into new arms. As each snowflake rises and falls through warmer and cooler air, it develops its own distinctive shape.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Act Like an Epidemiologist

What habits of mind, specialized knowledge and collaborative skills are required to track down the world’s more virulent viruses? Public health experts use an approach called agent-based modeling—similar to games such as Sim City—to run scenarios and think more critically about who should be vaccinated first to reduce the spread of flu. Students can put their gaming know-how to work in The Great Flu game. This game lets students role-play as public-health experts, running scenarios in which they seek to curb a flu outbreak. Students can work in teams and then reflect on which strategies worked, or didn’t work, to control the contagion.

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Travel Near the Speed of Light

The MIT Game Lab recently released a free game designed to demonstrate the visual effects of special relativityA Slower Speed of Light seems simple enough on the surface—students walk through virtual worlds picking up orbs—but the game gets difficult because of the visual effects, as it attempts to mirror the speed of light to the player’s actual walking pace, which is what changes the visual complexity displayed in each level of the game.

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Worth-the-Surf Websites



Celebrate Milestone Achievements

From a pioneering ascent of Everest to advancements in aerial, underwater and space photography, theNational Geographic Society has been exploring the world for 125 years. To mark that milestone, in January National Geographic published galleries of landmark images of exploration from over the last 125 years. One of the galleries is Flashback Firsts, which, as the name implies, features "firsts” of explorations published in National Geographic magazine. Flashback Firsts includes images of Robert Peary’s 1909 Arctic expedition, Hiram Bingham’s expedition to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in 1915, the first American team’s climb to the summit of Mount Everest in 1963—and more.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit Flashback Firsts Gallery

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Explore the Struggle for Peace and Justice

Building on the achievements of Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute provides an institutional home for a broad range of activities illuminating the Nobel Peace laureate’s life and the movements he inspired. Visitors to the King Research and Education Institute’s comprehensive site will find a chronology, encyclopedia, biography, videos, lesson plans and more. Among the online resources is the King Online Encyclopedia, which includes information on more than 1,000 civil rights movement figures, events and organizations; a chronology of the movement; and full-text documents. The Online King Records Access(OKRA) database provides easily searchable access to information on thousands of speeches, sermons, letters and other historic documents by and about Martin Luther King, Jr. Updated w eekly on Tuesdays, the Featured Document of the Week series highlights particular King documents that the institute has annotated. And A Call to Conscience features the landmark speeches of King’s career, spanning from the Montgomery bus boycott to his last speech in Memphis. In addition, the King Institute’s Liberation Curriculum (LC) initiative seeks to inform teachers and students about global efforts to achieve social justice, human rights and liberation through nonviolent means, with special emphasis on the modern African American freedom struggle.

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Become an Environmentally Conscious Global Citizen

Students in your classroom can connect with students in the rainforest regions of Latin America throughCreative Connections’ interdisciplinary ArtLink program.  Partner classes learn about each other’s culture by creating and exchanging art on an environmental theme. In addition, they are given the opportunity to question their partners in a live video- or teleconference. The program, which runs through May 2013, is designed especially for third- through twelfth-grade art, science, social studies and Spanish language classrooms.

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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. 


Browse K12TeacherStore.com for a wide variety of products published by leading K–12 education companies, all of them delivered digitally. Many of the ebooks can be used on interactive whiteboards and various mobile reading devices. All of the books whose covers you see displayed are on sale at a 15% discount. To stay informed about what’s going on with ebooks in K–12 schools, sign up for the freeenewsletterK12 TeacherFile.

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

Explore the Web Wednesday feature on www.bigdealbook.com. Here 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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