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February 2014 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Make Music Matter, Talk STEM in Sports, Explore Cool Careers & More - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

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Make Music Matter, Talk STEM in Sports, Explore Cool Careers & More

February 1, 2014

In Partnership With:

MASL_MISSOURI

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Professional Learning Plus

Mobile Learning Journey

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites



 

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

 


Work Together to Solve Math Problems

The Purple Comet! Math Meet is an international mathematics competition for middle school and high school students conducted annually. The contest is entirely administered over the Internet from the contest website. Teams of from one to six students compete by submitting solutions to a list of mathematics problems. There is a 10-day window (April 1–10) during which teams may compete, choosing a start time most convenient for them. The problems range in difficulty from fairly easy to extremely challenging. There are two levels of competition: (1) the middle school contest consists of 20 problems to be completed in 60 minutes; (2) the high school contest consists of 30 problems to be completed in 90 minutes. There are four categories of teams: (1) teams whose members all attend the same large school; (2) teams whose members all attend the same small school; (3) teams whose members attend more than one school or are home schooled; (4) teams with no restrictions that do not compete for awards. Every team needs an adult supervisor; one supervisor may supervise one or more teams. Before any team can be registered, the adult supervisor must register at the contest website. After the end of the 10-day contest window, solutions to the contest problems and the names of winning teams will be posted on the contest website. Each team will also receive a certificate indicating the team’s achievements.

Deadlines: Registration for the 2014 contest begins February 1, 2014; supervisors may register at any time. Registered teams may begin the contest anytime during the contest window, from April 1 through April 10, 2014.

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Explore the Interconnections Between Theory, Practice and the Real World

Design Learning Challenge 2014, sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), offers K–12 educators and their students the opportunity to explore and investigate a relevant STEM-based problem worth solving by way of design as pedagogy. IDSA’s Challenge 2014 invites teams of art, design, the humanities and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) educators and students to investigate a shared challenge, solve a relevant problem and generate a creative and innovative design solution from multiple perspectives. This school year’s overarching theme is focused on Imagining Life in the Year 2050. Specifically, teams will study the Impact of Upcycling (repurposing old materials to create new designs) by way of one of nine pathways: home, work, learning, health, community, mobility, play, agriculture or environment. IDSA Challenge 2014 will require about six sessions for K–12 teachers to guide collaborative student teams as they develop their project based on the Design Learning Process. Participation guidelines for the IDSA Design Learning Challenge 2014 will be posted soon.

Deadlines: Phase 1—Step 1 (Explore), Step 2 (Describe), Step 3 (Explain): March 15, 2014; Phase 2—Step 4 (Demonstrate), Step 5 (Evaluate): May 15, 2014

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Provide Opportunities to Learn, Play and Create Music

The Music Empowers Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations that offer music instruction to children in communities where it does not exist or is underdeveloped. The foundation recently announced the kickoff of its "Music Teachers Matter video contest. For this event, music education supporters can submit short videos, explaining why their local school’s music program and its teachers are important and special to them. Potential grantees include nonprofit organizations, foundations, schools and community-based programs; the foundation does not provide grants or scholarships to individuals. The foundation’s goal is to identify and partner with those organizations that have the best potential to make a sustainable and measurable impact while reaching a broad number of children. All video submissions will be reviewed by a panel of representatives from prestigious music education not-for-profits, including Little Kids Rock and Berklee College of Music’s City Music Program. The school music program selected for the top video will receive a $2,500 grant from the Music Empowers Foundation.

Deadline: Videos may be submitted through March 31, 2014; top video will be announced in early April.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Investigate the Science Behind Wind Energy

As part of its goal to host 35 KidWind Challenge Events during the 2014 school year, KidWind, a leader of clean energy education, has scheduled 22 Challenge Events across the United States, Canada and the Virgin Islands. During the Challenges, students in grades 4–12 will come together to test the efficiency and design of their handmade wind turbines in the high-speed KidWind Wind Tunnel and be judged by wind industry experts. Participating in a KidWind Challenge Event is one of the two ways student teams and coaches can qualify for the National KidWind Challenge to be held on April 26, 2014, in Washington D.C. A list of scheduled events appears on the KidWind Challenge website. KidWind also hosts an online version of the wind energy learning experience for students. Anyone can compete anytime, from anywhere around the world. All a participant needs is a few materials, a wind source and an Internet connection. Winning teams will receive $100 in cash and be featured on the winners’ section of the Challenge website. Winning teams will also receive an invitation to compete head-to-head at the National KidWind Challenge.

Deadline: Teams have until March 30, 2014, to compete and qualify for the National Challenge in April 2014.

Click Here for More Information About KidWind Challenge

Click Here for More Information About KidWind Events

Click Here for More Information About KidWind Online Experience

Plus: To help students discover the science behind how wind energy works, KidWind has developed WindWise, a series of free and open-source activities and lessons designed to integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience.

Click Here to Access Free Curriculum Resources

 

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Resource Roundup

 


Inspire the Next Generation of Innovative Thinkers

Digital Learning Day (February 5, 2014) is a nationwide celebration of innovative and effective applications of digital learning in America’s schools, with the aim of providing options for students to achieve at their highest potential. Digital Learning Day materials and resources support educators at all levels as they navigate the shift to more robust digital learning environments to achieve higher standards for students. Teachers, librarians and instructional coaches from across the country have helped to develop toolkits that are ready for use on Digital Learning Day and beyond. The toolkits offer ideas on how technology can enhance the educational experience for students in the topic areas addressed. Toolkits are available for English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Guidance, Bring Your Own Device, Afterschool, Project Based Learning and Civics.

Click Here for More Information About Digital Learning Day

Click Here to Access Free Digital Learning Teaching Tools

Plus: The Digital Learning Day website provides links to lessons with ready-made activities that you can use with your students on Digital Learning Day and beyond. Each lesson includes a full lesson plan and a short video introduction from the Digital Learning Day teacher who submitted the lesson.

Click Here to Access Free Digital Learning Lessons

Plus: In celebration of the third annual Digital Learning Day, PBS LearningMedia has released its "Be Inspired. Be an Innovatorcollection of free resources. In addition, educators can participate in three free virtual events, including a professional development webinar, a Google+ Hangout with PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasn and a national Digital Learning Day event moderated by PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff.

Click Here to Access Free Resources and Register for Free Virtual Events

 

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Guide Students in Thinking About Cultural Heritage

In theaters February 7,The Monuments Menis based on the true story of a group of brave men and women who hunted down and rescued millions of cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis at the close of World War II. The Monuments Men education website presents lesson plans, videos, discussion questions, interactive maps and other features to engage learners about this little-known chapter in World War II and guide thinking about the importance of protecting cultural heritage in times of war. The lessons are suitable for middle school and high school classrooms and are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Free Lessons

 

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Celebrate the Life and Accomplishments of George Washington

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called "Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971. It is considered to be the first public holiday declared specifically to celebrate the life and accomplishments of one individual. The United States Senate has a long-standing tradition to read George Washington’s Farewell Address every year in observance of his birthday. This tradition first started in 1862 and is still being practiced.

Click Here for More Information About Senate Tradition

Click Here to Download Washington’s Farewell Address

 

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Support Budding Orators

Abraham Lincoln was renowned for his dynamic, powerful and engaging oratory. Ford’s Theatre education programs offer learners of all ages the opportunity to engage actively with this aspect of Lincoln’s leadership by developing their public speaking and performance skills. In an effort to support budding orators beyond the D.C.–metro area, Ford’s Theatre has created a series of short videos that capture some basic elements of its oratory programs. These oratory tips are called Podium Points. The videos take students through these Podium Points, which are divided into the physical and verbal skills that are the foundation for any good public speaker.

Click Here to Access Free Videos

Plus: Ford’s Theatre provides a series of multimedia lessons for grades 8–12 that consist of interviews with renowned historians and scholars. The lesson plans will aid students in developing a deeper understanding of the people and events that shaped American history by closely examining artifacts and primary documents, learning about the perspective of the historians and thinking critically and developing their own opinions. One of the lessons, Lincoln as Leader: The Unlikely President, uses storytelling and primary source investigation to understand the qualities that made Lincoln one of the most important leaders in the history of the United States. Another lesson, Lincoln, Lee and Appomattox, uses storytelling and primary source investigation to understand the roles of Grant, Lee and Lincoln in the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.

Click Here to Access Free Lessons

 

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Explore the Political Choices Lincoln Made

Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads is an educational game based on the traveling exhibition Lincoln: The Constitution & the Civil War, which debuted at the National Constitution Center in June 2005. The online game is intended for advanced middle school and high school students. It invites them to learn about Lincoln’s leadership by exploring the political choices he made. An animated Lincoln introduces a situation, asks for advice and prompts students to decide the issue for themselves, before learning the actual outcome. At the end of the game, students discover how frequently they predicted Lincoln’s actions. A Resources Page, keyed to each chapter of Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads, provides links to relevant websites on Lincoln and the Civil War, permitting students to explore issues in more depth.

Click Here to Access Free Game

 

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Professional Learning Plus

 


Assess Your Current Teaching Practices

The National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) provides a survey tool to help groups self-assess the degree to which the conditions and practices that lead to successful learning for every student are present in their day-to-day work experiences. This Asset Inventory helps teachers, along with their colleagues, give consideration to the content of their professional learning in conjunction with the process of their learning so they will be more likely to produce the results they want for their students. The website features the following resources: Online Inventory, Sample Report of Inventory Results, Process Learning Circle Protocols, Continua for Capacity Building, Inquiry Guide Example, Portrait of Inventory Use.

Click Here to Access Free Asset Inventory

 

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Foster Critical Thinking Using American Art

Educators from around the country are invited to participate in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Summer Institutes: Teaching the Humanities through Art. The institutes are weeklong explorations that will be held June 23–27 and July 28–August 1, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Institute participants will gain expertise from museum educators, curators, content experts and technology specialists through gallery talks, discussion groups and hands-on activities. They will learn to use American art in the classroom to foster critical thinking skills and to make interdisciplinary connections among American art, social studies, history and English/language arts. In addition, they will experiment with digital tools that can be used to bring art into the classroom. Core subject teachers for grades 6–12 may apply as individuals or as part of a team. Priority will be given to social studies, history and English/language arts teachers. A nonrefundable program fee of $200 per person supports the cost of resource materials. A limited number of $500 scholarships are awarded each year.

Deadlines: Applications—March 31, 2014; registration—May 14, 2014

Click Here for More Information

 

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Mobile Learning Journey

 


Capture Animal Movement and Motion

Young learners anywhere in the world now have the opportunity to virtually tour the Smithsonian National Zoological Park through the freeapp, Shutterbugs: Wiggle and Stomp. Developed by Filament Games and the Smithsonian Science Education Center, the app is a teaching game that shows children how to describe movement and motion while visiting exotic animals at the National Zoo. The app equips players with a virtual camera to take pictures of the animals as they perform motions. The game responds to individual players, adjusting the difficulty depending on the child’s progress. Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards, the app can be downloaded from the App Store for iPad and Google Play for Android users. Shutterbugs is also available for free online at the Smithsonian Science Education Center's website.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Click Here to Visit Google Play App Store

 

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Take a Virtual Tour of a Historic Site

James Madison’s Montpelier app makes history come alive at the historic home and grounds of President James Madison and his wife, Dolley. Students will see the Madisons’ works of art and fine china, explore the latest archeological excavations and even discover the hiking trails of the Landmark Forest, all in stunning detail with interactive maps and image galleries. Visitors to the estate will experience its "salubrious offerings” through the audio narrative of the grounds, images of the Madison and enslaved workers’ cemeteries, a Civil War encampment and Mr. Madison’s Temple, beneath which a two-story icehouse is hidden. The app is available free of charge for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

 

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Browse Exhibits in Museums Around the Globe

Museums of the World brings thousands of museums from around the globe to your fingertips. Whether you’re looking for contact information for local institutions or for details on exhibits hundreds of miles away, this free app is full of useful information. With Museums of the World, you can search out museums, exhibitions and events near you based on your GPS location and use Maps navigation information to find them. Detailed presentations of every museum and gallery give you all the necessary information. The app is available for the iPad and iPhone in English and Spanish.

Click Here to Access Free App in English

Click Here to Access Free App in Spanish

 

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STEM Gems

 


Take on the Role of a Scientist

Rice University’s Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning has produced a series of Web Adventures in science designed to teach students the process of forensic investigation and problem solving. Each of the free Web Adventures is appropriate for middle school or high school use. In each adventure, students take on the role of a scientist to solve a crime, conduct experiments and learn about scientific methods and processes. In Cool Science Careers, students explore five STEM-based career areas. The adventure begins with a 21-question interest survey. How students progress through the activity is based in part on how they respond to the interest survey. CSI: The Experience is based on the CSI television show. In this set of Web Adventure, students find out if they have what it takes to be a forensic scientist. There are four CSI cases of increasing difficulty. In Med Myst, students learn about microbiology through a series of interactive lessons and games. Med Myst focuses on infectious diseases and how to prevent the spread of those diseases. Reconstructorsincludes three games in which students need to gather evidence and data to solve drug-related cases. Virtual Clinical Trialsputs students into the role of research scientists who are working toward developing treatments for spinal cord injuries, depression and brain injuries. In the N-Squad adventure, students investigate the effects of alcohol on the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems. The Web Adventures are accessible in English and Spanish.

Click Here to Access Web Adventures in English

Click Here to Access Web Adventures in Spanish

 

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Explore the Physics of Bounce

Who knew that behind the towering frame of one of basketball’s greatest point guards lies a math geek? Earvin "Magic” Johnson and ASPiRE TV network have helped to launch "STEM in Sports,” a campaign from Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds that aims to connect youth to science through the sports they love. On the campaign’s website, students can watch "The Magic Man” as he shares his love of math and relates how math positively influenced his education and career—starting in his elementary school days. In addition to the videos with Magic, the site provides a free downloadable learning guide, featuring student-friendly games and activities for connecting science to basketball—from the physics of a chest pass to the geometry involved in laying out a good offensive and defensive strategy.

Click Here to Visit STEM in Sports Page

Click Here to Download Free Learning Guide

 

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites

 


Motivate Students to Recognize Their Potential

Not all youth have the benefit of strong role models who encourage them to envision for themselves a bright and successful future. Classrooms Champions aims to address these issues and many more by using Olympians and Paralympians as role models and mentors for success and goal setting while increasing students’ digital literacy. The site provides video lessons on goal setting, fair play, perseverance, friendship and more. Every month Classroom Champions works with Skype in the Classroom to offer one public lesson to a classroom anywhere in the world.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Reflect on the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that provides free access to documentary films highlighting some of the most dramatic events in recent American history. NEH has introduced a website making four outstanding NEH–supported documentaries about the civil rights movement available for use in communities and schools across the nation. Together, these nationally acclaimed documentaries trace the story of the civil rights movement from its early period in the 1820s to the United States Supreme Court decision in 1967 overturning laws barring interracial marriage. The website provides not only selected film clips suitable for use in schools and other venues, but also extensive resources for community film screenings and public discussions reflecting on the civil rights movement in American history. An extensive section offers teachers opportunities to use the site to meet the Common Core State Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The site provides a collection of background essays by distinguished civil rights scholars, along with lesson plans, including speeches, images and letters to stimulate and guide classroom discussions. The resources are made available from the archives of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and EDSITEment, NEH’s K–12 educational website.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Bring the Real World to the Classroom

Nepris is an online platform that makes it easy for teachers to connect with industry experts to bring the real world to the classroom. Teachers create a session request based on a topic in the curriculum that can benefit from an industry connection. Nepris finds the right industry professional(s) with skills that match the topic requested. Industry professionals virtually connect with the classroom to deliver an interactive presentation on the chosen topic. Teachers and other education professionals can sign up to the Nepris platform for free. Once they sign up, they will have access to all published sessions/topics.

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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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