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February 2015 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Spark Creativity, Dance to Math, Read with Astronauts & More

February 2, ,2015 K-12 Newsletter

In Partnership With:

MASL_MISSOURI

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Powered-Up Professional Development

Mobile Learning Journey

STEM Gems

Worth-the-Surf Websites

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Inspire Students to Reach Higher

First Lady Michelle Obama has announced two new commencement challenges, promoting them in hand with the White House’sReach Higher initiative. The first challenge targets high schools by calling on seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting on January 1. To participate in theFAFSA Challenge, students or educators must submit a five-minute video entry detailing their school’s efforts to motivate students to fill out their FAFSA form. TheNear-Peer Mentorship Challengeencourages colleges to open their campuses to high school students who might not consider attending college. The First Lady will send congratulatory videos or speak at the commencement ceremonies of winning schools in the spring.

Deadlines: Near-Peer Mentorship Challenge: February 27, 2015; FAFSA Completion Commencement Video Challenge: March 16, 2015

Click Here for More Information About Reach Higher Initiative

Click Here for More Information About FAFSA Challenge

Click Here for More Information About Near-Peer Mentorship Challenge

 

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Personalize Learning for All Students

Naiku, provider of next-generation classroom assessment software, recently announced the formation of an educational grant program to support innovative teachers and teacher teams in utilizinglearner-centric assessment practicesin the classroom to differentiate instruction and personalize learning for all students. The grants, valued at $250,000, will be awarded to educators through this spring and next school year. K–12 educators seeking to employ research-proven and learner-centric classroom assessment practices, such as self-assessment, goal setting, student reflection, bidirectional feedback, adaptive learning resources and more, in a standards-based classroom environment are encouraged to apply. The grants include psychometrician-led professional development to provide instruction and guidance on the next-generation assessment practices as well as an annual subscription to Naiku classroom assessment software to facilitate implementation in the classroom. Individual teachers can apply for theInnovative Teacher Grant. Teacher teams can apply for theTeacher Team School Grant; each grant supports an entire school and can be used by one or more teams within the school. Thirty Teacher Team School Grants will be awarded.

Deadlines: Innovative Teacher Grant: monthly on a rolling basis, through 2015; Teacher Team School Grant: rolling through April 30, 2015

Click Here for More Information

 

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Add Much-Needed Oomph to Your Spending

Along with classroom supplies, books and other learning resources, numerousteacher discountsare offered nationwide, running the gamut from laptops and Photoshop to museum entry and insurance benefits. While eligibility changes based on where you purchase, most offers are redeemable by kindergarten teachers and college professors alike. Also rememberseasonal promotions, particularly those offered during Teacher Appreciation Week in early May. Merchants without regular promotions often roll out limited-time offers.Gift Card Grannyhas compiled a list of the80 most lucrative discounts for teachers. This website features some of the “winning” offers.

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Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFundingis afreewebsite sponsored byCDW•Gto help educators and institutions find the funds they need in order to supplement their already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding hosts a collection of thousands of 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. GetEdFunding offers customized searches by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, eight content areas and any of the 21st century themes and skills that support your curriculum. After registering on the site, you can save the grant opportunities of greatest interest and then return to them at any time. This rich resource of funding opportunities is expanded, updated and monitored daily.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Resource Roundup

Act in Support of Arts Education

A new series ofvideosbyAmericans for the Artsis intended to help you get into the conversation about encouraging creativity and ensuring arts education in your community. These videos convey the stories behind the importance of arts education, as told by children whose lives have been positively impacted by the arts. “Encourage Creativity: Teach the Arts” showcases the voices of young people as they demonstrate the value and benefits they get from the arts in their lives. You can share thesefreevideos with teachers, principals, superintendents, business leaders, community leaders and policymakers. Check out the Encourage Creativity section of Americans for the Arts website for the videos, descriptions and a quiz you can take and share to see how much you and your circles already know about the benefits of arts education.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Free Videos

Click Here to Access Arts Education Quiz

 

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Investigate the Science Behind "Deflategate"

Making science fun is one of the biggest challenges for those who teach STEM, but sometimes the news provides a gift. The most recent offering is the headline called “Deflategate.” Buried in that news report is aSTEM lessonoften found in a chemistry class on the Ideal Gas Law, which states that pressure and temperature are linked. A shortYouTube video, “The Science Behind Deflate Gate,” shows students the simple equations that can be used to demonstrate how pressure and temperature are linked.

Click Here to Access Free STEM Video Lesson

 

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Explore the Legend of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Daycomes only once a year, and its arrival is eagerly awaited by thousands of groundhog Phil’s faithful followers. Nowhere in the world is Phil’s prediction more anxiously awaited than in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, “The Home of the Groundhog.” Legend decrees that if Phil sees his shadow onFebruary 2, six more weeks of winter weather will befall the world. If no shadow, we’re in for the delights of an early spring. ThePunxsutawney Groundhog Cluboffers suggestions on how to properly celebrate this unique holiday with elementary, middle and high school students. The Groundhog Day website includeslessonsandactivitiesfor art, English, vocabulary and math. The site also provides ideas for Groundhog Day celebrations as well as games, a suggested reading list and music.

Click Here to Access Free Groundhog Day Activities

 

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Play a Global Guessing Game

Mystery Skypeis an educational game that was invented by teachers and is played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by having students ask each other questions. The game is suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects such as geography, history, languages, mathematics and science. Visit theMystery Skypewebsite and see the game in action. Then sign up to join theMystery Skypeglobal community.

Click Here to Find a Mystery Skype Class

 

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Powered-Up Professional Development

Encourage Writing in the Classroom

OnFebruary 23, 2015, from4 p.m. to 5 p.m.(EST), theAmazing Resources for Educatorscommunity andedWeb.netwill host afreewebinarentitled “Igniting Digital Writers in the Classroom.” In this webinar, sponsored byShutterfly, the presenter will explore how to ignite your students’ passion for writing throughdigital storytellingwith the help of Shutterfly’sPhoto Story App. The presentation will focus on strategies for storymapping students’ work into a photo storybook that includes text, doodles, pictures and audio. The presenter will also offer easy-to-implement ideas for using Photo Story in nearly any writing assignment to meet Common Core State Standards.

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

 

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Evaluate and Construct Scientific Arguments

TheSmithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Accessinvites high school science teachers to atwo-session webinar, “Scientific Argumentation: Helping Students Identify, Evaluate and Support Claims,” from7 p.m. to 8 p.m.(EST) onFebruary 17 and 23. Dr. Victor Sampson, professor at The University of Texas at Austin, and Michelle Knovic Smith, associate director for digital media at the Smithsonian Institution, will present instructional strategies and resources that help students judge the quality and reliability of evidence, evaluate scientific claims and construct arguments. The webinar isfreeand open to the public on Google Hangout.

Click Here to Join Free Webinar

 

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Scaffold Levels of Text Complexity

Today’s standards in social studies, science and technical subjects require that students comprehend and analyze complex texts and writeargumentsorinformational papersfocused ondiscipline-specific texts. This one-hour,on-demand web seminar, provided by theNational Council of Teachers of English(NCTE), describes strategies piloted among teams of interdisciplinary teachers, grades 6–12, who implemented reading strategies for complex texts, including primary sources, and facilitated students in conducting research to answer a question, citing evidence to make their claims. Participants will glimpse a few activities that motivated teachers to use geoscience texts that moved from simple graphics, such as a representation of fracking fluids, to a highly scientific article on methane contamination. They will also discuss the role of a content specialist (geoscientist) in providing context for the readings, understanding the organizational patterns of writing for science and approaching writing inductively.

Click Here to Download On-Demand Web Seminar

 

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Mobile Learning Journey

Count in Dots and Lines

Students know that 1 + 1 = 2, but do they know that Dot + Line = 6? WithDig-It!’sfreeMayaNumbersgame, students can take their math skills to the next level while learning the ancient Maya’s remarkable number system. This fast-paced counting game challenges players to translate numbers using the Maya math system before time runs out. Students will need to call on the ancient civilization’s revolutionary numeral symbols—shell, dot and line—to translate randomly generated numbers and see how high they can get their score. The app features atutorialstage that teaches the Maya numerical system in three steps. Dig-It! Games was founded by a professional archaeologist and former middle school teacher.

Click Here to Access Free App

 

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Launch a NASA Spacecraft

Rocket Science 101is afreeiPad appoffered byNASAto help students understand how rockets work. The app also helps students understand the differences between the four types of rockets most frequently used by NASA. In Rocket Science 101, students can build all four rockets in a jigsaw-like activity and then virtually launch their rockets. When the rockets are launched, students see the timing of each stage of the launch, from surface to orbit. After playing with the four types of rockets, students can try their skill at matching rockets to real NASA missions. In the challenges, students read about a NASA mission and then select the rocket that can carry the payload and travel the distance required to complete the mission.

Click Here to Access Free App

 

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Sponsored By:

STEM Gems

Volunteer with eCYBERMISSION!

If you have background or interest in STEM, your skills are wanted as a volunteer for the 2014–2015eCYBERMISSION STEM competition. Sponsored by theUS Armyand administered by theNational Science Teachers Association(NSTA) on behalf of theArmy Education Outreach Program, eCYBERMISSION is a web-based competition for grades 6–9 challenging students to identify a problem in their community. As a volunteer Virtual Judge, you have the opportunity to build students’ interest and knowledge of STEM as well as be a part of a rewarding experience and enhance your professional portfolio. Register to become a judge byFebruary 25, 2015.

Click Here for More Information About the Competition

Click Here for More Information About Volunteer Judging

 

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Read Along with Astronauts

Have your students ever listened to a story being read at 17,000 miles per hour? All they need to do is visit the “Story Time from Space” website to watch videos of astronauts reading stories from the International Space Station. “ Story Time from Space” is a project sponsored by theGlobal Space Education Foundation, a nonprofit education organization that works with NASA. The first five books chosen to be read in orbit from the International Space Station were written by Dr. Jeffrey Bennett. These elementary grade-level books feature Dr. Bennett’s dog, Max, as he goes on learning adventures in space. The first book is titledMax Goes to the Space Station. As the space station orbits, the books are being read all over the world in English, German and Japanese. Although Dr. Bennett’s books are primarily for younger students, teachers can accesslesson ideasandplansthat relate to significant science applicable to all ages. In addition, rather than the traditional experiments that the astronauts perform with whatever they happen to have on the station, “Story Time from Space” is designingexperimentsfor the astronauts thatcorrespond to the storiesbeing read; these experiments will also be accessible from the website. During April 2015, nine science experiments designed by the “Story Time from Space” team will be launched into space for the astronauts to perform and broadcast to the world from the International Space Station. Through the “Story Time from Space” program, students can read along with astronauts in space, participate in long-distance experiments and learn more about science, technology, engineering and math.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Move Toward a New Model of Education

Afreeeight-week after-school program,SHINE for Girls, utilizeskinestheticlearningby combiningmathwithdance. The unique curriculum, which focuses on building both mathematical facility and self-confidence in young girls, has been recognized for its work in equalizing the gender gap in STEM fields. The program is targeted to a middle school audience, an age at which studies have proved that girls lose interest in STEM.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Break Through the Barriers

The nationaliUrban Teenprogram focuses on connecting male youth of color, aged 13 to 18, withSTEMandarts, orSTEAM, opportunities, but is inclusive of all youth considered nontraditional STEM learners. The purpose of iUrban Teen is to expose youth who might not otherwise get a chance to see STEM in action and give them more than a glimpse. The program’s events include speakers, summits, tech tours and hands-on activities through businesses, universities and other partners.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Bridge the Gap Between Education and Business

A nonprofit organization calledGenesys Worksrecruits high school students from groups underrepresented in the tech world, including low-income students, and then places them inpaid internshipswith IT departments inside local companies. The organization’s hope is that exposure to both computers and corporate culture—with adult mentors providing guidance—will put these students on the path to a technology-related college career.

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Worth-the-Surf Websites

Investigate Cultures Around the Globe

During aGoogle Earth Walk, students engage inreal-world problem solvingas they work their way through avirtual touron Google Earth. Each placemark offers an engaging, geotagged image as well as a compelling question, challenging students to apply what they’ve learned in the real world. Google Earth Walks challenge students to solve real-life problems literally around the globe. Students investigate the environments and cultures around the world through the eyes of the Google Earth lens. Check under theMath,ScienceandSocial Studiestabs for a large selection of Earth Walks in these subject areas. Also, be sure to check out theResourcessection, where you can download, atno charge, Google Earth Walk’sNavigation,Placemark,BalloonandHTML guides. You will also find information onhow to create Google Earth Walksas well asGoogle Earth Video Tutorials. And, if you like, you can submit your Google Earth Walks for others to use.

Click Here to Access Google Earth Walks Website

Click Here to Access Free Resources

Click Here to Access Free Guides

 

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See, Learn and Explore Almost Everything

In January 2015,DK publisherslaunchedDKfindout!—aglobal educationwebsite for children, primarily aged 7–11, and their parents and teachers. This new website brings together DK’s bank of images and content across a huge breadth of subjects. It serves as afreelearning and reference resource that includes animations, sounds, videos and thousands of photographs for use both in the classroom and at home. The content addresses key subject areas in the US curriculum, including math, history, English and science, and hundreds of quiz questions support every topic. The content will be constantly updated throughout 2015 and beyond, in line with changes to teaching practice. The site is easily accessible on all devices, including desktop, tablet and mobile, and serves every type of learner, from those who prefer to read information to visual learners. ATeacher area, in development throughout 2015, includes a tool for teachers to create lesson plans. DKfindout! also provides information and support forparents.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Connect Plugged-In Students to Classic Literature

A recent trend inonline storytellingmay offer opportunities for teachers looking to help connect students to literature. TheLiterary YouTube seriesseeks to transform classic works intovideo blogsset in the modern day. One of the earliest such series is also one of the most popular:The Lizzie Benet Diaries, an adaptation ofPride and Prejudiceco-created by Hank Green, brother of John Green, an author of young adult books. In this modernized version ofPride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet is a 24-year-old grad student with a video blog, and the Bennet sisters—reduced to three rather than the original five—are just as concerned about jobs and school as they are about marriage.The Lizzie Bennet Diariesis the first YouTube series to win a Primetime Emmy, and the team behind it has rebranded asPemberley Digital. Now Pemberley has teamed up withPBS Digital Mediato create a 22-episode series calledFrankenstein, MD, which teaches viewers about biology while following the exploits of Victoria Frankenstein, a medical student struggling to make a name for herself in a male-dominated field.

Click Here to Access Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Click Here to Access Frankenstein, MD

Plus: Pemberley Digital’s video series is not alone in this genre. Other series includeClassic Alice,which tells the story of a college student who decides to live her life according to classic novels.The New Adventures of Peter and Wendyreimagines Peter Pan as a comic book artist in Neverland, Ohio. The newest addition to the field isThe March Family Letters,an adaptation ofLittle Women. A defining feature of all of these series is the way they spill over into other forms of media. Characters interact with one another onTwitter, reblog fan posts onTumblrand share fashion ideas onPinterest.Classic Alicegoes even further, with the characters creatingpodcastsand giving their phone numbers to the audience.

Click Here to Access Classic Alice

Click Here to Access The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy

 

Click Here to Access The March Family Letters

 

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Walk the Deck of a Historic Warship

If they can’t make it to theUSSConstitution, students might want to pay it a virtual visit instead. This historic warship is the latest addition to Google’s collection of panoramas, which presents 360-degree wraparound photos of museums and scenic locales from around the world. The photo panoramas of the USSConstitution, which are viewable online, include areas of the ship’s deck and interior that aren’t open to the public. Viewers can click on different parts of the image to change the camera’s location as though they were walking around the decks. They can also use the system’s controls to zoom in on the ship’s masts, cannons and equipment, which were photographed last fall.

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