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March 2013 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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March 1 K-12 Technology Newsletter - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Visit GetEdFunding.com

March 1, 2013

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

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Free and Inexpensive Resources

Of Special Interest

On-the-Go Learning

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf” Websites

BOOKMARK THESE!

In Partnership With:
MASL_MISSOURI




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 Visit Website

 

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Create a Twenty-First Century Portrait of America

What does America looks like to teenagers today? The New York TimesLensProject is asking young people in high school photography classes and community programs to document where they live—their neighborhoods, families, friends and schools. The photographs from hundreds of cities, towns and rural outposts will be gathered in an interactive online gallery of several thousand pictures. In addition, select images will be highlighted in a series of posts on the Lens Blog. Many of the photos will be archived at the Library of Congress. Participants must either be enrolled in high school (grades 9–12) or be between 14 and 18 years of age. All submissions must be uploaded under the supervision of a photography class teacher or program instructor by the deadline.

Deadline: Entries will be accepted from March 20 through May 1, 2013.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Send a Message into the Future

The Legacy Project’s annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest help students travel time as they interview an older adult about their life experiences and then submit a 300-word story to send a message around the world and into the future. All winning essays become part of the Legacy Project’s online Legacy Library, recording life wisdom that can make the world and the future a little bit better. One grand-prize Legacy TimelessAward winner will receive a Lenovo ThinkCentre computer and a keepsake timepiece from Expressions of Time. Ten Legacy Award winners will also receive a keepsake timepiece from Expressions of Time, and all winners will receive a framed award certificate and an autographed copy of Dream, an award-winning bestseller about time, legacies and dreams across a lifetime. This year the Legacy Project will be featuring selected stories as they come in—even before winners are chosen—to recognize as many entrants as possible.

Deadline: March 22, 2013

Click Here for More Information

Plus: Explore a listing of all the freeactivities and guides available online from the Legacy Project. Categories include reading/literacy, writing, drawing, cards and certificates, games, crafts and gifts, holidays, scrapbooking, dreams/goals, family history, intergenerational, ages & stages, then & now, food, science, the environment, conflict resolution and community building. Also check out the books that accompany the activities and enter the weekly drawing for a freeautographed copy of one of the Legacy Project’s award-winning bestsellers, such as Dream, an International Reading Association (IRA) Children’s Choice, and A Little Something, a popular Grandparents Day read-aloud).

Click Here to Access Free Activities and Guides

Click Here to Enter Weekly Drawing

 

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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 aWireless 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



Incorporate Images in Quizzes

ImageQuiz is a freetool that allows you to create quizzes based on any images that you own or find online. When students take an "ImageQuiz,” they click on the part of the picture that answers each question. Creating an "ImageQuiz” is an easy process. First give your quiz a title and then upload a picture or copy and paste the URL of an online image into the tool. Next draw outlines around the parts of the picture that will be the answers to your questions. Then write your questions and try out the quiz. To share your quiz with students, just give them the URL.

Click Here to Try a Random Quiz

Click Here to Create Your Own Quizzes

 

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Take Students on a Journey of Discovery and Collaboration

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies recently launched Smithsonian Quests, a digital badge program that fosters project-based learning and utilizes the free online education resources offered by Smithsonian’s museums and affiliates. Students and teachers can earn Smithsonian Quests badges by accomplishing the activities and submitting their work for review by education experts. The free program can be completed at anytime—during classroom lessons, in after-school programs, at home with parents, for summer learning activities and more. Smithsonian will reveal new badges throughout the year during its 2013 Online Conferences Series, which presents educational topics and resources that augment the Quests badge program. Currently, 16 badges are available to earn. Information and registration for Smithsonian Quests are available on the Quests website.

Click Here to Register for Quests

Click Here for Information About Online Conferences

 

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Encourage Students to Observe, Reflect and Question

The interactivePrimary Source Analysis Tool from the Library of Congress allows users to choose the format of their document, artifact or other source from a pull-down menu and, depending on that choice, offers a series of contextual prompts for closer reading and analysis. Students can use the tool to record their responses to a primary source, and if they need guidance, they can use the sample questions. In addition, they can go back and forth between the columns; there is no correct order to analyze the source.

Click Here to Access Free Tool

 

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Expand Students’ Historical Understanding

History Today offers a free resource for quickly looking up definitions of terms frequently used in history texts, biographies and summaries of historical events. The Historical Dictionary contains hundreds of concise entries. Students can search for explanations of terms and events or search for mini-biographies by entering their query into the Historical Dictionary search engine. They can also browse the dictionary in alphabetical order. Each entry includes links to related entries and further reading suggestions.

Click Here to Access Free Dictionary

 

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Of Special Interest



Give Students Home Court Advantage

The NCAA basketball tournament offers a way to use current events to inspire learning in your classroom. The March Madness Math website provides lessons, resources and tools that you can add to your Final 4 list. You’ll find a Figure the Winnerlesson in which students practice calculating percentage, average, mean, median and mode; an Exploring Binaryexercise that uses the NCAA brackets to explore binary trees in sports and math; a March Madness Reading for Informationactivity that engages students in drawing conclusions from large amounts of information, using evidence to support opinions, and reading tables, graphs and charts; a Research Project that is based on the teams in the NCAA tournament; and Who’s Number 1?, an activity in which students investigate the mathematics of ranking.

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Celebrate Reading and Academic Success

Ticket To Reading Rewards (TTRR) is a reading incentive program sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Foundation. The program encourages middle school students to read books outside the classroom and obtain rewards for reading. A local college coach and/or players visit the school to deliver a school-wide motivational talk on reading and academic achievement. The coach/players "adopt” the school and advise students they will be sustaining their contact and interest in the achievements of the school as a whole and of individual students. All students are invited to visit the local coach’s college and attend a game or practice at no charge. TTRR will also provide links to videos of nationally known coaches speaking on many aspects of reading, academic achievement and overall student success—often using anecdotal stories of their players. Over the life of the program, students have read an estimated 4,000,000 books, obtained nearly 1,000,000 rewards and attended 125,000 local men’s and women’s NCAA basketball games—all at no cost to the school district or its students. Rewards have included subscriptions to Sports Illustrated for Kids, miniature basketball hoops, medals, trophies, basketballs autographed by NCAA coaches, books and gift certificates. Students are encouraged to read to obtain predetermined rewards for participating and reading 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 books, with each student able to receive all six rewards. The top reader in each school receives special recognition, and schools compete against one another for a coveted award. All prizes are provided free of charge to the student and school through the generosity of the sponsors and donors of the NABC Foundation. Interested parties should use the Contact Us form on the TTRR website to obtain more information about placing this free program in their school or district for the current or a future school year.

Deadline: Ongoing

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: Ticket To Reading Rewards publishes a variety of resources to help schools administer the program effectively. For example, the Program How-To Manual offers a detailed look at how Ticket To Reading Rewards works and a printable Reporting Poster helps teachers track students’ progress during the program.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

 

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On-the-Go Learning



Create Your Own Apps

Developed by the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Mobile Learning, the AppInventor lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or an emulator. All you need to get started with MIT App Inventor is a Google account to log in. The App Inventor servers store your work and help you keep track of your projects. You build apps by working with the App Inventor Designer, which lets you select the components for your app, and the App Inventor Blocks Editor, which lets you assemble program blocks that specify how the components should behave. You assemble programs visually, fitting pieces together like pieces of a puzzle. Your app appears on the phone step by step, as you add pieces to it, so you can test your work as you build. When you’re done creating your app, you can package it and produce a standalone application to install. If you don’t have an Android phone, you can build your apps using the Android emulator, software that runs on your computer and behaves just like the phone. The App Inventor development environment is supported for Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and Windows operating systems, and several popular Android phone models. Applications created with App Inventor can be installed on any Android phone.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Communicate with Every Student on Any Device

Infuse Learning is a freestudent response system that works with any Internet-connected device, including iPads and Androidtablets. The system allows teachers to send questions, prompts and quizzes in a variety of formats to students’ devices in private virtual classrooms. Students can reply to prompts and questions in standard multiple-choice, true/false and short-answer formats. Infuse Learning offers an option for students to reply by creating drawings or diagrams on their iPads, Android tablets or laptops. Infuse Learning also offers helpful accessibility options, including support for multiple languages and audio narration for questions, prompts and answer choices. To hear the audio, students simply click on the audio button when viewing a question. In addition, questions can include images.

Click Here to Sign Up for Free Response System

 

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Spend the Day in the Wild

The interactive Ranger Rick’s Tree HouseiPad app, from the National WildlifeFederation (NWF) and Ranger Rick magazine, re-envisions how children aged 7–12 read and consume magazine-like content on digital devices. Instead of turning pages, students enter Ranger Rick’s home in Deep Green Wood—a virtual tree house full of rooms they can explore at their own pace. The rooms are packed with clickable animal stories that come to life on the iPad screen along with comic adventures, multilevel games, animal videos, nature activities and wildlife mysteries. Students can earn badges by correctly applying what they learn in Ranger Rick’s Tree House. The app is available for $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Click Here to Access App

Plus: Ranger Rick Jr. Appventuresis a series of iPad story apps from the National Wildlife Federation that lets children aged 4–7 use technology to Explore, Create and Play their way through animal adventures. Every Appventure includes an interactive photo story, engaging games and creative play activities—all centered around a specific animal. The first story in the series opens with a ROAR as mascot Ricky Raccoon and his friend Lars the Lion take children on a trip to the African grasslands. There they discover how lions spend their days, raise their young and much more. The app is available for $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Click Here to Access App

 

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STEM Gems



Read a Resolution for a Nationwide STEM Competition

A member of the US House of Representatives has proposed a resolution establishing anationwide technology contest for students, which would initially encourage contestants to develop new "apps” for smartphones and tablets. The resolution from Representative Candice Miller (R-Mich.) would create a contest run by the House of Representatives in which students from every congressional district would compete in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The resolution finds that the STEM fields are "necessary to ensure a qualified national workforce and growing American economy.” However, it also finds that interest in these fields is waning, so it proposes starting a contest run by the House that would help encourage interest in these fields. The resolution does not set out the precise terms of the competition, or whether winners from each state would receive a cash prize, but it does stipulate that the Committee on House Administration will set out regulations for the contest.

Click Here to Download the House Resolution

 

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Make Learning to Code a Fun, Sociable Experience

CoderDojo is a movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people. At a CoderDojo, young people learn how to code and develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Dojos are set up, run by and taught by volunteers. Dojos organize tours of technology companies, bring in guest speakers to talk about their careers and what they do and organize events. In addition to learning to code, members meet like-minded people, demonstrate what they’ve been working on and more. CoderDojo puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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"Worth-the-Surf” Websites



Investigate Fascinating Moments in American History

Is there a secret message in President Lincoln’s watch? Where’s the missing star from the Star-Spangled Banner? Explore these mysteries and more in Decoding History, a freevirtual field trip to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History presented by Scholastic’s The 39 Clues Reading Club on March 5, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. (ET), 10:00 a.m. (PT).

Click Here to Sign Up for Virtual Field Trip

 

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Milk Virtual Goats for Women’s Rights

Instead of spending to grow virtual crops, Facebook gamers can turn those purchases into donations for cattle and life-saving operations in the developing world. A new Facebook game, called Half the Sky Movement, is inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The game brings players first to a small village in India to meet Radhika, who then takes them on a global journey from India to Kenya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the United States. In her transition from oppression to opportunity, Radhika must find her voice in her own house and gain financial and social independence. Players start with very little, but as they complete quests to help her and other girls and women, Radhika becomes a community leader. Whether helping a girl in the village to buy a bicycle that will take her to school or fighting off an international gang of sex traffickers, Radhika becomes a force within her world. The game intertwines the real world and the virtual world. For example, when Radhika buys a goat, a player can make a donation to Heifer International, or when she gets her daughter treated, the player can make a vaccine donation to the United Nations. Bigger partners such as Pearson and Johnson & Johnson have offered donations of books or surgical operations if enough players trigger them.

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Navigate Through 200 Years of the American Novel

On February 18, 1885, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in the United States. Due to its crude language and depiction of slavery and life in the South, the book was banned in some places. Today literary critics recognize it as a literary masterpiece, but the book remains controversial in schools. Find out more about this novel and other literary classics by navigating through 200 years of the American Novel using scrollable tools and pull-down menus on PBS’s American Masters | "TheAmerican Novel timeline. Use the pull-down menus to read more about the novels, their authors and the movements they spurred.

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Make Every Student a Philosopher

Philosophy for Kids is dedicated to helping adults conduct philosophical discussions with elementary school children. The site uses well-known picture books, such as Harold and the Purple Crayon, Harry the Dirty Dog, The Cat in the Hat and various Frog and Toad stories, to raise philosophical questions. The site was developed by Professor Thomas E. Wartenberg and his undergraduate students at Mount Holyoke College.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: What’s the Big Idea? introduces middle school students to philosophy through film. The website is a tribute to the intellectual curiosity of young people who have questions about the big ideas that have engaged philosophers throughout the ages but don’t have a way to discuss those questions with other people, especially in an educational setting. The website provides inquisitive students with the opportunity to engage in a range of philosophical discussions about issues that other students their age have said were the most pressing ones in their lives: bullying, lying, friendship, peer pressure and environmental ethics.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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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 freeenewsletter, K12 TeacherFile.

Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s "Amazing Resources for Educators on the edWeb to get more 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 Wednesdayfeature on Big Deal Media, where you’ll find new interactive experiences and resources that incorporate 21st centurythemes and skills into the study of core subjects.

 

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