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March 2012 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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March 1, 2012
Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"
In This Issue
Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Mobile Learning on the Move
STEM Gems
"Worth-the-Surf” Websites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Exemplify Excellence in Life Sciences
The United States Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation in recognizing, through four monetary awards, one scientist, one current high school educator and two current high school students who are judged to exemplify excellence in life sciences. The $10,000 Distinguished Life Sciences ScientistAward will be presented to a scientist who is making or has recently made a significant and positive contribution toward the development of a "cutting edge” innovation in the field of life sciences; the $5,000 Life Sciences Educator Award will be presented to a current high school educator, with at least five years of teaching experience, who demonstrates an ongoing teaching strategy that evidences proficiency in instructing students in the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, Chemistry or other life sciences courses; and two $1,000 Life Sciences Student Awards will be presented to current high school students who are making or have recently made significant and positive contributions related to the study of life science. Nominations are accepted online only.
Deadline: March 27, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Create a Portrait of Oneself
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the Pearson Foundation are calling for entries in the First Annual Teen Portrait Competition. The goal is to highlight photography of all teens aged 13 to 17 through a contest made by teens for teens. To participate in the competition, students answer the question, Who are you? through a photo of themselves, or they can tell about someone they know. The competition is divided into two age categories: 13- to 15-year-olds; 16- and 17-year-olds. A grand-prize winner will be selected from each of the two age categories. Grand-prize winners will have their portraits on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2013. Grand-prize winners will also receive a compact system camera. Honorable mention for each age group will receive a $50 gift card, and their photos will be exhibited online.
Deadline: April 1, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Demonstrate Imagination and Expression
Adobe Youth Voices, the philanthropic effort of the Adobe Foundation, is intended to empower youth and educators through media-making experiences that promote social change. As part of this effort, the Adobe Youth VoicesAspire Awards celebrate the extraordinary work of young media artists from around the world by recognizing top talent in media production. The Aspire Awards will accept entries in the following categories (choose the format that best fits your students and their creative goals): Animation, Documentary, Audio, Music Video, Graphic Design, Narrative, Digital Photography and Poetry/Experiential. All media must be submitted for youth by an educator in the Adobe Youth Voices educator network or by educators who have registered to Adobe Youth Voices Essentials. If you are not part of the Adobe Youth Voices educator network, you can submit your media via Adobe Youth Voices Essentials at http://essentials.youthvoices.adobe.com/. A collection of 160 top media projects will be on display via the Aspire Awards website from May 4 through June 18, 2012. A variety of prizes will be awarded in several categories based on judges and audience recommendations.
Deadline: April 20, 2012
Click Here for More Information About Adobe Youth Voices
Click Here for More Information About Aspire Awards
Win a 21st Century Classroom
CDW Government (CDW-G) and Discovery Education’s 2012 Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes will award three grand-prize 21st-century classroom technology packages, which will include 20 tablet or notebook computers, an interactive whiteboard, student response system, printer, document camera and $5,000 Discovery Education digital media grant. The total value of the wireless lab is $40,000. All K–12 educators employed at accredited public, private or parochial schools in the United States are eligible to enter the sweepstakes. CDW-G and Discovery Education will also provide on-site training at each winning school. Public and private school employees are eligible to enter the sweepstakes once a day.
Deadline: May 3, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Plus: CDW-G and Discovery Education are offering educators the opportunity to increase their daily entries by spreading the word via Twitter and Facebook. Through the Win a Wireless Lab website, entrants can submit 30-second videos and written essays that describe how their school is encouraging people to enter the sweepstakes and how they will use the technology. CDW-G and Discovery Education will post selected videos to the Win a Wireless Lab Facebook page, and entrants will be included in a special drawing for additional prizes, including a Kindle Fire.
Click Here for More Information
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Create a Chart of Objective-Based Learning Tasks
The Differentiator is a simple online tool that helps you create objectives based on Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. Simply click on the Thinking Skill, Content, Resources, Product or Group tab and then select what you want students to do by clicking on the subcategories. For example, under the Thinking Skill tab, you can choose Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating or Creating and then a subskill. The Product tab leads to lists of visual, multimedia, oral, written and constructed products that students can use to demonstrate learning. Under the Group tab, you can indicate whether students will work individually or in groups of up to four students.
Click Here to Access Free Tool
Highlight What’s Important
The Awesome Highlighter is an easy-to-use tool for highlighting, clipping, saving and sharing what you find interesting on the web. Using the tool, you can highlight chunks of text from a website and save just that text, along with the URL, to your Awesome Highlighter account. You can also add notes to the text, sort your clippings by date or domain and sort them into groups (for example: text, images, videos). To use the online tool, you will need to install a bookmarklet that you click while viewing any page. If you don’t want to install the bookmarklet, you can simply enter a URL on the homepage to take advantage of all of the highlighting and sharing options.
Click Here to Access Free Tool
Create Interactive Charts and Graphs
Infogr.am is a free online tool for creating four basic types of charts: bar, pie, line and matrix. Each chart type can be edited to use any spreadsheet information that you want to upload to your Infogr.am account. The information in that spreadsheet will be displayed in your customized chart. When you place your cursor over your completed chart, the spreadsheet information appears in a small pop-up window. Your Infogr.am charts can be embedded into your blog, website or wiki. To use the online tool, you must have a Twitter or Facebook account to sign into Infogr.am. Soon you’ll be able to create interactive infographic posters on Infogr.am.
Click Here to Access Free Tool
Speak Up Against Bullying
The Stop Bullying Comic Challenge activities on the Bitstrips for Schools website give students creative and engaging ways to share their strategies for speaking up and putting a stop to bullying. In the Stop Cyberbullying II activity, students play the role of a cyberbully and show how they would respond if confronted about their behavior. In the Stop Cell Phone Bullying activity, students show what they would do if a friend asked them to help spread mobile phone photos of another student. And in the Stop Bullying at School activity, students demonstrate how they would help solve a bullying situation they witness in the school hallway. Other activities include Stop Physical Bullying, Stop Verbal Bullying and Stop Schoolyard Bullying.
Click Here to Access Free Activities
Develop Future Work Skills
Research by the Institute for the Future summarized in a report entitled Future Work Skills 2020 shows that preparing for a specific career area based on content is difficult, and instead people should be developing certain broad skills. These same skills are important for students to learn. The report explains each of the skills in detail and goes into the implications for education and policies. The 10 skills are (1) sense making (ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed); (2) social intelligence (ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions; (3) novel and adaptive thinking (proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based); (4) cross-cultural competency (ability to operate in different cultural settings; (5) computational thinking (ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning; (6) new-media literacy (ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms and to leverage these media for persuasive communication); (7) transdisciplinarity (literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines); (8) design mind-set (ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes); (9) cognitive load management (ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques); and (10) virtual collaboration (ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team).
Click Here to Download Free Report and Summary Map
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Mobile Learning on the Move

Get Answers to Questions About On-the-Go Learning
If you have some questions about mobile devices, apps and their use in the classroom, check out iPad in Education, a wiki constructed by three educators from Palm Beach County, Florida schools to help people answer those questions and more. On the iPad in Education wiki, you’ll find a chart comparing the iPad to desktop and laptop options. The chart breaks down the costs and capabilities of each scenario. You’ll also find several iPad apps appropriate for elementary, middle and high school students. And if you need help just learning to use an iPad, the wiki lists several tutorial videos and other tutorial materials.
Click Here to Visit Website
Explore NASA on a Mobile Device
The NASA App HD provides a wealth of NASA information right on your iPad. The application collects, customizes and delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated mission information, images, videos and Twitter feeds from various online NASA sources in a convenient mobile package. In addition, the NASA App for Android showcases a huge collection of NASA content, including images, videos on demand, NASA Television, mission information, news & feature stories, latest tweets, ISS sighting opportunities, satellite tracking, Third Rock Radio and much more. And the NASA App for iPhone collects, customizes and delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated information, images and videos from various online NASA sources in a convenient mobile package.
Click Here to Access Free Apps
Share Your Observations of Nature
iNaturalist is where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers and learn about the natural world. To enable easy sharing of observations, iNaturalist offers a freeAndroid app and a freeiOS app. Using the apps, you can take a picture, geo-locate it, write your observations and upload to the iNaturalist community. If your observation is incomplete—for example, if you’re not sure of a scientific name—you can ask the community to add comments to improve the observation you’ve recorded. If you don’t want to join the iNaturalist community, you can simply explore members’ observations through the iNaturalist Google Map.
Click Here to Access Free Apps
Click Here to Access Google Map
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STEM Gems

Learn the Science Behind the News
The Why Files is a resource designed for students to learn about the science of stories in the news. The Why Files doesn’t cover every news story; its focus is only the stories that have clear connections to science concepts. For example, one of the stories on the front page of The Why Files at the end of February was about wastewater. The story explains, in text and images, how, after being treated at a sewage plant, wastewater is increasingly used for irrigation, industrial purposes, restoring groundwater—and after further purification, for drinking! Most of the material on The Why Files is geared toward an elementary and middle school audience. The Teachers/Classroom section includes a collection of freeclassroom activities based on popular Why Files articles.
Click Here to Visit Website
Explain Science Visually
Chalk Talk is an animated series of short videos that acts as a video glossary to define specific scientific terms or concepts in a fun, easy-to-understand way. In each episode, students learn what the science concept is, why researchers study it and how it might be applied. The content of each episode is appropriate for all age groups, although some concepts may be high school–level science.
Click Here to Visit Website
Teach Mathematics Through Culture
Dr. Ron Eglash at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has done much research of the occurrences of fractals and mathematical functions in cultural designs. Based on that research, Dr. Eglash has developed materials for teaching mathematics through culture. The program, called Culturally Situated Design Tools, contains 14 units of study based around instances of mathematics concepts, including fractals, basic algebra and geometry concepts, occurring in cultural designs. The units of study can be used with middle school and high school students. The teaching materials page provides additional resources and background information.
Click Here to Visit Website
Click Here to Access Accompanying Teaching Resources
Bring Mathematics to Life
Math Live presents students with animated stories that teach mathematics lessons. In all, there are 23 lessons for elementary school and middle school students. The lessons are divided into four categories: Number, Patterns and Relations, Shape and Space, Statistics and Probability. Each animated lesson is accompanied by a mathematics worksheet that students complete either while watching the lesson or after viewing the lesson. Each lesson is divided into sections, and students can advance or rewind as needed. An interactive glossary explains math terminology and concepts using text, images and animations.
Click Here to Visit Website
Enter the World of Mad Science
The Yuckiest Site on the Internet, hosted by Discovery Kids, is ... well ... just plain yucky! With Wendell, a worm reporter, as their guide, students learn about "gross” body parts, explore the "dirty” world of worms and take a "slimy” quiz. If they want to get "messy,” the Yucky site will give them the opportunity!
Click Here to Visit Website
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"Worth-the-Surf” Websites

Tap into Children’s Sense of Curiosity
Wonderopolis is a place where wonder and learning are nurtured through the power of discovery, creativity and imagination. You don’t have to travel far; Wonderopolis is a special place found in a curious question or an everyday adventure. Just let wonderment be the guide. Every day in this special place, children learn about a curious "wonder.” Each new "wonder” includes a video and article, along with a Try it out! activity and a Wonder words to know and use section that highlights vocabulary words children should try to use throughout the day. Students can also rate the Wonder of the Day and post and share responses and options about the article and "wonder.”
Click Here to Visit Website
Experience American History Through Art
Published to celebrate the 2010 opening of the Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, Paintings of the Americas, the MFA’s first freely accessible web-based catalogue, is a new way to experience one of the world’s finest collections of American paintings. Paintings of the Americas gives in-depth information on more than 400 works on view in the Americas wing in a chronological sweep from the Colonial era to 20th-century modernism. Paintings of the Americas tells a compelling story of our nation and the Americas through diverse works from all the Americas and recent acquisitions as well as masterworks from Copley, Cassatt, Sargent, Eakins, Homer and many more artists and movements of note. From a personal computer or tablet, readers can freely explore on multiple levels: they can enjoy short topical essays, browse artwork, and review and bookmark individual object descriptions, bibliographies and more.
Click Here to Visit Website
Click Here to Browse Paintings
Trace the Communication of Ideas Through Visual Display
The History of Visual Communication contains the material of a course taught at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. The site walks you through the long and diverse history of a particular aspect of human endeavor: the translation of ideas, stories and concepts that are largely textual and/or word based into a visual format—that is, visual communication. The history of visual communication (the history of the visualization of the spoken word) largely follows the development of typographic systems, with a special focus on the Latin typographic system. Although the primary focus is on typographic elements and methodologies, the site also covers pictorial aspects of visual communication, such as illustration, illumination, photography, shapes and color, as they pertain to the subject. The site is divided into an introduction and 10 sections: (1) Rocks and Caves, (2) Ideograms, (3) The Alphabet, (4) The Art of the Book, (5) The Printing Press, (6) The Masters of Type, (7) Breaking the Grid, (8) The Avant-garde, (9) The Modernists and (10) The Computer.
Click Here to Visit Website
Journey Through the Streets of Russia
Google has now added Street View imagery of Russia to Google Maps. You can virtually travel through the world’s largest country to the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg using Google Maps Street View. Take an online stroll around famous Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin or go to the outskirts of Moscow to wander around the beautiful Tsaritsino or Kuskovo parks. You can also visit the former site of the palace in Kolomenskoye, once considered the 8th Wonder of the World.
Click Here to Visit Website
Picture the Meaning of Words
Got Brainy is a visual dictionary that features two sections: Brainy Pics and Brainy Flix. Brainy Pics is comprised of images that demonstrate the meaning of a word; most of the pictures are submitted by students. Brainy Flix is comprised of short videos that illustrate the meaning of words. Like Brainy Pics, most of the videos are submitted by students.
Click Here to Visit Website
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Bookmark These!

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.
Get a free copy of The Big Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning: From the 3Rs to the 4Cs. Explore this collection of resources to help students move beyond the 3Rs and embrace the 4Cs—Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity—the 21st century skills cited by industry as keys to innovation and invention in an increasingly challenging global economy.
Sign up at The Big Deal Book Website for hELLo!, afree quarterly ELL e-newsletter that includes a wealth of information on interactive resources for students, teachers, librarians, principals and others involved in the education of English language learners.
Download a free eBook of the popular print edition of The Big Deal Book of Technology for K–12 Educators. Explore the many opportunities to fund your special programs, access timely reports and articles, locate free and inexpensive resources and identify engaging interactive Web sites.
Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s "Amazing Resources for Educators” community on the edWeb to get more frequent updates on grant deadlines, freeresources and hot new sites for 21st century learning. And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’ve unearthed!
Browse the new Big Deal eBookstore, in partnership with K12TeacherStore.com! Find thousands of titles from your favorite educational publishers.
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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