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

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Accelerate Learning, Write Inductively, Encourage Deep Thinking & More

March 2, 2015

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IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Professional Development Plus

Mobile Learning Journey

STEM Gems

Worth-the-Surf Websites

Sponsored By:

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Achieve Blended Learning Success

TheWaggle Blended Learning Grantwill award up to $5 million to districts and charter school organizations to recognize outstanding blended learning models withWaggle, Personalized Smart Practice.Waggle is an online, adaptive program developed byTriumph Learningfor English language arts and mathematics for students in grades 2–8. Waggle champions productive struggle by creating a safe and engaging environment for students to explore, grow in confidence and accelerate learning. Grant winners will receive up to $50,000 for Waggle, professional development and implementation.

Deadline: Applications accepted throughSeptember 30, 2015

Click Here for More Information About Grant Opportunity

Click Here for More Information About Waggle

 

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Make a Mark on the World

Every yearKohl’srecognizes and rewards young volunteers across the country for their amazing contributions to their communities with up to $10,000 in scholarships. Students can find out how to get started by visitinggenerationOn, where they will find project inspiration, instructions and in-depth toolkits that they can download forfree. They can choose projects that are just for children or perfect for teens. To be eligible, students between the ages of six and 15 must be legal US residents of a state in which a Kohl’s store is located.

Deadline: Nominations accepted throughMarch 13, 2015

Click Here for More Information

 

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Shine a Spotlight on a Music Educator

TheGRAMMY Foundationcreates opportunities for high school students to work with music professionals to get real-world experience and advice about how to have a career in music. TheGRAMMY Music EducatorAwardwas created to shine a spotlight on the excellent and impactful work that thousands of music teachers across the US are doing. The nominee will be evaluated based on having made a measurable difference in the lives of students and a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education. In addition, the nominee should have shown a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools and have made a significant impact on his or her school and community. To be eligible, teachers must teach music in public or private schools, kindergarten through college. Teachers in after-school, private studios or other educational settings are not eligible. A custom award will be given as well as a monetary award ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Deadline: Nominations due byMarch 15, 2015

Click Here for More Information

 

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Inspire Safe Teen Driving

ToyotaandDiscovery Educationhave launched the2014–2015TeenDrive365Video Challenge(formerly known as theToyota Teen Driver Video Challenge). Now in its fourth year, theVideo Challengeinvites teens across the country to create short videos to inspire their friends to drive safely and avoid distractions. Ten finalists will be chosen, and their entries will be posted online for public vote. The winner of the public vote will receive the People’s Choice Award along with a $5,000 cash prize and a trip to see a taping of aVelocitynetwork show. In addition, a panel of judges from Discovery Education and Toyota, as well as educators and community leaders, will select a first-, second- and third-place winner. The winners will be chosen based on the creativity, content and presentation of their videos. The grand-prize winner will receive a $15,000 cash prize and work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot his or her video as a professional, TV-ready PSA. The second-place winner will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize along with a trip to attend a taping of aVelocitynetwork show, and the third-place winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize.

Deadline: Entries due byMarch 16, 2015

Click Here for More Information

 

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Improve Learning Through Community Funding

Anyone involved in education (teacher, administrator, parent, student) can start a crowd-source campaign onPledgeCents. The goal should be the amount needed to fund a project. Educators receive the money raised, with the check sent to the school. They can close their campaigns and receive whatever funds are raised even if the goal wasn’t reached. Posting campaigns on PledgeCents hasno cost.

Deadline: Ongoing until goal reached or campaign closed

Click Here for More Information

 

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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

Incorporate Themes That Run Through Life and Literature

On theCommonLitwebsite, teachers can access a collection offreepoems,short stories,news articles,historical documentsandexcerpts of classic literature. The collection is organized by 14 commonly taught themes—for example, Friendship & Loyalty, Growing Up, and Technology, Progress & Industry—which will help spark discussion or debate for students in the middle grades. Common Lit also provides deep, thought-provoking questions for each text. All of the texts are sorted into three Lexile-determined levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced—grades 4–9) to make it easy to find appropriately challenging texts for students.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

 

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Unravel a Mystery Using Mobile Apps and Social Media

DUSTis amultiuseralternate-reality gamefromNASA,University ofMaryland,College ParkandBrigham Young University. In this immersive game, players interact with a fictional world by using real-world media and skills. A meteor shower has dispersed mysterious clouds of dust into Earth’s atmosphere, and adults worldwide are falling unconscious, leaving students to take matters into their own hands to search for answers. Playing as themselves and using mobile apps, websites and social media, students work together alongside fictional characters to unravel the mystery that will help them save the world. The game officially launched onJanuary 26.

Click Here to Register for Free Game

 

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Imagine Navigating History Through Time

Historyin Motionallows teachers and students to buildanimated timelinesthat move in conjunction with movements on a map. At each stop along the timeline and map, students can include descriptions of events, display images and embed videos. Historyin Motionrequires the user to register in order to get started. After registering, students can insert starting and ending points for their stories and then fill in the details. They can go back and edit or add story elements at any time.

Click Here to Register for Free Tool

 

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Professional Development Plus

Implement Reading Strategies for Discipline-Specific Texts

Today’s standards in social studies, science and technical subjects require that students comprehend andanalyze complex textsandwrite argumentsor informational papers focused 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 theorganizational patternsofwriting for scienceand approachingwriting inductively.

Click Here to Download On-Demand Web Seminar

 

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Redesign Learning Activities to Meet Standards

TheInternational Society for Technology in Education(ISTE) invites K–12 teachers and technology coaches to joinProject ReimaginED, a newsocial learning communitydedicated to redesigning learning activities to meet ISTE Standards for Students and Common Core State Standards. Developed in collaboration with theNational Center for Literacy Education(NCLE), Project ReimaginED is an opportunity for teachers and technology coaches to collaborate in real time to develop lessons that align to the standards. Educators who join thefreecommunity will work with teams to submit educational artifacts aligned to the Common Core and ISTE Standards for review by network leaders. ISTE will curate and publish vetted artifacts, creating a valuable resource library for educators around the country. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, post comments, share works-in-progress and get feedback from community members on educational artifacts that they contributed. In addition, they will continue to build their knowledge of the Common Core and ISTE Standards by attendingonline eventsor reading theProject ReimaginED blog.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: Educators who join Project ReimaginED and submit materials to the resources library byApril 12will be entered to winfreeregistration and accommodations for ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Join Conversations About Teaching and Learning

The Future of Educationpodcast serieshosts conversations on teaching and learning in a networked world. This interview series and The Future of Education community are devoted to providing an opportunity for those who care about education to share their voices and ideas with others. The website offers more than 300 recorded interviews along with a schedule of upcoming events, a forum for discussion and more. By joining The Future of Education community—there’sno charge—you will automatically receive notification of events. While your membership is pending, you can still peruse the site or attend any events.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus:TheLearning Revolution Projectholds online and physical learning events and highlights professional development opportunities from a network of 200 partners in the learning professions. The great majority of these events arefreeto attend. The Learning Revolution also highlights constructive conversations about learning taking place among educators, learners, leaders and others from the school, library, museum, work, adult, online, nontraditional and home learning worlds. The website displays afreeprofessional-development and partner events calendar.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Mobile Learning Journey

See the Intricate Details in Masterpieces

Lovers of art history can now see the intricate details of theMona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel ceiling and countless other masterpieces right at their fingertips.Wölff, anart history iPad app, uses a streamlined interface to bring crowd-sourced, high-resolution artwork to users in classroom and academic settings. Created by a graduate student at Yale University, the app officially launched on February 19. Users can access and upload high-resolution digitized artworks onto the Wölff Catalog and create a personal library for private artwork. Educators using the application can create and share slideshows with their students by simply dragging images from the database onto the presentation slide and sharing it with students through the application. During classes, Wolff allows teachers and students to zoom into details—without sacrificing the quality of resolution—and compare artworks side by side. In addition, Wölff allows students to follow along by looking at images on their own devices. Teachers may also allow students to lead presentations by giving them control of teaching slides through the application. Wölff is offered in three different packages: basic, individual and institutional. While the basic package isfree, the individual version—which provides access to higher-resolution images and unlimited cloud storage, among other features—costs $15 per year. The third package is available to users whose institutions have signed up to be partners with Wölff.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Make a Difference in the World

JFK Challenge, a newiPad appfrom theJohn F. Kennedy Library Foundation, is designed to bring American history to life by turning students (aged 9–11) into NASA and Peace Corps trainees ready to accept President Kennedy’s charge to accomplish great things and make a difference in the world. Thefreeapp transports students back in time to train for theApollo 11mission where they try on a space suit, steer a spacecraft and land a crew safely on the moon. As Peace Corp volunteers, players travel to a village in Colombia to build hospitals, dig waterways for clean drinking water and get to know the local culture. The app features student-friendly animations combined with primary sources from the JFK Library’s archives to provide the historical context and significance of each program.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Plus:To the Brinkis a relatediPad appthrough which students learn about the causes of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy administration’s handling of it. Thefreeapp uses archival images, videos, documents and audio recordings to tell the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The app is arranged as a series of pages for students to flip through. On each page, students can tap icons to get more information in the form of documents, images and videos.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

 

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STEM Gems

Engage Disadvantaged Students in STEM

National Education Foundation(NEF), a nonprofit that focuses on enhancing academic and job skills for disadvantaged students and adults, has introduced two initiatives, both in partnership with theState University of New York(SUNY). The $100 millionDigital Literacy Initiativewill make available theweb-based Internet & Computing Core Curriculumto all participating schools. The course focuses on basic computer, computer application and Internet skills. Any student who successfully completes the course will receive a certificate from SUNY. NEF plans to provide the online course, prepared by SUNY, immediately to school districts that apply to be part of the program and hopes to roll it out to every school in the United States by 2020. The second initiative, theAdopt-a-Schoolprogram, will set upSTEM+ CyberLearning Academiesin financially disadvantaged schools in the United States. In this case,STEM+refers to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, English, social studies, digital literacy, information technology, business and management. The academies will help students at participating schools develop the skills they will need in order to compete in the 21st century. School districts interested in applying to participate in either initiative will find more information on the CyberLearning website.

Click Here for More Information About Either Initiative

 

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Turn Empowerment Discussions into Actions

According to a report titled “By the Numbers,” only 18 percent of computer science majors were women in 2012. To help fix this “funnel problem” and balance the genders in technology, Sheryl Sandberg’sLean In projecthas started aComputer Science & Engineering(CS&E)Chapter. Potential and current women in computer science and engineering can join the chapter to connect with one another for advice and support. Lean In’s CS&E Chapter is a partnership with Facebook, LinkedIn and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The initiative aims to apply the momentum of Sandberg’s book,Lean In, to turn female empowerment discussions into action.

Click Here to Download “By the Numbers” Infographic

Click Here for More Information About Lean In Initiative

Click Here to Learn More About CS&E Chapter

 

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Take Action to Solve Environmental Challenges

EarthEcho Internationalis a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., famous son of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. The organization equips today’s youth with relevant tools, interactive resources and timely information to help them take action by identifying and working to solve environmental challenges in their communities. Since 2013 EarthEchohas heldfree, monthlyvirtual field tripswith up to 300 schools participating. The virtual events bring scientists, unique locations and new perspectives to students.

Click Here for More Information About Free Virtual Field Trips

Plus: EarthEcho International’sEducator Resourcesare a collection offreevideos, lesson plans and other materials designed to support high-quality classroom experiences. These resources are intended to assist educators as they equip young people to explore and protect their local natural resources. Many of the resources are designed to satisfy Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

 

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Worth-the-Surf Websites

Support Grieving Children

How should educators handle the death of a student’s loved one? A new website aims to help teachers and school leaders answer that question. The website is a database of fact sheets, advice and videos produced by theCoalition to Support Grieving Students, a group including 10 national organizations that represent teachers, school administrators and support staff. The coalition has worked withScholasticto create this practitioner-oriented website designed to provide educators with the information, insights and practical advice they need in order to better understand and meet the needs of the millions of grieving children in America’s classrooms.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Celebrate Women's History Month

Students and teachers can register on theNewseum’sDigital Classroomwebsite to accessMarching for Women’s Rights, an online exhibit that includes images of primary resources showing women using the First Amendment to push for political rights. The collection of front pages from suffrage journals and city newspapers shows the negative response to abuse of women during the 1913 march in Washington, from some newspapers as well as theNew York Times’s decision to bury news of the march in a story about Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration preparations. The publications also give students a view of contemporary events surrounding the suffragist movement. In addition, the Newseum hosts amultimedia moduletitledWomen, Their Rights and Nothing Less, which features an interactive timeline and much more.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Multimedia Module

Plus: In addition to honoring women scientists of the last 100 years, including Nobel Prize winners, theNational Women’s History Project’sWomen’s History 2013Gazettefeaturesstudent scientistswho have achieved recognition as well asstudent programsrun by women’s organizations. TheGazettehighlights Deepika Kurup, a then 14-year-old New Hampshire resident who developed a solar-powered water purification jug. In addition, theGazettereports on PBS’sSciGirls, a show with ‘tween girls enjoying STEM projects, as well as theGirl Scouts’ STEM focus.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Make Thinking Happen

Can the act of making or designing something help children feel like they have agency over the objects and systems in their lives? That’s the main question researchers atProject Zero, a research group out of theHarvard Graduate School of Education, are tackling alongside classroom-based teachers in Oakland, California. In an evolving process, the researchers are testing out activities they have designed to help students look closely, explain deeply and take on opportunities to change things they see around them. The program, calledAgency by Design, relies on nimble, malleable activities that Project Zero researchers refer to as “thinking routines.” These routines slow down the pace of the classroom to make space for deep observation and wonderment. For example, in a thinking routine called “parts, purpose, complexity,” students are asked to carefully observe the individual parts that make up an object. After they have explored each part thoroughly, students discuss and wonder about the purpose of each part. Then they think about how even a simple object can be complicated when broken down into its component parts.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Go on a 30-Year History to the Future

In aTED talkfilmed in March 2014,MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negropontetakes the viewer on a journey through the last 30 years of technology. Known as a thinker, inventor and predictor, Negroponte highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today. Then he leaves the viewer with one last (absurd? brilliant?) prediction for the coming 30 years.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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