Print Page  |  Contact Us  |  Your Cart  |  Report Abuse  |  Sign In  |  Register
April 2011 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
Share |
If you are reading this message your mail reader does not support, or is not configured, to view HTML encoded mail. Please visit to view this month's and past Big Deal Book newsletters.

April 15, 2011
Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"
In This Issue
Grants and Other Funding Sources
Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Mobile Learning on the Move
Of Special Interest
"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants and Other Funding Sources

"Green” Your Environment
EPAOffice of Environmental Education Grants support education projects that enhance the public’s awareness,knowledge and skills to help people make informed decisions thataffect environmental quality. EPA awards grants each year based onfunding appropriated by Congress; annual funding for the programranges between $2 million and $3 million. Any local education agency,college or university, state education or environmental agency maysubmit a proposal. On March 21 and April 6, 2011, EPA hosted twoconference calls for potential applicants interested in additionalinformation about the application process. On the EPA site, you canlisten to a recording or download and read the transcript of the April 6conference call.
Deadline: May 2, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Nourish Students’ Potential
Formore than 37 years, Campbell’sLabels for Education has been awarding freeeducationalequipment to schools in exchange for proofs of purchase from the Campbell’sfamily of brands. Today more than 60,000 schools and organizationsare registered with Labels for Education, benefiting more than 42million students. Over the years, Campbell’s has provided more than$110 million in merchandise to America’s schools. Visit theinitiative’s Web site to learn how you can help your school getinvolved. Also find tips and tools to manage and promote your school’s program, including informationand resources in Spanish.
ClickHere for More Information
Click Here to Access Free Spanish Resources
Plus:Help your school earn even more with these bonus opportunities:SpringDouble Submission (through May 31, 2011),Success Tips BonusOffer, ShowOff What You’veEarned and Campbell’sLabels forEducation Cookbook Promotion.Also encourage volunteers in your community and you could earn up to 2,000 bonus points inLabels for America.
Click Here for More Information
Plant Seeds That Grow Hope
OperationGreen Plant grants,sponsored by the Americathe Beautiful Fund,is inviting applications for freevegetable,flower and/or herbseeds to help beautify roadways, parks and neighborhoods in schoolcommunities. To apply, applicants must write a short letterdescribing their gardening project, fill out the online applicationform and enclose a check for shipping and handling ($14.95 for thefirst 100 packets of seeds and $5.00 for each additional request of100 packets of seeds).
Deadline: Ongoing
Click Here for More Information
Plus:America the Beautiful Fund is offering TheGreen Earth Guide,a CD-ROM containing illustrated gardening instructions and ideas oninvolving the whole community in your project. The guide is availablefor purchase at $12.95. For nutritional information, harvesting,storage and eating tips, Gardeningfor Optimal Nutrition,published by theCortisa Press, is available in packets of 10, 30 and 250 for $10, $25and $125, respectively.
Return to Top
Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Win a 21st Century Classroom
CDW-G and DiscoveryEducation have openedthe ninth annual Win aWireless LabSweepstakes, whichwill provide a $50,000 21st-century classroom to three grand-prizewinners. Each classroom includes 20 notebook or tablet computers, aninteractive whiteboard, student response devices, projector, documentcamera and more. Educators and school employees at public and privateschools can enter once per day. From the entry page, participants canTweet about the contest to earn an additional entry. New this year,the sweepstakes will capitalize on Twitter and Facebook to notifyfollowers of special prizes awarded on select days throughout thecontest period. To find out about these promotions, educators shouldfollow @WinWirelessLab on Twitter and become a fan of Win a WirelessLab on Facebook.
Deadline: May 2, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Hack into Education
Tenyears ago, a teacher in the Bronx launched then, more than 165,000 teachers at 43,000 public schools haveposted over 300,000 classroom project requests, inspiring $80,000,000in giving from 400,000 donors. has opened up thatdata and is inviting developers and data crunchers to makediscoveries and build apps that improve education in America. Buildthe first mobile app for hyper-local education philanthropy and helpto shape your school system’s budget by revealing what teachersreally need. The Big Winner in the Contestfor Developers and Data Crunchers will be chosen from the top finishers in each of these categories:Data Analysis, Javascript, .Net, PHP, Python, Ruby, Wildcard.
Deadline: June 30, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Return to Top
Free and Inexpensive Resources

Teach in Three Dimensions
Whenworking with children and trying to further their skills in visualliteracy and digitalmedia literacy,sometimes 2-D just isn’t enough these days. Moviesandbox is an open-source, real-time 3-Danimation tool thatallows you to quickly sketch and animate 3-D characters and props.Its focus is on ease of use and modularity. The idea is that you cansimply draw objects in 3-D space and animate them later on with thebuilt-in timeline. You can download the prerelease version at nocharge.
Click Here to Download Free Animation Tool
Find and Use Free Technology
Everyday Free Technologyfor Teachers suggestsfree Web sites and resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.The site is actually a blog authored by Richard Byrne, a historyteacher at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris,Maine. You’ll also find eight free,downloadable ebooks that will give you asense of what the blog is all about: TheSuper Book of Web Tools for Educators;How to Do 11Techy Things in the New School Year;Google forTeachers: Books, Docs, Maps and More; Google for Teachers II; GoogleEarth Across the Curriculum; Beyond Google: Tips and Tools forImproving Internet Search Experiences; Twelve Essentials forTechnology Integration; andMaking Videos onthe Web.
Click Here to Access Free Downloadable Guides
Help Children Understand and Respect Diversity
Outon a Limb: A Guide to Getting Along is an interactive online guide designed by the UrbanPrograms Resource Network at the University ofIllinois to helpchildren learn to manage conflicts peacefully while also having a lotof fun with Maria and her friends. The activities are designedprimarily for third graders, but they can be used to entertain andeducate youth from the second and fourth grades as well. The onlineguide is accessible in English,Spanish and Arabic.
Click Here to Access Free Online Guide
Return to Top
Mobile Learning on the Move

Combine Imagination and Technology
Timbuktu,an iPad-only newsmagazine forchildren, combines colorful graphics and an entertainment-styleformat to present the news to an under-18 audience. Timbuktu is the brainchild of an Italian publisher who believes that childrencomprise a growing audience of mobile consumers who deserve their ownpublication. Presenting the news in an entertaining fashion, Timbuktu combines imagination and technology to display news and storiesthrough the most advanced methods of education.
Click Here to Download Free App
Ride an Alligator to the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz
Thebeloved classic Dr.Seuss's ABC isnow available as an omBook for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch from OceanhouseMedia. New featuresonly available in this omBook include professional narration,background audio and enlarged artwork for each scene. To promotereading in young children, individual words are highlighted as thestory is read, and words zoom up when pictures are touched. The appis based on the complete, original Dr.Seuss’s ABC book, not the shorter ABCboard book. Listen to a sample and check out the other Dr. Seussapps, including the free apps for Green Eggsand Ham andThe Cat in theHat.
Click Here to Download Free Apps
Guess What’s Being Built
Creationary is a Legobuild-and-guess game thatchallenges students’ imagination, creativity, building andpredicting skills with more than 300 bricks and accessories. The free touch-screen drawingprogram enhances eye–hand coordination and social skills asstudents work with one another or their teacher to complete a finalproject. With the LEGOCreationary app,students can guess what’s being built on an iPad, iPhone or iPodTouch. And they can share their scores with friends via email or onFacebook.
Click Here to Download Free App
Return to Top
Of Special Interest

Get a Hall Pass to Dollars and Sense
TheNational ConstitutionCenter plans to makeIncome Tax Day (Monday, April 18,2011)fun for students with the freewebcastConstitutionHall Pass: Dollars and Sense.The webcast, along with pre- and post-show questions to encourageclass discussion, will be open all day. Also, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00p.m., constitutional experts and education staff will live-blog tooffer insight into the history of Income Tax Day and its currentrelevance and to answer questions.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Take a Fresh Look at the Civil War
Recordsleft by the participants themselves—letters,orders,maps,telegrams,photographs and broadsides—andpreserved in the NationalArchives provide newinsight into the Civil War. To complement these primary sources, theArchives education specialists have produced articleswith companion lessonplans related toCivil War history. Teachingwith Documents contains reproduciblecopies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administrationand teachingactivities correlatedto social studies standards that include cross-curricularconnections.Offerings include "Fugitive from Labor Cases: Henry Garnett (1850)and Moses Honner (1860)”; "The Civil War as Photographed byMathew Brady”; "The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in theCivil War”; "Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs IllustratingFactors That Affected the Civil War”; "Confederate Sympathizersin New Mexico During the Civil War”; "Georgia: The AtlantaCampaign of 1865—The Camera at War”; "Teachable Texts from theNational Archives at New York City”; and "The Union Blockade:Lincoln’s Proclamations.” To help students explore thesecollections, have them use the links Search for documents, Collectfavorites and Create a poster, movie or pathway challenge.
ClickHere to Visit Web Site
Click Here to View All Resources
Gaze Upon Time
Portraitphotographs of the young men who fought in the Civil War, as well astheir wives and children, are the subject of a major exhibition atthe Library ofCongress. Nearly 30ambrotype and tintype photographs showing both Union and Confederatesoldiers are on display in Washington, D.C., and can be viewedonline. The Civil Warportraitsdepict ordinary men and their loved ones, and some rare images ofAfrican American soldiers.
Click Here to View Photo Collection
Plus:Some images can be seen through FlickrCommons, whereviewers can assist in identifying individuals and photographers basedon such clues as painted backdrops and regimental insignia.
Click Here to Visit Flickr Commons Web Site
See Democracy in Action
FacingHistory and Ourselves offersa freestudy guide,Democracy inAction,to accompany thepowerful AmericanExperience filmFreedom Riders.The film will air on PBS on May 16, 2011 in honor of the 50th anniversary of this historic milestone in thecivil right movement. FreedomRiders tells thestory of a courageous band of civil rights activists who challengedsegregation simply by traveling side by side on buses and trainsthrough the Deep South in 1961. The study guide prompts students toconsider the relationship between the political context in which theFreedom Rides took place and the stories and motivation of thosestudents who became Freedom Riders. Facing History will hostworkshops in eight U.S. cities and will conduct two onlinewebinars during the Fall of 2011 to assist teachers in planning creative lessons and units around theguide. Visit the Facing History Web site to download the PDF of theguide and view clips from the film along with other educator resources.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Return to Top

Develop Children’s Natural Wonder
In2008, the Jim Henson Co. and KCET/Los Angeles developed Sidthe Science Kid for PBS KIDS.It was the first science show targeted at preschool-aged children. Ineach show, the title character asks a child’s typical question,such as "Where did my snowman go?” and discovers the answer inthe course of the program. The Sidthe Science Kid Website is designed to further develop children’s natural wonder andbuild a strong foundation for early science exploration.Complementary online and offline activities motivate children to practice and internalize scientific methodology:Observe! Compare! Contrast! Describe! The site, which is crafted tosupport a collaborativelearning experience between child and adult, offers features that help adult mentors tosupport and participate in children’s learning process.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Learn Science with the "Science Guy”
KING-TV,Seattle’s NBC affiliate, first aired BillNye the Science Guyby the Cornell University engineer in 1993 while he was moonlightingas a stand-up comic. The show won 18 Emmys in its five years on airand has spun off several science shows, such as the Science Channel’s100 GreatestDiscoveries, TheEyes of Nyeon PBSand Planet Green’s StuffHappens. One sectionof the series Web site includes HomeDemos, experimentsstudents can try at home. Another section offers EpisodeGuides, a collectionof lessons that helped to create each BillNye the Science Guy show. Also featured are some videos,with more being added in the coming weeks, as well as a number ofPrintable One Sheets.The latest project, Solvingfor X, is acollection of pre-algebra and algebra problems. Students can alsochallenge themselves by trying the PopQuiz.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Find Simple Science Ideas in Literature
TheSimplyScienceblog is for anyone who loves books and wants to include more science intotheir children’s literature and lessons. The blog reviews newlypublished children’s books, along with some old friends, andsuggests simple science ideas that can be incorporated into yourlessons that accompany the books discussed. Each week you’llfind fresh ideas that can help you add more science to your libraryor classroom activities. The blog’s host, Shirley Smith Duke,taught science and ESL in elementary, middle school and high schoolfor 25 years and then began to write for children.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Relive the First Human Spaceflight
Thefree onlinefilmFirst Orbit recreates the first human spaceflight, which took place 50 years agoon April 12, 1961.The film combines audio and video from Yuri Gagarin’s original108-minute voyage with new footage from the International SpaceStation that matches the path of Gagarin’s orbit.
Click Here to View Free Film
Provide Individualized Math Practice
Designedfor grades 1–6, BritannicaSmartMath provides online mathpractice that adaptsto each student’s ability. Unlike traditional math practice,SmartMath builds formativeassessment into thelearning process. Students who do well see more challengingquestions, and students who struggle see progressively less difficultquestions until they achieve success. With SmartMath,students spend more time on task because they are working at theirown level and having fun, significantly improving their math skillsand test scores. Try it out, for free,online.
ClickHere for More Information
Click Here to Try Free Demo
Plus:Check out insideBritannica,a freemonthlynewsletter that includes tips to help librarians, teachers and students make useof the many educational resources in Britannica Online. Read previouseditions of insideBritannica and learn more about this resource.
Click Here to Sign Up for Free Newsletter
Return to Top
"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites

See the Roots of Revolution Through the Eyes of Egyptian Youth
Joina free,live,international discussion with more than a dozen of Egypt’s young leaders as they share theirexperiences, hopes and aspirations for their new Egypt. The onlinediscussion will take place on Monday,May 2, 2011.A group of youth from Boston, Massachusetts, will inspire thediscussion by asking questions of the Egyptian youth leaders. Yourschool or classroom can log on, witness and participate in thisdiscussion of the fight for freedom and democracy. The discussionwill be facilitated by Professor Denis J. Sullivan, director of theInternational Affairs program and the Middle East Center for Peace,Culture and Development at Northeastern University. The event issponsored by Empower Peace.
Click Here to Register for Discussion and View Log-on Schedule
Plus:If schedules don’t permit you or your students to participate inthe live webcast, you can view the recorded event at your conveniencestarting Tuesday, May 3, 2011.
Learn About the Building Where Democracy Happens
TheU.S. Capitol inWashington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people, a showcase ofhistory and the meeting place of the nation’s leadership. TheCapitol also houses an important collection of American art, and itis an architectural achievement in its own right. Visit the Architectof the Capitol (AOC)Web site to learn the story of the Capitol and its architect. In theCapitol CampusMultimedia section ofthe site, you can enter the Virtual Capitol, take an interactive lookat Capitol Hill and view stunning 360º views of the Hill. You canalso view videos on the AOC’s YouTube channel. Among the featuredvideos are Sustainability at the Capitol, a Capitol Campus Flyover,Sunset at the Capitol, the Capitol Building and the JeffersonBuilding Murals. This section of the Architect of the Capitol Website also offers downloadable, high-quality digitalimages in JPEGformat. The images are in the public domain.
ClickHere to Visit Web Site
Click Here to View Capitol Campus Multimedia
Plus:TheStatue of Freedom stands at the verytop of the dome of the Capitol. This statue was designed in themid-1850s, as arguments between Northern and Southern states reacheda zenith. The statue was raised to the top of the Capitol dome in1863, during the Civil War. Nestled within the history of this statueis a curious item: In 1859, at a crucial moment in its construction,a dispute brought everything to a halt. The responsibility ofresolving the crisis fell to an enslaved black man named Philip Reid.The National Councilfor the Social Studies (NCSS) has made available a lesson entitled "PhilipReid and the Statue of Freedom”to help students learn about this enslaved American and his key roleduring the construction of the Statue of Freedom.
Click Here to Access Free Lesson
Become Part of the Narrative
"InanimateAlice” is anexample of transmedia—astory that unfolds over time and on multiple platforms. "Alice”connects technologies, languages, cultures, generations and curriculawithin a sweeping narrative accessible by all. Set in the early yearsof the 21st century, "Inanimate Alice” tells the story of Aliceand her imaginary digital friend, Brad. In episode 1, Alice is livingwith her parents in a remote region of Northern China. Over thecourse of the remaining episodes, each a self-contained adventure,students see her develop into a talented animator and designer withthe biggest games company in the world. Through text, sound, images,music and games, the story of Alice becomes increasingly interactiveand gamelike, reflecting Alice’s own developing skills as a gamedesigner and animator. Episode 2 takes place in Italy, episode 3 inRussia, episode 4 in Hometown; coming later are episodes 5–10. AsAlice’s journey progresses, new storylines appear elsewhere,providing more details and insights, and enriching the tale throughsurprising developments. Students are encouraged to co-createdeveloping episodes of their own, either filling in the gaps ordeveloping new strands. The free,downloadable educationpack directlyinvolves teachers and learners in the "Inanimate Alice”experience. The pages include lessons on using a digitalstory to explorecharacter development and paragraph structure and making connectionswith the story and the medium. Students apply knowledge throughhigh-orderthinking skills and emphasize the value of collaborationin a real-worldcontext. Thecomprehensive lessons are aligned to the CommonCore State EnglishLanguage ArtsStandards in the areaof Reading Literature.The episodes are available on all devices capable of running Adobe’sFlash Player, and the content is multilingual, including Spanish.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Return to Top
Bookmark These!

Geta free copy of TheBig Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching & Learning. Explore this collection of resources to help students locate, evaluate, use and mange information efficiently; interpret and communicate messages effectively; and master the digital tools to become informed citizens and productive 21st century workers.
Signup at TheBig Deal BookWebsite for hELLo!,a free quarterly ELL e-newsletter thatincludes a wealth of information on interactive resources forstudents, teachers, librarians, principals and others involved in theeducation of English language learners.
Getfreeunlimitedonline access to all the printcontent in The Big Deal Book ofTechnology for K–12 Educators.Explore the many opportunities to fund your special programs, accesstimely reports and articles, locate free and inexpensive resources and identify engaging interactive Websites.
Registeronline to download the Big Deal eBook forEducators of EnglishLanguage Learners.Inside this free eBook, you’ll find links to resources and a range of ideas to engage your English language learners.
JoinThe Big Deal Bookof Technology’s"AmazingResources for Educators” community on theedWeb to get more frequent updates on grantdeadlines, freeresources and hot new sites for21st century learning.And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’veunearthed!
BrowseTheBig Deal eBookstore!Find thousands of titles from your favorite educational publishers.
Explorethe WebWednesday feature you’ll findnew interactiveexperiences andresources that incorporate 21stcentury themes and skills into the study of core subjects.
Return to Top
To forward a copy of this newsletter to a friend, please click here .
If you received a forwarded version of this newsletter and wish to subscribe for FREE, visit: If you wish to unsubscribe to this email newsletter, please email with "unsubscribe" in the subject.
Community Search
Sign In
Sign In securely

3/1/2018 » 3/1/2019
South Central MASL Spring Meeting

4/24/2018 » 4/25/2018
MO School Libraries Snapshot Day

GKC Region Spring Banquet

New Librarian Webinar Series

3/24/2019 » 3/26/2019
2019 MASL Spring Conference

Latest News
Featured Members