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April 2014 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Get Ed Funding

Protect Student Privacy, Flip Your Classroom, Celebrate Stories & More

April 1, 2014

In Partnership With:

MASL_MISSOURI

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Professional Development Plus

Mobile Learning Journey

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites


Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities


Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is CDW-G’s 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 2,300 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 43 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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Foster Children's Literacy

The Snapdragon Book Foundation was started in December 2008 by a former school librarian to foster children’s literacy. In a time when many schools are reallocating their funds to technology and audiovisual equipment, the foundation hopes to make sure that school libraries are still offering children good books to read. The foundation provides financial grants for books to school libraries serving disadvantaged youth, preK–grade 12, in the United States. Grants will be awarded to public, private and experimental schools. In the past, grants have ranged from $800 to $20,000. When applying for a grant, request the amount that the project requires. At times Snapdragon may be unable to fulfill the complete request, but will offer a partial grant.

Deadline: April 18, 2014, for applications

Click Here for More Information

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Think Outside the Phone

High school students are invited to create and exhibit software applications, or “apps,” for mobile phones, tablets or other computing devices on a platform of their choice as part of the House Student App Challenge. Members of the United States House of Representatives established the challenge to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in STEM fields. The competition is open to all high school students, either individually or in teams of up to four, in participating districts. Contestants must submit their app’s source code online and provide a YouTube or Vimeo video demo explaining their app and the learning they experienced through the competition process. The apps will be judged on the quality of the idea as well as on implementation and demonstrated programming skill. District winners will receive a Certificate of Excellence, and their app videos will be featured on the House website. Find out if your district is eligible and access resources for students and teachers online.

Deadline: April 30, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT), for final app entries

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Inspire Young Readers to Change the World

For 20 years, educators around the United States, Africa, Hong Kong and Zambia have used Read to Feed as a way to increase students’ enthusiasm for reading and passion for making the world a better place. Read to Feed is Heifer International’s unique reading incentive program for schoolchildren from prekindergarten through grade 6. Students enlist sponsors to pledge a donation for each book or hour students read. The children choose animals that will provide a poor family with a sustainable source of food and the income needed to pay for school fees, books and uniforms and achieve the dignity of self-reliance. Read to Feed includes free downloadable Common Core–aligned lessons for prekindergarten through grade 6 as well as videos and other tools for the classroom. If your students raise $600 through Read to Feed between April 1 and June 15, 2014, your class will receive 30 copies of a grade-appropriate book. You can preview the books online at the Read to Feed website.

Deadline: June 15, 2014, for completion of fundraising

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Resource Roundup


Build Lessons to Flip Your Classroom

eduCanon is a free tool for creating, assigning and tracking students’ progress on flipped lessons. The tool allows teachers to build flipped lessons using YouTube and Vimeo videos, create questions about the videos and then assign lessons to their students. Teachers can track the progress of their students within eduCanon. To create lessons, start by identifying a topic and objective. Then search YouTube and Vimeo from within the eduCanon site. After you’ve found a suitable video, you can build multiple-choice questions throughout the timeline of your chosen video. You can create as many lessons as you like and assign them to your students at any time.

Click Here to Access Free Tool

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Experience the World of Communications

It’s not easy to make a game about reading critically—one of the key Common Core skills—but Classroom, Inc. has done just that. In The Sports Network 2 (TSN-2) game, students take on the role of a cable sports show producer, who must make sure the show’s content is well written and on point. TSN-2 is among the first learning games developed around key Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Literacy. One of the side benefits of the game is how relatively accurately it portrays an actual job, so it gives students an insider’s look into the world of broadcasting and communications and shows how language and reading skills are beneficial.

Click Here to Play Free Game

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Let Your Students Go to Town

SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! is a game-based learning and assessment tool for middle school students covering the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. In the game, students play the role of a mayor, who is doing the challenging work of addressing environmental impact while balancing the employment needs and happiness of the city’s citizens. Designed in partnership with assessment experts from ETS and Pearson, SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! not only teaches students about the factors affecting the environment in a modern city but also provides formative assessment information about students’ ability to solve problems, explain relationships in complex systems and read informational texts and diagrams. Lesson plans, teacher and student dashboards—along with student data reporting—complete the SimCityEDU experience, delivering personalized learning to every student.

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Sponsored By:

Professional Development Plus


Balance Technology Advances with Student Privacy

In recent years, schools have made progress in using technology to personalize learning and create better learning opportunities for students. Educators and policymakers realize the promise of using student data to make informed decisions ranging from classroom instructional practices to investment in education programs, but balancing the benefits of these technology advances with the need to protect student privacy and data is a major challenge. CoSN’s Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning toolkit is an in-depth, step-by-step guide to navigating the complexity of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), along with related privacy issues. The toolkit, organized in the form of a decision tree, or flowchart, addresses FERPA and COPPA compliance issues as well as smart practices that reach beyond compliance. Also included in the toolkit are definitions, checklists, examples and key questions to ask. The toolkit was created with the help of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Click Here to Download Free Guide

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Share Ideas for Advancing Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning is a free online collaborative community on edWeb.net that provides a forum where educators, publishers and game developers can come together to discuss guidelines and current practices, and most important, to share ideas to advance this emerging field. In a series of free webinars, live chats and online discussions, leading innovators, game designers and researchers in the field relate what they are discovering and creating. As a member of the community, you’ll receive invitations to free webinars and live chats; a Continuing Education certificate for attending/viewing the webinars; access to all of the recorded webinars, presentations, resources and online discussions as well as access to the edWeb Learning Games Database, a collaborative compilation of gaming resources and reviews.

Click Here to Join Game-Based Learning Community

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Mobile Learning Journey


Watch Your Students' Writing Grow

Shutterfly’s free Photo Story for iPad App lets students create their own books and then see their writing, photographs and drawings, and even voice recordings, come to life in print. The Photo Story app is ideal for project based learning (PBL) and enriching your classroom literacy program, while enabling students to achieve many of the College and Career Readiness Standards in English Language Arts, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies.

Click Here to Download Free App

Plus: On April 7 at 4 p.m. (ET), the Amazing Resources for Educators Community on edWeb.net will be hosting a webinar in which participants will learn about the new Shutterfly Photo Story App and how it is being used to engage students in the writing process. During the webinar, a technology integration specialist will discuss how to stimulate excitement for writing through publishing and show how easy it is to integrate Photo Story into your curriculum to create a love for writing in every student. You will see lesson plans illustrating how other teachers are using Photo Story in classroom projects to meet standards and engage students, and you will be invited to apply to take part in a limited classroom pilot, including free books for their students.

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

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Learn Basic Concepts for Creating Apps

With MIT’s App Inventor tool, you can introduce your students to programming real-world applications. The App Inventor lets anyone who has a Google account design apps in their browser (Chrome or Firefox; IE is not supported). The only download that is necessary for App Inventor is the emulator, which allows students who don’t have Android devices to test their apps on their desktops. App Inventor does not require prior coding or app development skill in order to create a working Android app. MIT provides support documentation and teaching resources, including tutorials, for classroom use. After creating their apps, students can package them and then share them with friends.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Free Teaching Resources

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See How Every Student Is Doing

When you want to check students’ understanding, you can prompt students to “check in” with the free Geddit app. Geddit provides an easy way for students to indicate whether they are comfortable with lessons sections as you move through them. You can see at a glance how many students are struggling to understand the material you are covering. Then you can use the information to differentiate, pace the lesson, form collaborative groups or facilitate peer-to-peer learning. You can also ask students specific questions to garner additional information. The app can be used on just about any computer, tablet or smartphone, as long as the device has Internet access.

Click Here to Access Free App

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Journey Through the Digestive System

ISYGAMES SC has released The Amazing Digestive Journey, an interactive learning adventure game that teaches children aged 6–14 about the digestive system and the way it works. Students can easily pilot through a virtual simulation of the systems and structures of the mouth, esophagus, intestines and other organs, all depicted in detailed imagery. The app includes point-by-point information detailing how enzymes break up food into the nutrients used by the body. It also offers tips for healthy hygiene habits and principles of good nutrition. The text is accessible in both English and Spanish, and students can advance to different sections at their own pace. At each stage, students can click for more information to acquire a deeper understanding of the digestive system. Quizzes allow parents and teachers to measure learning retention. The Amazing Digestive Journey app is available on iTunes for $1.99.

Click Here to Visit iTunes Store

Plus: ISYGAMES SC has developed the educational D. Bones app to help students reinforce what they learned at school about the human skeleton. The app is divided into three sections: a puzzle so students can practice placing bones in their correct location in the skeleton; a quiz to test students’ knowledge at two levels of difficulty; and supporting text that provides basic descriptions of bones. The music is by Johann Sebastian Bach, and the selected pieces are drawn from the repertoire typically learned by piano students in their early years of training. The D. Bones app is available in the iTunes App Store at a cost of $1.99.

Click Here to Visit iTunes Store

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Promote Ethical Digital Citizenship

Learning.com has launched its Digital Citizenship App to educate middle school and high school students on the new rules of engagement for life in the digital world. The Digital Citizenship App helps students to become ethical digital citizens through self-paced lessons and quizzes that develop and assess students’ knowledge and understanding of digital engagement. The app for iOS and Android devices covers issues such as online safety, cyberbullying and the ethical use of digital resources. The app will be available for pilot testing by April 15 and ready to implement for the 2014–2015 school year.

Click Here to Visit Website

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STEM Gems


Inspire Girls to Pursue Careers in Computing Fields

Launched in Spring 2012, Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors. With support from public and private partners, Girls Who Code works to educate, inspire and equip high school girls with the skills and resources to pursue opportunities in computing fields. The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program represents an innovative approach to computer science education, pairing seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design and mobile development with engaging, career-focused mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female entrepreneurs and engineers. In addition to demonstrations, workshops and presentations from female engineers and entrepreneurs, the program includes field trips to technology companies, startups, academic institutions and more. The application period for the 2014 Summer Immersion Program has closed; however, if you’re interested in applying for the 2015 Summer Immersion Program, complete the online interest form to stay in the loop. The organization will keep you posted on key deadlines throughout the year.

Click Here for More Information About Summer Immersion Program

Click Here to Access Online Interest Form

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Take an Uncommon Approach to the Common Core

Khan Academy has spent the past year working with 40 math educators to design thousands of new interactive math exercises to help prepare students for the Common Core math standards. These new exercises cover conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and real-world application—the three components of rigor emphasized by the Common Core. Every problem for every standard is accompanied by a step-by-step solution created specifically for that problem. To ensure materials are rigorous and fully aligned to the Common Core, Khan Academy has also received guidance and training from several organizations involved in the design and assessment of the new standards, including Illustrative Mathematics and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Students can work through these exercises at their own pace through Khan Academy’s new grade-levelmissions,” which help students master all the concepts required by the Common Core math standards. The missions then personalize for each student, using state-of-the-art, adaptive software to identify gaps, recommend new skills and show progress. To help teachers ensure their students are prepared for the Common Core, Khan Academy offers several teacher resources. For example, teachers can use Khan Academy’s new Common Core Map to quickly find math exercises by standard and assign them to students. Teachers can also use real-time reports to track each student’s progress, at any time throughout the year, against the Common Core standards for each grade level and identify which students may need more attention.

Click Here to Explore Standards-Aligned Math Missions

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Integrate Ethics Content into STEM Education

Although not always emphasized or recognized, ethics is an integral part of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The development and deployment of technology, for example, often raises many ethical issues. Some of these issues are fairly straightforward, while others are subtler and very complex. Educators need to help prepare their students for the ethical challenges they will face, whether as STEM professionals or citizens in our modern society. Ethical reflection and discussion can promote critical thinking, a cornerstone of education and testing standards. This website created by Texas Tech University’s T-STEM Center offers four free modules related to ethics in STEM education: Incorporating Ethics into K–12 STEM Education: An Introduction; Teaching Ethics in K–12 Classrooms: Methodology and Pedagogy; Engineering Ethics; and Ethics and Robotics. Each module is comprised of a freely downloadable video and article (PDF) focusing on the ethical dilemma and a PowerPoint presentation on how to incorporate ethics into problem based learning (PBL).

Click Here to Access Free Modules

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites


Join a Worldwide Book Club

October 2014 may be far away, but it is not too early to sign up for The Global Read Aloud 2014. Join The Global Read Aloud and connect with students in New Zealand, India and the United Kingdom in a virtual book discussion. Using Twitter, Skype, Edmodo, Kidblog and other #edtech tools to make connections during a six-week period, classes from kindergarten through high school can participate in this growing collaborative project.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Connect a Landmark Event to Students' Lives

Gettysburg by the Numbers (GBTN) is helping to make history come alive for middle school (and older) students as well as their teachers and families. Created by the nonprofit TeachersFirst.com, GBTN is a web-based, interactive experience to draw in students and help them relate a landmark event in American history to their own lives. The site presents student-friendly (and carefully researched) facts, such as the age of the youngest soldier (12), the food issued to soldiers, the clothing they wore and the weapons they used. Original infographics and animations help to deliver the information. As students become intrigued, the site urges them to dig deeper with questions designed to motivate them to do research and spark lively discussions. GBTN also includes extensive teaching materials: correlations to Common Core State Standards; lesson ideas in social studies, mathematics, history and information literacy; project rubrics; downloadable handouts; vetted web resources for further study; and teacher-to-teacher tips.

Click Here to Visit Website

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View Prehistoric Art Buried Deep in a Cave

The discovery of the monumental Lascaux cave in 1940 brought with it a new era in our knowledge of both prehistoric art and human origins. Today the cave continues to feed our collective imagination and profoundly move new generations of visitors from around the world. The three-dimensional digital version of the cave on the Lascaux website allows students to go from room to room, completely immersed in the site. As they travel from the Great Hall of the Bulls all the way to the Shaft of the Dead Man, students can stop at each of the many images, read descriptions, play video sequences and examine overlay lines that helpfully reveal some of the more difficult-to-identify figures. A zoom feature enables students to get as close as possible to the walls that these talented artists decorated.

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Celebrate Story in All Its Forms

The Story Museum, a pioneering education nonprofit established in 2003 in Oxford, England, celebrates children’s stories and shares enjoyable ways for young people to learn through stories as they grow. The museum aims to collect 1001 stories and story ideas for children to enjoy at school or at home—at no charge. The museum’s 1001 stories website contains audio and video recordings by leading storytellers of tales from around the world—a treasure trove of tales for students to enjoy. Students can choose a story in whichever way best suits them: by theme, by origin or by age group. They can then listen to or watch the stories as often as they like. They can also retell the stories, with simple texts or pictures to prompt them. Since oral stories come from many sources and evolve as they pass from teller to teller, the site mentions a particular retelling that has influenced a storyteller. The site also references high-quality written versions of the story.

Click Here to Visit Museum’s Website

Click Here to Access Stories from Around the World

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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.

Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s “Amazing Resources for Educators” on the edWeb to get frequent updates on grant deadlines, free resources 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 Wednesday feature on Big Deal Media, where 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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