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May 2011 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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May 2, 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
Of Special Interest
STEM Gems
"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants and Other Funding Sources

Improve Achievement with Engaging Technology
TheTurning Foundation,in partnership with NBCLearn and TurningTechnologies, hasannounced the Spring2011 Classroom Improvement Technology Grant.The goal of this joint effort is to help educators develop 21stcentury classrooms and improve achievement by providing effective,engaging technology and professional development tools from multipleindustry-leading companies. Grant applications will be accepted fromteachers in grades 3–12 who are currently teaching in anaccredited, nonprofit, public school building in the United States.Ten classroom awards, estimated at $3,500 each, will be distributed.Each award will include student response technology and subscriberaccess to NBC Learn K–12. Selected applicants will receive TurningTechnologies’ 32-seat radio frequency student response system thatincludes TurningPoint and TurningPoint AnyWhere polling softwaresuite, ResponseCard RF LCD keypads, USB-based response RF receiver,QuestionPoint 2 – state-aligned question bank, customized carryingcase and technical support.
Deadline: May 16, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Get a Helping Paw
Build-A-BearWorkshop providesdirect support for children in literacy and educationprograms,such as summer reading programs, early childhood education programsand literacy programs for children with special needs. The grants aremade possible through the sale of Turner the Owl, a special furryfriend available in all Build-A-Bear Workshop stores. With the saleof each Turner the Owl, 50 cents is donated to First Book and 50cents is donated through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear HugsFoundation to other literacy programs throughout the United Statesand Canada.
Deadline:Grant requests reviewed on a rolling basis through October 2011
ClickHere for More Information
Click Here to Access Online Grant Application
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Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Demonstrate Culturally Responsive Teaching
TheSouthern Poverty LawCenter’s TeachingTolerance program isseeking nominations for a new award that will honor educators whoexcel at teaching students from diverse racial, ethnic and culturalbackgrounds. The TeachingTolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching hasbeen created both to recognize these teachers and to promote theirpractices in the nation’s schools. Five winners will be selected toreceive $1,000 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in December2011. They will also be videotaped in their classrooms to alloweducators across the nation to learn from their teaching.
Deadline: June 1, 2011 for nominations
Click Here for More Information
"Globalize” Your Classroom
TheTeachers for GlobalClassrooms Program isa professionaldevelopmentopportunity for U.S. middle and high school teachers to participate in a programaimed at globalizing U.S. classrooms. Activities include an onlinecourse; two GlobalEducation Symposiums in Washington, D.C. (pre- and post-travel); and an internationalfellowship through a two-week visit to Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Moroccoor Ukraine upon successful completion of the online course. To beeligible for the program, applicants must be U.S. citizens andfull-time secondary-level (middle or high school) teachingprofessionals with five or more years of classroom experience indisciplines including English as a Second Language, English Languageor Literature, Social Studies, Mathematics or Science.
Deadline: June 15, 2011 for applications
Click Here for More Information
Make Media Make Sense
TheNational Council ofTeachers of English (NCTE) Media LiteracyAward is presented toan individual, team or department that has implemented and refinedexemplary medialiteracy practices in their school environment. The Award Selection Process will bebased on a portfolio review by a panel from the Commission on Media.The key elements of the portfolio should demonstrate (1) analysis,evaluation and creation of media; (2) reflective processes used byinstructor(s) and participants; and (3) growth of media literacyinstruction in the course/department. The award will be presented inNovember 2011 at the NCTE Annual Convention in Chicago.
Deadline: June 30, 2011 for online submission of portfolios
Click Here for More Information
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Gain Instant Feedback on Student Learning
Conovate,a new, free Web-based program, allows teachers to access and trackstudent-performancedata by skill and bysubject, giving them the ability to address challenges quickly. Theprogram also includes tools for buildingstandards-aligned quizzes to allow teachers more time for instruction.
Click Here to Access Free Teaching Tools
Make Books Your Way
Bookemon’sonline book creation and sharing utility enables anyone to create, collaborate, share and publish their lifemoments, stories experiences and knowledge with friends and families.The intent is to enrich, enlighten and educate through books createdby people from all walks of life.
Click Here for More Information
Plus:Bookemon edCenters let educators create a secure, private and friendly environment fortheir students and staff to create and share books. An edCenter canbe created for your class, special-project group or students of agrade level at your school or school-related nonprofit organization.
Click Here for More Information
Listen to Podcasts About—and by—Kids in the Middle
Shouldmiddle schools give tweens the safe conformity of school uniforms—orlet them dress to experiment? What does it mean for a 12-year-old tobe a good cybercitizen? How can teachers reach a gifted sixth-grader?How can they engage teens through wikis and Skype? Today’sMiddle Level Educator,a podcast series produced by the NationalMiddle SchoolAssociation, takes onquestions like these through interviews with innovative middle schoolteachers and experts on teaching adolescents. Listen online at nocharge or subscribeto the podcast and listen on your computer or MP3 player. Thepodcasts are available on iTunes.
Click Here to Access Educator Podcasts
Plus:For funny and insightful advice straight from the source, check outExpressions fromthe Middle,featuring podcasts by young adolescents. For example, fiveseventh-graders illustrate what a middle school teacher should not dothrough a skit featuring, on the one hand, the rigid Ms. Strict-oand, on the other hand, the cloyingly sweet Ms. Lilypad. Listen tothese podcasts with students as a way to start a conversation aboutwhat they wouldlike to see in classrooms—and urge them to create their ownpodcasts.
Click Here to Access Youth Podcasts
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Of Special Interest

Celebrate Mexican Culture and Heritage
Cincode Mayo—or thefifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory overFrance at the Battle of Puebla during the French Mexican War. In theUnited States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration ofMexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with largeMexican American populations. The HistoryChannel’s Web siteprovides a wealth of resources to explore. The resources areorganized according to People and Groups, Themes, Events and RelatedTopics (for example, Native American Cultures, Mexican Revolution,Mexican American War).
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Plus:At HolidayZone,you’ll find links to a variety of resources for celebrating Cincode Mayo with yourstudents. Categories include Arts and Crafts, Children’s Songs,Games, Language Activities, Recipes, Recommended Children’s Books,Word Wall Cards and Links to Other Cinco de Mayo Resources.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Make Every Child a Reader
Children’sBook Week (May2–8, 2011)is a national celebration of books and reading for youth. Since 1919,Children’s Book Week has been celebrated countrywide with authorand illustrator appearances, parties, storytelling and otherbook-related events in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs—anywherechildren and books connect. Morethan 25 cities are hosting author and illustrator events during BookWeek, with additional venues to come. Visit the Children’sBook Council’sWeb site and check out the lineup of official events. Each year theChildren’s Book Council enlists illustrators to design acommemorative Children’sBook Week Poster and Bookmark.Download the 2011 Book Week bookmark by Jeff Kinney and order your2011 Poster by Peter Brown. The poster will be distributed freeof charge in schools during May.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
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STEM Gems

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
Dream Up the Future
Engineering:Go For It! (eGFI)is a Web magazine,with onlinevideothroughout, produced by the AmericanSociety forEngineering Education (ASEE). You can access weeklylesson plans,activities and feature articles about engineering. The feature articles, such as the one about themaking of Avatar,are highly engaging and showcase the diversity of engineeringcareers.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Turn Ideas into Reality
PBSKidsDesign SquadNation is an engineering-basedreality show foryouth. Each episode pits two teams against each other to designsolutions to problems ranging from creating usable furniture fromcardboard to tricycle-based drag racers. The Design Squad Web siteprovides full video ofepisodes, teacher and event guides (including tons of designchallenges),user-submittedchallenges andsolutions (such as, "I wish I could measure the pollution in myneighborhood”), games and a blog.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
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"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites

Teach About Afghanistan Through the Humanities
Afghanistanhas served as a meeting place of peoples, cultures and influence inthe ancient world—and today. Created by the AsiaSociety,Homeland Afghanistan explores the geopolitical and cultural heritage of Afghanistanthrough a humanities perspective. The history is told through 75videoepisodes,featuring leading experts—as well as hundreds of archaeologicalfinds, paintings, literary works, music, photographs and documentaryfilms.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
View History Through the Eyes of Those Who Lived It
EyeWitnessto History is yourstudents’ ringside seat to history—from the ancient world to thepresent. The program, presented by IbisCommunications, adigital publisher of educational programming, uses firsthandaccounts along withfilm clips and audio (voices) from the past. Students will also find notablequotes, a photoof the week andsnapshots of events that happened in the current month.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Make the First Move
America’sFoundation for Chess uses chess as a learning tool to teach critical thinking skills,advance math and reading skills, improve behavioral and socialskills, and build self-esteem in second- and third-grade students.First Move is a two-year curriculum that requires no previous chess knowledge tobe successful. "The Chess Lady” teaches lessons on theaward-winning DVD, and the classroom teacher facilitates the studentactivities. A sampleonline video featuresthe second lesson in the curriculum. Accompanying the video are twofree,downloadable lessons.The professionally designed First Move program maps to statestandards. The program is offered during the school day as asupplemental curriculum to the existing core curriculum. The focus isnot on competition or tournament play, but rather on the thinkingskills that are an inherent part of chess.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Read Beneath the Covers
TheLibrary Corporation (TLC) has developed LS2Kids for today’scurious and technologically proficient youth. The software helpsstudents find books in a series more easily with a predefinedlist of popular titles,such as Junie B. Jones and The Magic SchoolBus. An interactivetitle display allowsusers to magnify book jackets to screen-filling proportions and finddetailed information about their selections. A categorywheel offers dozensof subject areas, ranging from math and reading to baseball, cats andscary stories. And a searchbox provides spellingsuggestions andcorrections when needed. Visit the Web site to see LS2 Kids in action.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Find Federal Resources
TheU.S. Office ofEducation Technology’sLearning Registry is intended to help educators more easily find primarysource materials toinclude in their curriculum. The project also involves aggregatinguser data and assessing user behavior to determine which federalresources are most useful for building and accessing better, moreinterconnected and personalized learning solutions needed for a 21stcentury education. There are several ways you can learn more aboutthe Learning Registry project and get involved. For example, you canshare your ideas on IdeaScale,where feedback and ideas are being collected from the public, and youcan join the general community discussion group or the sitedeveloper’s discussion group.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Journey Through Hallowed Ground
Ofthe Student, By the Student, For the Student Program is a nationally recognized service-learning program that combinesmoviemaking with onsite nationalhistory and authenticexperiences to connect young people with American heritage. Theproject engages students in uncovering the national history foundwithin the JourneyThrough Hallowed Ground National Heritage Areaby allowing contemporary generations to create official vodcasts tobring stories of those who came before to life. With professionalguidance, students in grades 6–12 serve as scriptwriters,production editors, photographers, choreographers, set designers,videographers and more to produce mini documentaries offering theirdepiction of American history. Take the journey now; explore byinterest or region.
ClickHere to Visit Web Site
Click Here to Explore the Journey
Go Inside a Virtual World
Whyville,a virtual learning environment for children started in 1999, wascreated by James Bower, the chief executive officer and founder ofWhyville.net. The original intent was to build games andnetwork-based worlds for use in schools and out of schools andconnecting the two. Unlike games, Whyville is an unstructured onlineenvironment where players participate in activities to earn"clams”—the form of currency in Whyville. Through partnershipswith companies and organizations, such as Dell, Toyota and NASA,players can explore a host of activities. For example, the infectious"WhyPox” was introduced into Whyville, prompting a series ofresponses from its residents, who covered the outbreak in theWhyville Times,the player-organized newspaper. The U.S. Centers for Disease Controland Prevention later came in and "vaccinated” players against thedisease.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
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Bookmark These!

Geta freecopy of TheBig Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching & Learning:Information, Media and Digital Literacies. 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.
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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.
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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 onwww.bigdealbook.com.Here you’ll findnew interactiveexperiences andresources that incorporate 21stcentury themes and skills into the study of core subjects.
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