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June 2014 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Communicate Through Art, Discover Literary Treasures, Get Funds & More - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

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Communicate Through Art, Discover Literary Treasures, Get Funds & More

June 2, 2014

In Partnership With:



Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Professional Development Plus

Mobile Learning Journey


Worth-the-Surf Websites

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is a free and fresh website sponsored by CDW•G to help educators and institutions find the funds they need in order to supplement their already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding hosts a collection of more than 2,400 (and growing) 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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Bring Bing to the Surface

Educators can earn credits for free technology for their classroom just by searching the web with Bing. It’s similar to participating in a frequent flyer program. Credits can be donated to help get free Microsoft Surface tablets for your school. Earning credits is easy. Simply search with Bing, try new features and take advantage of exclusive offers to see your credits start adding up. Status upgrades allow you to earn even faster. Try it now. It’s free.

Click Here to Start Earning Bing Rewards

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Champion Creativity

Crayola’s 2014 Champion Creatively Alive Children program provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary schools. Each grant-winning school receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000. In collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Crayola offers up to 20 grants. The scoring rubric is available online for applicants to review before submitting an application.

Deadlines: Applications will be accepted until 12:00 midnight (ET) on June 23, 2014. Every Early Bird application submitted before midnight on June 9, 2014, will receive a Crayola product Classpack.

Click Here for More Information

Plus: Crayola’s free Champion Creatively Alive Children series will help you implement arts-infused education in your school. Arts-infused education helps children acquire critical 21st century skills: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The complete program includes seven videos and guides, along with a supplemental introductory leadership guide and additional resources to help you facilitate workshops and arts-infused education advocacy meetings—everything you need, from PowerPoint presentations to flyers, handouts and evaluation forms.

Click Here to Access Free Professional Resources

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Provide Access to Good Books for ALL

Lois Lenski, children’s book author and 1946 Newbery medalist for Strawberry Girl, had a lifelong concern that all children have access to good books. In pursuit of this goal, she established a foundation to provide grants to agencies serving children in disadvantaged populations. The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation annually awards grants to libraries and (other institutions that operate a library) for purchasing books published for young people, preschool through grade 8. School libraries, nontraditional libraries operated by charitable [501(c)(3)] and other nontaxable agencies, and bookmobile programs are eligible. Grants for 2014 will range from $500 to $3,000 and are specifically for book purchases.

Deadline: June 16, 2014, for completed applications; grants to be awarded on or before December 15, 2014

Click Here for More Information

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Teach and Learn with the News

Every year since 2010, The New York Times Learning Network has invited teenagers to add The New York Times to their summer reading lists, and every year more and more youth have taken The Learning Network up on the offer. Each Friday, from June 13 through August 15, The Learning Network will pose the same question: What interested you most in The Times this week? Anyone between 13 and 19 years of age, from anywhere in the world, can post an answer, and contestants can choose from any Times article, essay, video, interactive or photograph published in 2014, on any topic they like—whether Ukraine, the universe or ugly “selfies.” Every Tuesday, The Learning Network will choose the winners and publish their responses on its blog.

Deadlines: Weekly through August 15, 2014

Click Here to Participate in Summer Reading Contest

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Resource Roundup

Energize Classrooms, Activate Minds

In a 1:1 iPad classroom, ClassFlow allows every student the opportunity to learn by doing and to show what they know. With ClassFlow, a free, cloud-based teaching and learning tool for K–12 classrooms, educators can create dynamic lessons, deliver interactive content across multiple devices (including tablets, laptops and interactive whiteboards and displays) and conduct real-time formative assessment. To get started with ClassFlow, simply register for free at

Click Here to Register for Free Teaching Tool

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Communicate in the Garden

The School Garden Curriculum from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences includes lessons that use gardens to teach a wide range of topics from kindergarten through grade 8. The garden-based lessons are listed by grade level, and at K–5 they are further subdivided into earth science, life science and physical science topics. Grade 6 lessons are aligned with the earth science topics required at that level; grade 7 has life science lessons and grade 8 has physical science lessons.

Click Here to Access Free Garden-Based Lessons

Plus: Written as a University of California Master Gardener Program project, A Garden of Words/Un jardín de palabras is a free bilingual English–Spanish/Spanish–English dictionary that is intended as a tool to help both elementary school children and their teachers/leaders communicate in the garden. It is suitable for use in schools and in after-school, garden-based learning settings. The dictionary includes the most common gardening words and phrases. Also provided is a translated and converted metric/US units table. The language is color coded, with English words in green and Spanish words in orange. The publication is divided into two sections: English-to-Spanish and then Spanish-to-English.

Click Here to Download Free Bilingual Garden Dictionary

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Inspire Manufacturing Innovators of the Future

Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education have launched Manufacture Your Future, a new online destination designed to inspire students in grades 6–12 to take the first step toward exploring and pursuing today’s manufacturing careers. The program provides middle school and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families with hands-on resources that build excitement around postsecondary manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world applications and offers standards-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)–focused lesson plans, a manufacturing career guide, family discussion starters and a virtual field trip designed to give students an inside look at some of today’s most prominent manufacturing careers. Manufacture Your Future will launch its first virtual field trip on National Manufacturing Day, October 3, 2014. Students will get an inside look at careers in advanced manufacturing through an interactive event hosted live from an Alcoa facility.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

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Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

A group of education researchers at Harvard University has developed a virtual simulation for “walking in another person’s shoes” to help students relate to one another better. The simulation is part of a project called Social Aspects of Immersive Learning (SAIL). The technical term is “social perspective taking,” and it means understanding another person by taking in their thoughts, feelings and motivations. To create an experience that will help build these types of positive relationships through nuanced social perspective, the research team created a scenario that involves a confrontation between a park ranger and a golf course owner who share land but disagree over how to use it. The simulation allows a participant to play the role of the golf course owner, walking around in his world, talking to his colleagues and getting a sense of his perspective and opinions about the world. The player then has the same experience walking in the shoes of the park ranger. Finally, the player is asked to negotiate from the perspective of the golf course owner with the park ranger over various differences of opinion related to how the land should be treated. Each of the points of negotiation have a money value attached, giving the player a stake in the outcome of the negotiations. The research team would like to hear from educators interested in getting involved in this project.

Click Here for More Information

Click Here to Get Involved in Project

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Enhance Text Engagement with Multiple Media

A team of researchers from the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California has created a model of what they call participatory learning, which engages students with materials on a personal level, often by incorporating different types of media into the classroom and offering varying points of entry to a text. Most recently, the team has put together a teacher’s strategy guide, Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English Classroom, and an interactive digital book, Flows of Reading, to provide models of their approach. The digital book allows readers to follow hyperlinks, enjoy embedded video content and add to an online space for related work. It broadens the model beyond Moby Dick and applies it to reading at all age levels, from a wordless picture book to the Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. It offers four pathways, or ways to view a text: Motivations for Reading, Adaptations and Remixing, Negotiating Cultural Spaces and Continuities and Space.

Click Here for More Information About Strategy Guide

Click Here to Access Free Digital Book

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Sponsored By:

Professional Development Plus

Use Data to Inform Instruction

CoSN works on a national level to help K–12 technology leaders build and sustain a data-rich culture within their districts. CoSN’s Data-Driven Decision Making Toolkits provide the tools and resources to help districts implement and sustain data usage while providing a national forum on how data can be used to inform instructional practices and individualize the learning process.

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Promote Student Engagement

On June 24, 2014, at 4 p.m. (ET), the Amazing Resources for Educators Community on will be hosting a free webinar in which participants will learn strategies to effectively integrate a single app, Shutterfly’s Photo Story, to deepen and enhance the learning process across the curriculum while supporting state, Common Core and ISTE standards. During the webinar, two technology specialists will share examples of successful implementation of Photo Story in regular education, related arts and special settings across their school district. Participants will see lesson plans illustrating how teachers are using Photo Story in classroom projects to meet standards and engage students. They will also be invited to apply to be part of a limited classroom pilot, including free books for their students.

Click Here for More Information About Photo Story

Click Here to Preregister for Free Webinar

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Bring Education Innovations into the Classroom

Microsoft in Education and ISTE are sponsors of the complimentary Virtual University Webcast Series to help bring some of the most exciting innovations in education led by global experts to you. By joining this webinar series, you are also invited to connect with a community of more than 750,000 individuals and learn from the experts at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network. The next webinar, entitled The Latest in Flipped Learning, will be held on June 10, 2014, at 6:00 a.m. (PT) and 5:00 p.m. (PT). All webinars are archived and accessible for a limited time after the original live-streaming date. Registration is required for only the morning session but will allow access to either session. You must register six hours before the 7 a.m. session on the day of the webinar.

Click Here for More Information About Webcast Series

Click Here for Schedule of Upcoming Webcast

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Mobile Learning Journey

Encourage Artistic Creation

MoMA Art Lab is a free app for the iPad that provides creative and inspiring experiences for students aged seven and up. The tools are easy to use and produce fascinating artwork. Students can explore how artists use line, shape and color. They can also discover artists’ processes and inspirations and create their own artwork inspired by MoMA’s collection. Among the artists featured in the MoMA Art Lab are Henri Matisse, Alexander Calder and Elizabeth Murray. The nine activities inspired by these artists’ works include creating a mobile, experimenting with paint, drawing from instructions, creating a sound composition, drawing with scissors, making a line design, collaborating on a group drawing, creating a shape poem and making a chance collage.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Create Chemical Reactions

ChemCrafter is a free iPad app that lets students build their own lab to run fun and creative experiments. Students can use the Chem-o-convertor to measure energy released and gain points that unlock new experiments, equipment and chemicals. Then they can use their new supplies to craft more gases, liquids and solids. As their strategy guides them through experiments with water, acids and salts, they’ll create surprising color changes, encounter fire and smoke, release various gases and shatter equipment. ChemCrafter provides a brief explanation of the reactions in each completed experiment. Their achievements will earn students an impressive set of trophy-room badges.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Enhance Reading Comprehension Through Science

Shout Science! is a free comic storybook app for young readers (aged 7–11) about scientists and scientific discovery. Shout Science! consists of three narrative biographies that take place during the Scientific Revolution in Europe. The stories are entitled Anton van Leeuwenhoek & and the Discovery of Microbes, Maria Sibylla Merian & the Lives of Insects and James Hutton & the Theory of the Earth. Designed exclusively for the iPad, the app combines vertical scrolling panels with animation, interaction and sound to enhance reading comprehension. Each story also includes a supplemental page of reference images and timelines.

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Explore Natural Curiosity

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) has introduced a new model for its Camp Wonderopolis in 2014. This new model is intended to stoke a spirit of exploration, as campers draw their own path through different tracks of Wonder and learning—as a group, as a family or on their own. As they explore the different tracks, campers will build their vocabulary, background knowledge and literacy skills along the way. Educators, librarians and parents can sign on as camp counselors to work with children in their families and communities beginning June 16. The program is free.

Click Here for More Information About Wonderopolis

Click Here to Register for Camp Wonderopolis

Plus: For youth with Google+ pages (their own or their parents’) the 30-day Maker Camp on Google+ is another free option. Registration is open now for the July 7 start. Students may want to check if their local libraries are participating. The 2013 virtual camp schedule exemplifies the wide range of projects. At the end of the week, students can participate in Field Trip Fridays.

Click Here to Register for Maker Camp

Click Here to Access Camp Schedule

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Invite STEM Mentors into the Classroom

Smithsonian Science How? delivers real-world science into classrooms through free interactive, live webcasts and supporting classroom resources. The 25-minute programs feature the research and personalities of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, providing students with positive STEM role models, information about science careers and pathways, and connections to current research. The museum’s webcasts include a package of standards-aligned resources that highlight both science content and science practice. Explore the topics in the schedule to access a package of classroom activities, lessons, readings and other related materials that support each webcast program. The next webcast is “Climate Change Past and Present,” which will take place on June 5, 2014, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (ET).

Click Here to Preview Live Webcast Page

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Worth-the-Surf Websites

Experience the Complexity of War Through Art

The works on display in the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) in Chicago use visual language that can forge a link between student, soldier, art and history as well as create relevant connections to contemporary issues of war, emotional hardship and positive change. Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, a permanent exhibit at the museum serves as a visual companion to illustrate the narrative with artifacts, fine art and photography from veterans who lived the stories in the novel. NVAM’s interactive site allows anyone to access and explore The Things They Carried and provides a deeper understanding of the experience, sacrifice and historical significance of what these soldiers carried—physically and emotionally—during the Vietnam War. The exhibit was made in part through collaborations with partnering Chicago high schools. The museum’s website includes the complete online collection along with educator resources.

Click Here to Visit NVAM Website

Click Here to Access Interactive Exhibit

Plus: The lessons in The Things They Carried Resource Guide support learning that focuses on how art can be used as a tool to create dialog about the complexity of war and the human experience with it. The lessons engage students in exploring how to interpret and understand art as a tool of communication by synthesizing and assimilating information from different disciplines into demonstrated comprehension and development of abstract and critical thinking through the learning process.

Click Here to Access Free Online Resource Guide

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Learn How Learning Happens

On May 20, NPR launched NPR Ed, a new education blog in which the NPR team of reporters will cover learning and education, online and on the air, from preschool through the workplace and beyond. The blog will follow issues of inequality and access as well as the transformative promise—and threat—of educational technology. It will also look at early education and the lives of special needs students. It will do the math on the real value of a prestigious college degree and fill in the bubbles of confusion on standardized testing. It will also track the unfolding saga of the Common Core State Standards, and along the way, you’ll have some fun exploring play, and social and emotional learning.

Click Here to Access Web Blog

Click Here to Connect with the NPR Education Team on Twitter

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Illuminate Changes in Society and Culture Through Literature

The British Library has opened up a vast online collection of literary treasures and scholarly articles via its new website, Discovering Literature, in a bid to pique young students’ interest in classic books. The new project covers the Romantic and Victorian periods from William Blake to the science fiction of H. G. Wells. However, the British Library aims to extend this online collection up to present-day authors and as far back in time as the Old English epic Beowulf. Among the artifacts digitalized for the first time are Jane Austen’s notebooks, the childhood works of the Brontë sisters, manuscripts by Keats, Wordsworth and many others, plus intriguing early drafts of William Blake’s classic poems “Tyger Tyger” and “London.” To bring these treasures to life, the British Library has commissioned more than 150 articles and 20 short films from leading scholars designed to illuminate the changing society and cultural scene behind the literature. Focusing on individual authors, or more broadly ranging, the topics are illustrated with newspaper clippings, playbills, artworks and other contemporary material. The article on “Crime in Oliver Twist,” for instance, uses an 1809 Dictionary of Criminal Slang to reveal that “twist” was a word for “hanged,” while the article on “Inventing the Future uses satirical cartoons and works, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to explain how the Industrial Revolution’s technological advances inspired nineteenth-century writers to set their novels in the future.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access “Crime in Oliver Twist” Article

Click Here to Access “Inventing the Future” Article

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