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

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Examine NGSS, Recognize Bullying, Present Concepts in Context & More

September 2, 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 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 2,900 (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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Promote Peaceful Coexistence

Peace Projects is a grant program launched by The Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) to support innovative conflict resolution and peace-building projects focused on preventing, managing and resolving violent conflict and promoting post-conflict peace building. Peace Projects Grant Program awards will support projects up to $50,000 that apply a broad range of disciplines, skills and approaches promoting peaceful coexistence through dialogue and reconciliation; fostering pluralism, good governance, freedom of belief; advancing social and economic development and environmental responsibility; upholding respect for human rights, and gender equality and empowerment, among others. Proposals for supporting or advancing already existing projects are not eligible. However, project proposals for new stages or use of the previous implementations as a model in different areas are accepted. Not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Deadline: September 30, 2014, for summary proposal

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Create Technological Solutions to Current Challenges

The Voto Latino Innovator’s Challenge is a competition for millennials, aged 18–34, who want to better the lives of Latinos by creating technological solutions to current challenges impacting Latino families, neighbors and communities at large. Issues that might be addressed include gang activity and gun control, quality and affordable education, access to extracurricular activities and after-school programs, help for undocumented immigrant students, access to affordable and quality health care, expansion of voting access to Latinos and more. Potential examples of new technology and digital tools include mobile apps, Mac apps, PC programs or Google Chrome apps; advocacy websites; online and mobile games; social networking platforms; community Internet kiosks; low-cost handheld devices; online badging systems or community-access Internet hotspots. While an individual may be the primary applicant, the individual must be associated with an institution that will be the legal recipient of the award. Awards are made in three levels of support: Level 1 ($10,000–$25,000); Level 2 ($50,000–$75,000); and Level 3 ($75,000–$100,000).

Deadline: Applications/project statements due by 8 p.m. (ET) on October 15, 2014; see website for complete timeline

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Resource Roundup

Capture Students' Hearts and Minds

How are you helping your students understand the events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri? Facing History and Ourselves offers resources, useful questions and ideas to help you have productive conversations about race, stereotyping and identity.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

Plus: Facing History and Ourselves offers a range of teaching strategies that empower students as they connect the dots between the ethical choices they’ll face in life and the positive outcomes they can create in their community. Teachers can use these student-centered teaching strategies to nurture students’ literacy and critical thinking skills within a respectful classroom climate. The suggested strategies can be used with students of all ages, with any academic content. The strategies range from analyzing visual images and stereotypes to taking a stand on controversial issues to facilitating clear thinking and argumentation. The techniques include Four Corners, Jigsaw, Café Conversations, Readers Theatre and more.

Click Here to Access Free Teaching Strategies

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Pursue and Present "Big Ideas"

TED’s educational arm has launched TED-Ed Clubs, an effort to support students who conduct research, write, and present and record their own ideas in a TED talk format. The goal is to stimulate and celebrate the best ideas of students around the world. TED-Ed piloted the project with 100 schools, focusing mostly on middle and high school–aged students. Most of the pilot schools started with TED-Ed clubs held during lunch or after school, but some teachers incorporated materials into the classroom. TED-Ed offers free guiding materials for 13 club meetings, taking students through the step-by-step process of creating a TED talk. The program suggests starting with a meeting to talk about what students are passionate about. Then each student pursues one idea over the next 13 weeks. In successive weeks, students discuss the qualities of a great idea, conduct research on their topics, identify good and bad habits in presentations, give feedback to one another and ultimately give a TED-style talk captured on video.

Click Here for More Information About TED-Ed Clubs

Click Here to Apply to Start a TED-Ed Club

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Bridge the Gap Between Play and Learning

Boston Children’s Museum (BCM) provides cooperative learning opportunities in which parents and their children can explore, create and play together. With BCM’s free downloadable home-edition book, Lots to Know and Do, the museum is giving parents an easy-to-use tool to help them lead positive and collaborative activities at home and in their communities. The 26 activities are compiled into three chapters. Chapter 1, “Creative Families,” includes six activities: Salt Dough Handprints, Jeweled Suncatcher, Hide and Peek, Finger Puppets, The Family Players and Making Music with the House Band. Chapter 2, “Curious Families,” includes five activities: No Trouble Double Bubbles, Ice Cream in a Bag, Pizza Box Solar Oven, Edible Architecture and Tangram Slam. And Chapter 3, “Global Families,” includes five activities: Your Family Flag, Soup Journou, Travel the World … Without a Passport, Celebrate Children’s Day and Color, Colorcito.

Click Here to Download Free eBook

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Professional Development Plus

Explore an Instructional Framework for Science

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are designed to ensure consistent K–12 science education with an emphasis on engineering and technology. Join this free web event on September 4, at 3 p.m. (EDT) to explore how these new standards provide an instructional framework to support professional growth and inform teacher evaluation systems for science instruction. Participants will examine the ways NGSS can promote effective teaching practices across districts and states as well as the implications for science curriculum materials, professional development and assessment. This web seminar is part of the Teacher Effectiveness Webinar Series from the Regional Education Laboratory Mid-Atlantic.

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Create a Thoughtfully Designed Learning Environment

As a follow-up to “Setting Up a Wow Classroom” sponsored by Quill Corp., Amazing Resources for Educators and edWeb.net will co-host “Setting Up a Brain-Friendly, Beautiful Classroom,” on September 18, 2014, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT). In this follow-up webinar, the presenter will discuss how to begin the process of rethinking your classroom redesign, give you easy and manageable tips to get started in your redesign and demonstrate examples of thoughtfully designed learning environments. You’ll learn how to get started setting up your classroom in a way that will make a big impact on your students’ learning success. You’ll also get affordable ideas for setting up a brain-friendly space. And as a bonus, during the live event, Quill.com and Carson-Dellosa will give away two “Back-To-School” Bundles with a retail value of $90.

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

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Become a Certified Autism Specialist

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) offers certification as an Autism Specialist. Its professional certifications highlight an individual's commitment to autism and continuing education. Pursuit of the Certified Autism Specialist designation (CAS) requires a master’s degree, 14 CE hours in autism, and two-plus years of experience in the field. The Autism Certificate (AC) requires that an individual is currently working in the field of autism and has 14 CE hours in the field. Big Deal Media’s enewsletter readers can use the code BIGDEAL for 20 percent off their certification.

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Use Digital and Mobile Tools Effectively

GameDesk, a nonprofit organization focusing on research and development around game-based learning, works with teachers to make sure that their mobile and laptop devices become readily utilized and powerful tools for learning in the classroom. GameDesk’s training offerings include flexible face-to-face sessions and/or online workshops and follow-up. One-day and multi-day workshops, combined with online sessions, help teachers transform their teaching in a sustainable and affordable way. Sessions include Digital/Mobile Classroom (using the best learning tools, apps and games on Chromebooks, laptops and iOS and Android tablets); STEM-Play (creating playful STEM learning experiences that lend themselves to long-term STEM interest); Low Tech Engagement (engaging students in rigorous learning with everyday materials); Remediation (reengaging and providing remedies for at-risk learners through making and playing); Creative Engineering (making, tinkering and learning by design); Creating Engagement with Common Core; and Social Emotional Learning.

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Spark Connections and Create Solutions.

The Center for Teaching Quality’s CTQ Collaboratory was created to expose the bold ideas and expert practices of growing numbers of teachers and to provide a common place where educators can convene to advance the teaching profession and their schools. In the Collaboratory, teachers (and those who value teachers as leaders) are sharing innovative ideas and bringing them to life; digging deep into education news, policy and research; making connections with colleagues near and far; troubleshooting challenges and crowdsourcing solutions for students; identifying (and creating) ways to spread teachers’ expertise; developing leadership skills together; and influencing policy and practice on the local, state and national levels. Membership in the CTQ Collaboratory is free.

Click Here to Visit CTQ Website

Click Here to Join CTQ Collaboratory

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Collaborate Through Social Media

Teaching Channel Teams is an innovative online platform that reinvents the notion of how professional development is experienced. The platform combines video and social media in a single solution that helps educators collaborate and improve their practice as they prepare for the Common Core. At the center of Teams is a rich library of high-quality videos that teachers can add to and customize. Teams provides a place for teachers to use video to learn and try new instructional strategies and collaborate around video in new ways. On the Teams platform, teachers can quickly and easily share video of their classrooms to enhance reflection and coaching—sharing their practice in a safe, secure environment with the goal of improving student learning.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Mobile Learning Journey

Start a Conversation About Bullying

KnowBullying, a new, free iPhone and Android app from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), includes a special section to help educators prevent bullying in the classroom and support students who are being bullied. It also includes warning signs to help recognize if a child is bullying or being bullied, and tips for starting conversations about bullying with children.

Click Here to Access Free App

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Discover the Genius of Van Gogh

Created by the Van Gogh Institute, the Van Gogh’s Dream iPad app explores Vincent van Gogh’s artwork and writing in a new and interactive way. The app includes a complete catalog of the artist’s 80 Auvers paintings, his last letter to his brother, Theo, in its original version (as well as in transcription and in translation). The app also includes several testimonials from art historians and other artists. Cost: $3.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Plus: The Art Guide takes students on a tour of the world’s greatest art—from the cave paintings at Lascaux to the graffiti art of Banksy. It describes each significant artistic period, as well as the major artists of each period, and presents more than 300 high-resolution, color images of the masterpieces the artists created. The Art Guide also includes the current location of each featured artwork and lists of the world’s greatest art museums, the 25 most expensive artworks ever sold and the greatest art heists and unrecovered artworks. The app is designed for both the iPad and the iPhone. Cost: $3.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Get Your Science on the Go

VideoScience is a free app for the iPad and iPhone that provides a growing library of more than 80 hands-on science lessons for use in the classroom or at home. The short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy-to-recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite youth of all ages. VideoScience is hosted by Dan Menelly, a science teacher at the United Nations International School and a 2010 Einstein Fellow with the National Science Foundation in the Office of Cyberinfrastructure. VideoScience is provided by Science House and the Science House Foundation.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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STEM Gems

Prepare Low-Opportunity Youth for Careers in Technology

Where are the black and brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question—the challenge—that the musician Prince asked civil rights activist Van Jones. The result is an ambitious initiative called #YesWeCode, to prepare 100,000 low-opportunity youth for careers as web developers and computer programmers. To build a jobs pipeline from low-income communities to Silicon Valley, #YesWeCode works with community-based organizations that are teaching computer skills to youth of color and help turn these skills into careers. The #YesWeCode network has compiled a comprehensive online guide listing four types of educational resources from around the world: websites/databases, tutorials, workshops and popular research (books, videos, forums).

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Online Guide to Educational Resources

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Help Students Through the Process of Science Writing

CAST Science Writer supports middle school and high school students in writing lab and class reports. The tool enables students to demonstrate their knowledge of science concepts through writing. Science Writer utilizes the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework to meet the needs of a wide range of students. It structures the writing processes related to content-area writing, structures the thought processes required for scientific writing and provides opportunities for structured practice. Animated helpers Max and Sam give students a model and the reasoning behind it, and helper Eko gives students specific hints on how to progress.

Click Here to Access Free Tool

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Create Engaging Chemistry Activities

 

ChemCollective is a collection of virtual labs, scenario-based learning activities, tutorials and concept tests. Teachers can use the ChemCollective’s content for pre-labs and in-class activities for individuals or teams. Students can review and learn chemistry concepts using the virtual labs, simulations and tutorials. The ChemCollective is organized by a group of faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon University interested in using, assessing and creating engaging online activities for chemistry education.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: ChemCollective’s free Mixed Reception game is set in a research group developing an antivenom for spider bites. In the opening scene, Nelson Pogline, a talented graduate student, dies unexpectedly at a university reception. In their role as detectives, students use chemistry concepts to determine if his death was murder and, if so, to solve the case. They interview suspects using QuickTime movies, investigate the crime scene for clues with QuickTime Virtual Reality images and analyze the evidence from the crime lab. The activity requires basic knowledge of formula weight, chemical reactions and the scientific method. The Flash-based software is suitable for chemistry students at the high school and college levels. The game was developed by ChemCollective with students from the Departments of Chemistry and Drama at Carnegie Mellon University.

Click Here to Access Free Game


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Worth-the-Surf Websites

Foster Statistical Literacy

The US Census Bureau conducts a wide range of surveys and research that spans far beyond the tallying of people and their basic demographics. With a newly redesigned website, the bureau makes it easy for users to find information they need and highlights a number of useful tools and visualizations. For example, in addition to basic data on enrollment and attainment, the education page has data from several surveys compiled into an infographic, “Education Funding: Where Do Schools Get Their Money? How Do They Spend It?” The site also shines with its selection of interactive tools and databases, ranging from simple games such as Population Bracketology, which asks users to choose which cities have more people, to vivid tools such as Census Explorer, which lets users scan the country block by block and view color-coded data on age, education, income and more. Census.gov serves both as a reference tool for students and as a source of fascinating, interactive data ripe for use in classrooms.

Click Here to Visit Education Web Page

Click Here to Download Free Infographic

Click Here to Access Free Game

Click Here to Access Free Tool

Plus: Census PoP Quiz, a new mobile app from the US Census Bureau, challenges users’ knowledge of demographic facts for the states and Washington, D.C., through an interactive format that is poised to raise statistical literacy about the US population. The app is free and available for the iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets.

Click Here to Access Free Mobile App

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Become a Digital Volunteer

The Smithsonian recently launched its Transcription Center website to engage the public in making the Smithsonian’s collections more accessible. The museum is working hand-in-hand with digital volunteers to unlock the content inside thousands of digitized images of documents, such as handwritten Civil War journals, personal letters from famous artists, 100-year-old botany specimen labels and examples of early American currency. The transcribed document is then reviewed by another volunteer before it is certified for accuracy by a Smithsonian expert. Volunteers can register online to help the Smithsonian transcribe a variety of projects related to art, history, culture and science. From high school to graduate studies, transcription allows students to engage with primary source materials—a key part of the learning experience.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Register As a Digital Volunteer

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Focus on the Context of Significant Historical Events

ContextU transforms information into understanding and knowledge, offering compelling connections between people, places, events and concepts. The site’s four relationships—temporal, spatial, causal and group—are the innovations to contextual learning. The first iteration of ContextU is focused on the American Civil War. On ContextU, students select from a table of contents an event, piece of legislation or theme to see it in the context of other events, pieces of legislation and themes leading to the start of the Civil War. Through timelines, Google Maps, diagrams, flowcharts and text, ContextU provides context for each chosen event, piece of legislation or theme. Students can jump from event to event or from theme to theme by following the hyperlinks within each diagram.

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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.

Subscribe to 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!

Join Big Deal Media’s inclusive community of special needs educators by subscribing to Everyone CAN! Essentials for Educators of Special Needs Students, a free quarterly enewsletter of curated, easily accessible resources to serve this group of educators. Find sources of funding, research-based developmental strategies, mobile learning innovations, assistive technology collections and truly useful online interactive environments, including specialized resources to partner with parents.

Sign up at Big Deal Media’s website for hELLo!, a free quarterly ELL enewsletter that includes a wealth of information on interactive resources for students, teachers, librarians, principals and others involved in the education of English language learners.

Explore the biweekly Web Wednesday features 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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