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

Quill Banner #3 Educational Resources

Tackle Problems Together, Trace American Ingenuity, Honor a Hero & More

October 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


Sponsored By:

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Share Innovative Ideas for Solving Local Problems

Public school teachers nationwide can help their school to win a share of $2 million in Samsung technology by entering the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. Simply show how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be applied to help improve your local community. The contest is open to all public schools, grades 6–12.

Click Here for More Information

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Recognize Service and Bravery

The National Military Family Association, in partnership with Discovery Education and American Heroes Channel (AHC), has launched the “My Hero Is …” contest for students in grades 3–8. This national competition provides an opportunity for AHC viewers to nominate their personal military hero and tell why the person deserves the honor. The contest launched nationally on September 22 at MyHeroIsContest.com, where entrants can submit a video no longer than 30 seconds explaining who their military hero is and why. Entrants can nominate anyone associated with the United States military—for example, an active service member, a veteran, or a member of a military family who serves by supporting their military member from the home front. First-place winners will be featured in an interstitial on American Heroes Channel and will be flown to New York City to take part on the National Military Family Association’s float in the national Veterans Day parade on November 11. Students may choose to submit their video on behalf of their local school. The school with the most number of entries will receive a Veterans Day assembly event, hosted by the National Military Family Association, Discovery Education and American Heroes Channel, which will celebrate local veterans within their community.

Deadline: October 12, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. (ET), for nominations

Click Here for More Information

Plus: TED-Ed Original video lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. One of these lessons is “What Makes a Hero?” What trials unite not only Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins but also many of literature’s most interesting heroes? And what do ordinary people have in common with these literary heroes? “What Makes a Hero?” takes students step by step through the crucial events that make or break a hero. Teachers can also create and share a new video lesson based on “What Makes a Hero?”

Click Here to View Free Video Lesson

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Encourage Responsible Scholastic Journalism

The National High School Yearbook Adviser of the Year program, sponsored by the Journalism Education Association (JEA), is designed to honor outstanding high school advisers and their exemplary work from the previous year as well as throughout their careers. A $1,000 award for the winner’s school, and up to four $500 awards for Distinguished Advisers’ schools, may be used to buy equipment for the yearbook classroom or to fund student scholarships to summer workshops. The Yearbook Adviser of the Year will have his or her travel and hotel paid for the JEA convention where he or she will receive the award. In addition, the recipient will receive a personal $500 prize.

Deadline: October 15, 2014, for application and other required materials

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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 3,000 (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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Resource Roundup

Create an Encouraging Learning Environment

School products and teaching supplies from Quill.com allow teachers to create an engaging, encouraging learning environment with colorful books, art supplies, stickers and more. Categories range from mathematics and science to social studies and language arts, permitting teachers to find the most appropriate materials for all their education needs. Quill’s Education Resource Center offers “The 5 R’s of Implementing the Common Core State Standards,” “Classroom Decorating Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank,” “Lessons Learned for Saving on Discount Teacher Supplies,” “Teacher Grants, Contests & Awards”—and more.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Learn About the Present Through the Past

Visitors to the Ken Burns America website will find an interactive map and timeline featuring images, videos and audio files that have been included in various programs produced by Ken Burns. The display can be filtered according to media type, era, theme, location and Ken Burns film title. Most of the videos and images include a link to related lesson plans, which can also be found on the classroom resources page. The lessons are developed for grades 7–12 but are adaptable to other grade levels. The educational materials are designed to cover academic subjects other than history—such as English and language arts, music, art, economics and mathematics—as well as to support critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, creativity and innovation, media literacy, communication and collaboration and other life skills.

Click Here to Access Interactive Map

Click Here to Access Free Classroom Resources

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Examine How Peoples and Societies Interacted in Collaboration

Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to 9–12 U.S. Curriculum on the Modern Middle East and North Africa” (MENA) is a curriculum resource of 15 lesson plans (with appended and accompanying resources). The curriculum is intended to help World History high school educators in the US to teach about the Middle East and North Africa. Developed by a team of five education professors, the curriculum is grounded in a rigorous process of US World History textbook analysis and review. The curriculum authors consulted with history and area-studies scholars to integrate new scholarship on the region, using this material to generate curricula, web-based materials and study guides. The curriculum is framed around the following themes: Women and Gender, Plural Identities, Political and Social Movements, Empire and Nation and Arts and Technology. The lessons—drawing heavily on primary source materials—are aligned with the Common Core standards. The lessons can be taught sequentially or can stand alone, even within each theme. Teachers can download the 350-page curriculum at no cost from the MENA website.

Click Here to Download Free Curriculum

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Practice Kindness in the Classroom

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has compiled dozens of ideas to start conversations and spur kindness activities to build strong communities at school. Skim the entire list for inspiration or scroll down the web page to find ideas that are appropriate for the age group with which you work. Other areas of the site contain kindness ideas and quotations to provide more inspiration. Also browse the list of suggested movies and television shows for choices that will inspire kindness.

Click Here to Access Ideas for Inspiring Kindness

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Realize the Dangers of Flimsy Arguments

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments is aimed at newcomers to the field of logical reasoning, particularly those who, to borrow a phrase from Pascal, are “so made that they understand best through visuals.” The book’s author has included a small set of common errors in reasoning and visualized them using memorable illustrations that are supplemented with examples. The illustrations are partly inspired by allegories such as George Orwell’s Animal Farm and partly by the humorous nonsense of works such as Lewis Carroll’s stories and poems. Unlike such works, there isn’t a narrative that ties them together; they are discrete scenes, connected only through style and theme. Each fallacy has just one page of exposition. The hope is that readers will learn from these pages some of the most common pitfalls in arguments and be able to identify and avoid them. At the end of the book is a glossary of terms with concise definitions that relate to argumentation. The book is freely available online under a Creative Commons license. Students can navigate the book page by page or view the entire book on a single web page. The book may also be freely downloaded to an iPad or iPhone from the iTunes App Store.

Click Here to Access Online Book

Click Here to Download Free App

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Professional Development Plus

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.

Click Here to Visit IBCCES Website

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Remove the Mystery Surrounding Autism

Autism spectrum disorder can be diagnosed in people of all ages, not just young children. When it comes to identifying students at risk, educators are on the frontlines. On October 7, 2014, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), Amazing Resources for Educators and edWeb.net will host a free webinar entitled “Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder at Any Age: Keeping Students from Slipping Through the Cracks,” sponsored by the Southwest Autism Research & Research Center (SARRC). In the webinar, the presenter will describe the signs to look for in your students as well as the critical importance of appropriate identification. The interactive session will help participants understand the subtle signs of autism spectrum disorder and the free tools available through SARRC’s ThinkAsperger’s website. The presenter will also field participants’ questions throughout the webinar.

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

Click Here to Visit ThinkAsperger’s Website

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Find the Funds You Need

Need more money to turn your educational technology dreams into reality? On October 30, 2014, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), edWeb.net and the GetEdFunding community will host “Build Your Grant Writing Toolkit, Part II,” the second of two free webinars sponsored by CDW•G. During this free webinar, the presenter will cover asking for equipment versus sharing a vision, writing a Letter of Inquiry, using the GetEdFunding.com database to search for grants that fit your school, your student population and you, and understanding how to align your vision, budget and evaluation plan.

Click Here to Register for Part II of Free Grant Writing Webinar

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Mobile Learning Journey

Put Primary Sources in Students' Hands

The Library of Congress (LOC) has released a set of free ebooks for iPad users. The Student Discovery series brings together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in, draw to highlight details and conduct open-ended primary source analysis. The series covers the United States Constitution, the Dust Bowl, the Harlem Renaissance, immigration, symbols of the United States and the cosmos. The ebooks are available to download with iBooks on a Mac or iPad and with iTunes on a computer. A Teacher’s Guide with background information, teaching ideas and additional resources is available on the LOC web page for teachers.

Click Here to Access Free Downloadable eBooks

Click Here to Access Free Teacher’s Guide

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Study Insects in Their Natural Habitats

Giant deadly hornets, gorgeous fluttering butterflies and stealthy crawling stink bugs … students will discover these and other mesmerizing world insects in Expedition: Insects, a free ebook for the iPad, written, illustrated and animated by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. In the ebook, young explorers travel around the world to visit six types of insects in their natural habitats. Expedition: Insects is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and designed for use both in the classroom and at home. Among the ebook’s features are images and videos that show children what the insects look like in real life. Readers can zoom in on labeled images, watch exciting video footage and experience the sounds of the habitats they visit. The ebook also includes many animated maps. As readers travel from South America to Asia, Africa and North America, they learn about world geography from animated maps that trace the route from one continent to the next. At the end of the ebook, readers have the opportunity to become artists as they fill their sketchbook with drawings of the insects they’ve seen.

Click Here to Access Free eBook

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STEM Gems

Discover Why Leaves Change Color in Autumn

Reactions, a YouTube channel of the American Chemical Society, has released a new video about the chemistry involved in the process of leaves changing color. The video explains how chlorophyll and the glucose stored inside trees help reveal the reds, yellows and browns of fall foliage.

Click Here to View Free Video

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Bring Students Together to Tackle World Problems

Students across the globe soon will have an online spot to get involved in real-world problem solving using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. The New York Academy of Sciences recently announced the Global STEM Alliance in an effort to bring students from across the globe together to solve world problems. The Alliance will start by having one spot online for students to get involved with STEM projects, even help them find STEM internships. Through a virtual learning platform, the Alliance will enhance on-the-ground STEM education initiatives with customized STEM programs, facilitate global mentoring and networking among top scientists and STEM students, connect STEM leaders worldwide to local programs for global scientific advancement and be a global resource for STEM teaching and learning materials. Building on the Academy’s STEM education activities, the Alliance will provide students and mentors with networking opportunities to collaborate on global challenges, participate in online courses and develop virtual partnerships with inspiring scientists and engineers.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Launch on a Mission to Teach STEM+

The Flying Classroom, an interactive STEM+ learning adventure, recently launched from Washington, D.C. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Captain Barrington Irving, who holds the Guinness World Record as the youngest person to fly solo around the world, will pilot the jet Inspiration III to North America, Asia, Indonesia and Australia. Along the way, he and his crew will explore real-life applications of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, history, geography and the humanities. The Inspiration III crew will take 16 ground, air and sea expeditions, and an online portal originating on board the plane will share videos and a real-time storytelling blog with students around the world. Inspiration III will travel to all seven continents over three consecutive school years. Students in schools that use the Flying Classroom curriculum, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, will study STEM+ subjects relevant to each expedition as they track the Flying Classroom team. Teachers and students can follow this year’s expedition live through November 18 on the Flying Classroom website, via Facebook or on Twitter at @CaptainIrving using #flyingclassroom.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit Facebook Page

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Worth-the-Surf Websites

Introduce New Ways of Searching for Information

Dr. Daniel Russell, a search anthropologist who works at Google and studies the way people search and research, writes in his personal blog, SearchReSearch, about searching, building search skills, teaching search, learning how to search, learning how to use Google effectively and learning how to do research. The blog also covers a good deal of sense making and information foraging. Every week Dr. Russell posts a challenge question designed to introduce students to new ways of searching for information. He also provides a detailed explanation of the solution and encourages others to comment on their approach to answering the challenge.

Click Here to Visit Search Blog

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Explore Online Learning Experiences

To help close the readiness gap between high school and college, edX has launched a high school initiative—an initial collection of 26 new online courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses and high school–level courses in a wide variety of subject areas. All of the courses will be offered for free, with some courses offering a Verified Certificate of Achievement option available for a fee that varies by course. These 26 courses are intended to better prepare high school students for college and offer learners of all ages an introduction to new areas of study and disciplines. Students can use the courses to prepare for college and AP exams and to supplement AP coursework. Teachers can use the new high school course materials to augment their classroom curriculum. Covering subject areas ranging from mathematics to science, English and history, the edX high school initiative will provide students around the world who don’t have access to AP courses the opportunity to pursue challenging, advanced coursework. edX members include Boston University, Georgetown University, MIT, Rice University, TU Delft, UC Berkeley, UT Arlington, UT Austin, Wellesley College and Davidson College. Other organizations involved with the initiative are Cooper Union, School Yourself, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Tennessee Board of Regents and Weston (MA) Public High School.

Click Here to Search edX High School Course Catalog

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Get Insight into Historic and Current Events

The Miller Center at the University of Virginia is the new home of Presidential Classroom, a resource for students and teachers providing insight into historic and current events through teachable exhibits and lesson plans. The site provides a unique interactive web experience that will teach students about the United States presidency and government. The Miller Center’s American President pages contain personal and political biographical information about every president of the United States. Each profile links to dozens of essays about various aspects of that president’s life and work. Each profile also contains images of the president, and some profiles include audio files and video. Teachers will also find a selection of lesson plans and course syllabi on the Presidential Classroom website. The lesson plans, appropriate for high school students, cover themes and topics post-1950, such as the Space Race, the Vietnam War and the Sixties. The site also includes a speech archive that contains the text of inaugural addresses, State of the Union addresses and other notable speeches that presidents have delivered to Congress and the American public.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit American Presidents Page

Click Here to Access Lesson Plans

Click Here to Access Speech Archive

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Trace the Creativity and Ingenuity of the American People

Designs for Democracy is an online exhibit created by the National Archives and Records Administration. The exhibit features drawings, sketches and pictures that demonstrate the creativity and ingenuity of Americans through history. The exhibit is divided into three sections—“First Designs: Symbols and Substance,” “Grand Plans for a Growing Nation” and “Designs for a New Century”—tracing the development of the United States from its early beginnings through the 20th century. Among the drawings on display are ideas for symbols, improvements, achievements in science and technology and artistic expressions.

Click Here to Visit Website

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