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August 2013 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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August 1 K-12 Technology Newsletter - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Get Ed Funding

Inspire Students to Learn Digitally, Think Critically and More

August 1, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Online Education Plus

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites

In Partnership With:
MASL_MISSOURI




Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities



Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is CDW-G’s new 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 1,500 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 41 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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Spark Girls’ Interest in STEM Fields

Sponsored by TopCoder Studio, NoNameSite.com and Google, the STEM poster designcontest is intended to empower the younger female generation to become the best and brilliant minds of tomorrow. The goal of the contest is to design a poster with an overall theme of girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The poster needs to attract the attention of young American girls in grades 6–12 and deliver a core message about the exciting opportunities in STEM. You have the choice to use the contest theme of "Choose2Matter” or your own theme. Choose2Matter is a call to action that demands that people recognize their own genius and contribute it to our world. Prizes will be awarded to winners in the following categories: Judges’ overall award winner ($5,000); Kids’ Choice award winner ($2,500); Designers’ Choice award winner ($2,500).

Deadline: August 31, 2013 for design submissions

Click Here for More Information

 

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Solve Problems with Systems

The National School Science Computer (NSSC) Challenge is an online programmingcompetition for secondary school students, sponsored by TheUniversity of Sydney and GrokLearning. The challenge has been running in Australia for the last eight years, and this year it’s open to students everywhere. Unlike other programming competitions, trained tutors from The University of Sydney will teach students how to program as they go along, rather than expecting them to be an expert already. There’s something for seasoned coders too: the problems range from relatively simple to mind-bendingly hard. For five weeks starting on Monday, August 5, 2013, and running until Sunday, September 8, 2013, the tutors will release a set of notes containing the information students will need in order to complete the week’s programming challenges. Each course comes with notes tailored to a different learning level. To take students beyond the notes, each concept they learn is matched with a problem to solve. A cloud-based auto-marking system breaks down each problem into a number of tests that check various types of input. If students are not 100 percent "there,” they will be told why and receive help on the way to solving the problem. Each stream of the NSSC Challenge has its own leaderboard where students can see how they’re doing against their peers. Each question answered correctly gets students points that improve their ranking, bringing them closer to global programming domination. At the end of each week, students can join a threaded discussion to talk about the problems and their solutions—what was difficult and how they worked through it—in a safe environment monitored by the university’s staff.

Deadlines: Weekly through September 8, 2013

Click Here for More Information

Click Here to Register for NSSC Challenge

 

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Design for the Future

Submissions are being accepted for the third annual Helicopter 2050 Challenge sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The contest asks students between the ages of nine and 16 to design the helicopter of the future that will help to overcome global challenges. Submissions are judged based on uniqueness of concept (50%), description of invention/idea (25%) and potential of the design to overcome global challenges (25%). Only individual entries will be accepted. The entrant with the best concept will be awarded the 2013 Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award, a $1,000 scholarship and a trip to Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut, to attend the award presentation and tour the facility. Four finalists will receive a Sikorsky prize pack.
Deadline: September 20, 2013 for design submissions

Click Here for More Information

Plus: Students can get their creative juices flowing with the Get Thinking ideas on the challenge website. For schools and museums, Sikorsky has a digital binder of activities designed around the Helicopter 2050 contest.

Click Here to Access Get Thinking Ideas

Click Here to Download Free Digital Binder

 

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Enter The Big Deal Book of Technology Take-It-With-You Contest!

TheBig Deal Book of Technology is a small book with BIG staying power! Our readers say that they keep their books close by as the go-to resource for the best curated mix of grant opportunities, newest apps, interactive web destinations and more. Now here’s another way to put this go-everywhere book to good use:

"Like” Big Deal Media on Facebook and then enter the Take-It-With-You Contest by posting a photo of you, with a copy of TheBig Deal Book of Technology in hand,on our timeline. (Provide a brief description of the locale and, of course, your name!) If you don’t have a hard copy of the publication, you can download a copy (or just the cover) from http://www.bigdealbook.com.

Each month through October 31, 2013, we’ll give away one $50 gift card to Starbucks, Amazon or Barnes & Noble, to the photo capturing the most "likes” during the month posted. (Feel free to send a different photo each month.) We’ll announce each month’s winner on our Facebook page.

Whether you’re two blocks from home or in Timbuktu, we want to see your photos with a Big Deal Book of Technology.

Click Here to Enter Take-It-With-You Contest

 

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Resource Roundup



Start a Constructive Dialogue

Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit organization that focuses on nurturing democracy worldwide, has offered some thoughts on how we, as a global community, might move forward into dialogue after the Zimmerman trial. On Facing History’s LANetwork web page, you’ll find seven critical thinkingquestions that might be helpful in starting a constructive dialogue in your classroom. You’ll also find links to lessons and other resources that may help you prepare for questions and conversations in your classroom and at home. Among the resources are an activity entitled "Learn to Listen/Listen to Learn” and a short videoclip, "How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do.”

Click Here to Access Free Resources

 

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Strengthen Literacy Competencies Needed for Civic Life

Preparing Students for College, Career and CITIZENSHIP provides English language arts teachers with a civic education context for improving literacy skills and also provides social studies teachers with a framework for building literacy competencies needed for civic life. Lesson activities in each of the grade spans follow a natural progression that builds students’ historical knowledge of the foundations of democracy, an understanding of how America’s constitutional principles are reinterpreted over time, and the skills and dispositions needed for effective citizenship. Students are called to actively participate in activities that strengthen reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the context of civic dialogue, debate, persuasion and action. The guide was published by the Los Angeles County Office of Education and developed in collaboration with the Trinity County Office of Education and the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.

Click Here to Download Free Guide

 

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Visualize the Many Facets of Debates

DebateGraph is a free cloud-based tool that offers students a way to learn about, deliberate on and make decisions related to complex issues. It does so by enabling groups of any size to externalize, visualize, question and evaluate all of the considerations that any member thinks may be relevant to a topic—and by facilitating constructive dialogue within the group around those issues. Using webbed mapsofarguments, students can see and explore the many facets of debate. Building the maps involves three steps: (1) breaking down the subject into meaningful ideas; (2) figuring out the relationships between those ideas; and (3) expressing the ideas and relationships visually. Issues (or questions) are raised; Positions(or answers) are suggested in response to the Issues; and Supportive and Opposing Argumentsare advanced for and against the Positions (and each other). Each building block has its own color to make it easy to see the types of ideas and relationships at a glance. A gallery of debates displays debate maps in a variety of formats: bubble view, tree view, radial graph view, box view, outline view, page view and document view. Choose the format that will work best for you and your students. If you select one of the bubble, tree or graph views, you’ll see an outline in the right-hand margin of the page. To explore a debate, students simply click on any of the connected circles in the diagram. To create your own debate map, or to contribute to one that is already started, you must first register (for free) on the DebateGraph website.

Click Here to Access Free Online Tool

Click Here to Visit Free Debate Gallery

 

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Broaden Children’s Horizons

The Children’s Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education guides librarians, educators, parents, grandparents and other interested adults to the best books for children published each year. In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and absence of stereotypes. Nonfiction titles are further evaluated for accuracy and clarity. Each book accepted for the list is read and reviewed by at least two committee members and then discussed by the committee as a whole. Find the committee members’ selections of the best children’sbooks of 2013 on the Bank Street College’s website. The lists are freely downloadable PDF files, organized by age range (under age 5, ages 5–9, 9–12, 12–14 and age 14 and up).

Click Here to Access Free Children’s Booklists

 

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Promote an Atmosphere of Acceptance and Inclusion

Across the country, students and teachers are sharing stories, joining together and taking action to create safe schools, free from stereotypes, intolerance and hate. They’re part of a movement called Not In Our School (NIOS). For more than a decade, Not In Our School has inspired students of all ages to develop and share innovative ways to resist bullying and promote an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion. The Not In Our School videos, activities and resources on the organization’s website showcase the immense capacity, energy and creativity of young people who are creating new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

 

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Find and Share the Best Digital Learning Tools

Launched by Common Sense Media, the nonprofit known by parents, teachers and librarians for its high-quality, nonpartisan reviews and its Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum, the Graphite platform helps teachers make sense of an exponentially evolving number of digital learning tools. The goal is to objectively and transparently rate and review educational technologies and to guide busy teachers to the best websites, games, apps and digital curricula that will augment their teaching and relieve the time-consuming burden of searching, sorting and sifting. A team of professional educators—early childhood development experts, doctorates in education and teachers with hands-on classroom expertise—rates each website, game and app based on a detailed rubric that scores each product on 15 dimensions. Each product is also tagged for subjects, skills and grade band and mapped to Common Core and other state standards. Every product is rigorously reviewed so that educators can dig deeper into what and how students will learn with it. The site is not only free; it’s also ad-free.

Click Here to Access Free Curriculum

Click Here to Access Free Rubric

 

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Online Education Plus



Reimagine STEM in a Changing World

The Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference is the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and more. STEMxCon will be a highly inclusive event that will engage students and educators around the globe and will encourage primary, secondary and tertiary (K–16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching. The conference will be held over the course of three days, September 19–21, 2013, and will be free to attend. View the Conference Strands online.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here for a List of Conference Strands

 

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Expand the Walls of Your Classroom

Every second Wednesday of the month, Smithsonian Education invites a Smithsonian curator, researcher, scientist, historian or educator to chat with students and teachers from around the world in its Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series. Past topics have included the Presidential Inauguration, Civil Rights and Astronomy. Check out the archive and take a look at what’s ahead for the upcoming school year.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Implement Digital Classroom Strategies

Learn it in 5 is a library of how-to videos, produced by technology teachers for the purpose of helping teachers and students create learning strategies for today’s 21st century digital classroom. The step-by-step how-to videos walk teachers through Web 2.0 technology, demonstrating how to use Web 2.0 applications, such as social networks, podcasts, interactive videos, wikis, slide sharing and more.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Sponsored By:

STEM Gems

Put the Pedal to the Metal

One of the biggest questions math educators face when teaching higher-level high school content is, "How do I make this relevant? How do I make this matter to students?” Race 2 Achieve is a project-based math curriculum that is not only aligned to Common Core standards, but also focused on the interests of students. It’s possible to prepare students for assessment while giving their learning both context and meaning. Through NASCARengineering and Hendrick Motorsports, students not only learn key concepts; they also learn how to apply those concepts in a real-world scenario through the development of their own model racecars.

Click Here to Visit Website

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Turn Students Onto Physics

PhysicsCentral,a website run by The American Physical Society (an organization representing 48,000 physicists), provides a series of comic books designed to get youth excited about physics. Students can enjoy Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair for free online. The 2008 comic book pits Thomas Edison against Tesla, the unsung hero of electricity and magnetism. Also on the PhysicsCentral website, students can enjoy four freecomic books from the Spectra series, which presents the adventures of a middle school superhero who possesses all of the great powers of a laser beam. Most of these comic books are part of PhysicsQueststory-based activities designed for middle school classrooms.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Free Tesla Comic Book

Plus: Color Me Physics introduces younger students to physics and some of its most famous characters. The book includes one coloring page and a short description for each of the 10 physicists featured. Download and reproduce Color MePhysics in its entirety or just the coloring pages and separate descriptions for each physicist. Also find a free downloadable poem, written by a physicist, to accompany the coloring book, as well as a free "Draw Yourself as a Physicisttemplate.

Click Here to Access Free Resources

 

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Make Math Meaningful

Real World Math is a collection of free math activities for Google Earth, designed for students and educators. Students will find free downloads for more than 30 activities, videos and instructional tutorials for Google Earth and SketchUp. The goal is to take the math that students learn in class and develop it further with problem-solving activities. All of the lessons are technology based and can be completed in the classroom or at home. Teachers have access to lesson plans and additional material to integrate the activities effectively. The core of the site is mathematics for grades 4 and up, but many lessons lend themselves to interdisciplinary activities. The approach is student centered and task oriented; it embraces active learning, constructivism and project-based activities. Higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis and creativity, are encouraged, as are technology skills and social learning.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Drag, Drop and Snap Together

Snap!is a drag-and-drop programming interface designed to help students learn to program. Snap! uses a visual interface that works in the browser on a laptop as well as on an iPad. To design a program in Snap!, students drag commands into a sequence in the scripts panel. The commands are represented by labeled jigsaw puzzle pieces that snap together to create a program. Students can try to run their program at any time to see how it will be executed. After previewing their program, students can go back and add or delete pieces as they see fit. A comprehensive Reference Manual guides teachers in implementing the program in the classroom. Snap! is presented by the University of California at Berkeley.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Download Free Reference Manual

Click Here to Run Snap! Program

 

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites



Build an Interactive Learning Commons

Virtual libraries can offer engaging portals and opportunities for students to interact with one another and communicate with teachers and library media specialists. David Loertscher, a professor in San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science, is working with a team of graduate students to build and hone the Virtual Library Commons (VLC) and has provided a downloadable template for creating an interactive and engaging space for school library media specialists, administrators, teachers and students to interact, conduct research and exchange information.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: Loertscher and others have developed the Virtual Library Commons website, urging visitors to help build an idea bank. Visitors can withdraw ideas from it to create their own virtual learning commons for their school. At the top of the page, some initial departments for collaborative building are indicated. The Reading Culture section, the Knowledge Building Center (KBC) and the Experimental Learning Center have been constructed to date.

Click Here to Visit Idea Bank

 

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Go Straight to the Source

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently launched Founders Online, which brings together the papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in a single website. Through Founders Online, students can trace the shaping of the nation, the extraordinary clash of ideas, the debates and discussions carried out through drafts and final versions of public documents as well as the evolving thoughts and principles shared in personal correspondence, diaries and journals.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Connect Brilliant Young Minds

Brilliant.org is an online hub for the world’s most promising young minds to come together, connect and see how they measure up against one another in math and science. Designed for talented 11- to 18-year-olds, the site administers a diagnostic exam to new users and then begins delivering "tantalizingly tricky and hard” questions written by math and physics teachers. Because Brilliant’s team assumes their users already have a strong foundation in STEM topics, the site focuses on measurement—for example, questions such as, "How can we structure practice in such a way that students will understand (a concept) by the end of the practice? And then how do we measure throughout whether they are on track to understand it?” On Brilliant, students can participate in academic socializing on a global scale. The site also brings transparency to global competition. Students can share their answers, and how they devised them, with the Brilliant community and their social networks. The data can be sifted by geography and age range.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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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, freeresources 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 Wednesdayfeature on Big Deal Media, where you’ll find new interactive experiences and resources that incorporate 21st centurythemes and skills into the study of core subjects.

 

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