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December 2013 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Travel Back in Time, Increase Global Awareness, Make It Social & More - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Travel Back in Time, Increase Global Awareness, Make It Social & More

December 1, 2013

In Partnership With:

MASL_MISSOURI

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Brave New Social World

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites



 

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 1,850 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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Spotlight Inspiring Teachers

Each year, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards solicits nominations from the general public and notable public figures, providing the opportunity to submit stories about teachers and professors who made a significant difference in their lives. Nominees must be legal residents of the United States and teach or have taught in a K–12 school, college or university in the United States; teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible. On March 22, Stephen Sondheim’s birthday, a select number of these teachers will each receive The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award—$10,000—in appreciation for their contributions to the field of teaching. Awardees will also be spotlighted, along with the people they inspired, on The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards website.

Deadline: December 15, 2013

Click Here for More Information

 

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Share Effective Teaching Strategies

The Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice is awarded annually to public school teachers who demonstrate exceptionally effective teaching with students from high-poverty communities. Offered by TNTP, a nonprofit organization working to ensure that all students get excellent teachers, the prize is given to up to five teachers each year. In addition to receiving $25,000, the winners engage in a six-week, one-of-a-kind summer residency during which they meet with education leaders nationwide and write and publish a collection of essays about their most essential teaching strategies. Finalists receive a $1,000 award and national recognition.

Deadlines: Applicants who submit by the early deadline of December 3, 2013 will learn whether they have been selected for the next round in advance of other applicants. The final deadline is January 21, 2014.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Imagine Technology in 20 Years

The ExploraVision program, sponsored by Toshiba and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), builds problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills that are central to the Next Generation Science Standards. ExploraVision encourages K–12 students to imagine what technology might be like in 20 years, helping children expand their imagination and have fun while developing an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at an early age. To best align with the Next Generation Science Standards, students are required to propose an idea for a new technology based on a challenge or limitation of what already exists, simulate real scientific research to outline how they plan to test their idea and build a web page to further illustrate their concept. Students have a chance to win $10,000 US Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity) and other prizes. Past winners have envisioned technologies ranging from a handheld food allergen detector to a new device that helps people who have lost limbs regain movement in real time.

Deadline: Registration is now open; team projects must be received by January 30, 2014

Click Here for More Information

 

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Open a Book and Drive for 10

The Fast Break for Reading campaign is a joint initiative between the International Reading Association (IRA), the American Basketball Association (ABA) and classroom teachers nationwide to encourage students to read for 10 minutes a day. Students who take part in the campaign will be eligible to get great prizes from the ABA, including tickets, merchandise—and maybe even a visit from an ABA player to their school. Through its Buckets & Books program, ABA teams around the country will be collecting books at games to donate to their local schools’ reading programs. With the help of a teacher liaison, maybe your school will be one of them.

Deadline: Fast Break for Reading and Buckets & Books programs conclude on March 14, 2014

Click Here for More Information

 

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Resource Roundup


Explore South Africa's Struggle for Democracy

Education is a vital component of furthering the message of the soon-to-be-released film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom—as well as Nelson Mandela’s own message. A curriculum to accompany the film for grades 9–12 is available for free download. Created in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, the curriculum incorporates a number of primary sources as well as exclusive clips from the film, which is based on Mandela’s autobiography of the same title. The curriculum addresses 21st century skills by giving students opportunities to practice the skills of critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, and media literacy. For those school districts that have adopted Common Core State Standards, teachers will find that the lessons incorporate many CCSS skill areas, such as reading information text, writing with purpose, speaking and listening.

Click Here to Access Free Curriculum Guide

 

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Discover How Children Shaped Society Throughout History

Children & Youth in History is designed to help teachers and students learn about the important roles of young people throughout history by providing access to information about the lived experiences of children and youth from multiple perspectives as well as changing notions about childhood and adolescence in past cultures and civilizations. The materials address such questions as: What was it like to be a child or adolescent throughout history? How is childhood defined? How has it changed, and how has it remained the same? What factors have shaped childhood, and how did children shape history, society and culture? Children & Youth in History has four key features: a Primary Source Database with 350 resources, along with guidance on how to use those sources critically, and tools for annotating and organizing the sources; 60 Website Reviews that focus on valuable online resources for studying and teaching the history of childhood and youth in world history; 11 Teaching Modules that provide historical context, teaching tools and strategies for teaching with sets of primary sources drawn from the Primary Source Database; and 25 Teaching Case Studies, created by experienced scholars and teachers, which model strategies for using primary sources to teach the history of childhood and youth. The Students’ Guide to Reading Primary Sources on the History of Children & Youth will help students to get started using the resources.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Free Teaching Modules

Click Here to Access Free Students’ Guide

 

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Visualize Geography Over Time

Reading Maps, a free interactive from PBS Learning Media, helps students at grades 6–12 learn the visual language of maps (perspective, symbols and data) and see how mapping techniques have changed over time. The interactive gives them practice at looking at maps as historical artifacts.

Click Here to Access Free Interactive

Plus: In this video from Penn State Public Broadcasting’s Geospatial Revolution project, experts trace the history of geography, from clay tablets during Babylonian times, to mapmaking from horseback in the 1800s, to digital maps produced by computers in the 1960s.

Click Here to View Free Video

 

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Think Like a Philosopher

The free online program What’s the Big Idea? introduces middle school students to philosophy through film. The program’s website shows teachers how to use the online film clips to spark active discussions. The issues presented in the video clips involve bullying, lying, friendship, peer pressure and environmental ethics. In a video on the Students’ Intro page, a professor of philosophy from Mount Holyoke College introduces What’s the Big Idea? to students. The students’ page also provides freely downloadable PDFs of student resources: "Introduction to Philosophy,” "Ethics” and "Five Guidelines for Thinking Philosophically.” The Teachers’ Intro page presents four video clips, beginning with "Benefits of ‘Doing’ Philosophy” and moving in sequence to "Intro to Ethics,” "How This Website Works” and "Five Guidelines for Having a Discussion.” Educators can also download accompanying teacher resources, including advice on facilitating a classroom discussion, as well as optional follow-up activities for each ethical issue.

Click Here to Access Free Online Program

 

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Address the 21st Century Learner

The Lesson Plan Database is an interactive resource and tool to support school librarians and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the American Association of School Libraries’ (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner In Action. The database serves as a catalyst for collaboration, as school librarians and teachers work together to create projects that weave content and skills into engaging learning activities. Users can search the database for lesson plans by learning standards and indicators, content topic, grade level, resources used, type of lesson or schedule, keyword and much more. In addition, registered users can bookmark lesson plans in a portfolio for future use, rate and comment on lesson plans in the community, print to PDF and socially share lesson plans on the web, and create and publish their own lesson plans in the database.

Click Here to Access Free Lesson Plan Database

 

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Brave New Social World


Use the Social Web for Positive Real-World Impact

In this sequel to the 2005 original web game, Food Force takes players online to Facebook and gets them together with their friends to learn how the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) delivers humanitarian aid all over the world. From farming crops, preparing goods, sending friends to deliver food and responding to crises around the globe, the new Food Force takes advantage of the social web by providing a dynamic gaming experience that allows players to gain instant access to creating impact. This is done by purchasing virtual goods that benefit a player’s performance but also generates donations for international aid. As players distribute aid across the virtual world, they can track their impact through the "real-world impact tracker,” which shows them how much aid was delivered through their virtual goods purchases.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Combine Tweets into Stories

AuthorBee is a collaborative storytelling application driven by social media. The new @AuthorBee application allows individuals to create extended narratives built from the tweets of their followers. AuthorBee offers individuals, and loosely associated communities, the ability to collaborate and create coherent stories from multiple points of view. The platform is designed to work in conjunction with social media—a Facebook version is in beta—and @AuthorBee is specifically linked with Twitter. Users can create an account/channel at the @AuthorBee website, which must link to their Twitter account. When using any Twitter mobile client and mentioning #AuthorBee, that same tweet will be sent to the users’ @AuthorBee channel and saved in sequence. A version of AuthorBee for educational use is in development.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Participate in a Twitter Book Club

Have you had the opportunity to participate in a Twitter book club? If not, try #titletalk. On the last Sunday of each month, teachers, librarians and book lovers gather for #titletalk at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. At the time and date, go to Twitter and search for #titletalk. A topic announced at the beginning of the hour guides all participating. Find new titles in each session that you can bring to your classroom or library. The fun part, though, is developing virtual friendships with folks all over the globe.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: The chats are archived, so if you miss the time and date, you can still catch up. Two videos help beginners join in, and on the right-side column of the archive is a list of past chats. Scroll through until you find the date of the conversation you want.

Click Here to Access Archive

 

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STEM Gems


Turn Game Ideas into Reality

GameSprout is a community for sharing and building games. A user comes up with a game idea, and the community helps the user create it. After the game idea is posted, the community provides feedback and suggestions. The game idea is then listed on the Build page, signifying it is ready for contributions. Users help to build the game by providing code, artwork and more. Once a game is created, it appears on the Play page where people can play it, and the developers can improve it.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Bring STEM Ideas Alive with Technology

The Concord Consortium provides digital learning resources for math, science and engineering. The STEM Resource Finder features some of the best of The Concord Consortium’s free, open-source educational activities, models and software tools. Search by keyword or filter by subject (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics); grade level (Elementary School, High School, Higher Education, Middle School); and resource type (Activity, Model) to find the right resources for students’ learning goals.

Click Here to Access STEM Resource Finder

Plus: You can find your path through the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with The Concord Consortium’s NGSS Pathfinder. Start in the center with a core idea: What do you teach? Add a scientific and engineering practice—or two! Add a crosscutting concept. You’ve created one path through the NGSS. Use The Concord Consortium’s resources available for that path.

Click Here to Access NGSS Pathfinder

 

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Explore Wonder and Imagination

Wondermind is a unique suite of minigames and interactive films for children aged 8-12, designed by the Tate Liverpool to illustrate the neuroscience of the growing brain in child development in simple, fun ways. The games aim to encourage an understanding of core aspects of neuroscience, including neural plasticity, spatial cognition, memory and language. The games are imbued with the essence of Lewis Carroll’s timeless story, Alice in Wonderland, and feature some of the classic characters. Quests include searching for the Cheshire Cat in an increasingly complex maze using reflected light; catching the White Rabbit while trying to keep untrodden paths from growing over; and making sure the Mad Hatter serves the right type of tea to his eccentric guests. The games use familiar and engaging mechanics to convey basic neuroscience concepts to a nonscientific audience. Wondermind also includes a series of interactive videos that allow players to have conversations with scientists currently working in the field. An associated blog provides a wealth of additional information and artwork for children to discover.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites


Visualize Events in Middle-earth

The LotrProject’s Timeline of the History of Middle-earth is a geospatial timeline and chronology of events in J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Each event in the timeline is directly linked to a location on a map. Students click on any event in the timeline to see where it took place in Middle-earth. Students can also explore the genealogy of the main characters in The Hobbit and navigate through the story using The Hobbit Timeline. If students are reading Tolkien’s works, the timelines and maps can help them keep track of the plot in a linear format.

Click Here to Access Middle-earth Timeline/Map

Click Here to Access The Hobbit Timeline/Map

Plus: The Periodic Table of Middle-earth makes use of characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The online graphic is also available as a full-color poster—17 in. x 22 in.—for $15.00.

Click Here to Access Periodic Table

Plus The LotrProject has created an Android app that gathers every character from Tolkien’s books about Middle-earth into one giant family tree, including Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and many more characters from the Lord of the Rings. The app currently features more than 900 characters. Cost: $1.52

Click Here to Visit Google Play App Store

Plus: Just in time for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, part 2 of director Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s book, Google Chrome and Warner Bros. have launched an interactive journey through Middle-earth. The new online interactive map, complete with atmospheric moving clouds, provides a guided tour of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, the setting for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as a look at the Elves, Wizards, Trolls and other creatures that inhabit it. The grand tour offers three locales (Rivendell, Trollshaws and Dol Guldur) to explore.

Click Here to Visit Middle-earth

 

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Journey to the City Built on Water

Google’s latest Street View project lets students explore the winding streets and narrow waterways of Venice from the comfort of their browser. In the new Street View imagery of Venice, students can virtually walk the sidewalks and cruise down canals. All they need to do is sit back and let a gondolier take the oar. After virtually touring Venice, students may wonder how the city works. The website Venice Backstage has a 17-minute video that explains how the water is contained, how the buildings stay upright and how residents of Venice travel about the city. The website also offers additional articles and graphics to support the information presented in the video.

Click Here to Visit Google Street View

Click Here to Visit Venice Backstage

 

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Go on an Underwater Field Trip

Have your students ever wanted to go deep-sea diving? Well, now they can! Take your class on an underwater virtual field trip and visit a 3-D recreation of the wreck of La Luna, the former flagship of King Louis XIV. The wreck was recently discovered off the coast of Toulon, in southern France, with a treasure trove of more than 60,000 objects. Students can visit the site of the wreck and explore the objects that were strewn across the seabed when it sank in 1664. They can navigate around on their own or take a guided tour. Created by Dassault Systemes, using a prototype underwater camera aboard a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), the 420-square-meter La Luna wreck site is being captured with absolute accuracy in realistic 3-D. The resulting 3-D model is being used by the archeological team for training divers and testing new techniques for exploring.

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Tour the Eternal City at Its Peak

What did ancient Rome look like in 320 CE? Rome Reborn is an international initiative to create a 3-D digital model of the Eternal City at a time when Rome’s population had reached its peak (about 1 million) and the first Christian churches were being built. The result is a truly stunning bird’s-eye and ground view of ancient Rome that will make students feel as if they were actually there.

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Examine Objects from Imperial China

Scrolling over objects in this present-day classroom takes students back to Early ImperialChina. They can pull down the projector screen, for example, and view a slideshow about the building of the Great Wall. They can change the carousel and zoom in on the details of a brick found in a burial chamber. Or open a drawer and find pictures of silk, ceramics, rice and tea from Imperial China along with an interactive that helps them understand the production process. It’s all great fun—and rich with information!

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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 Wednesday feature 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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