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March 2011 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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March 1, 2011
Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"
In This Issue
Grants and Other Funding Sources
Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Professional Development Opportunities
STEM Gems
"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants and Other Funding Sources

Engage the 21st Century Learner
TheJohn D. and CatherineT. MacArthur Foundation’sgrantmaking in education explores one of the most significant forcesshaping student learning and educational experiences in and out ofschool in the 21st century—rapidly evolving new technologies,including digitalmedia. Through grantsto scholars, educators, designers and practitioners, MacArthur isexploring the hypothesis that digital media use is changing how youngpeople think, learn, interact, confront ethical dilemmas and engagein civic life, and that there are significant implications for theformal and informal institutions—schools, libraries and museumsamong them—charged with the education of American youth. In 2011the grant budget for this program area is $22.1 million.
Deadlines:No fixed dates
ClickHere for More Information About the Grant
Click Here to Check Guidelines
Update Your School Library Media Center
TheU.S. Department ofEducation’sImproving LiteracyThrough School Libraries program provides grants to local education agencies (LEAs) to improve studentreading skills and academic achievement by providing students withincreased access to up-to-date school library materials;well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media centers;and well-trained, professionally certified school library mediaspecialists. Fifty LEAs will be awarded grants ranging from $100,000to $600,000.
Deadline: March 28, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Promote Nutrition Through Gardening
TheJamba Juice It’s AllAbout the Fruit program provides schools with fruit trees to create engaging nutrition andgardening experiences. Observing and exploring fruit production givesa deeper understanding and appreciation for this essential element ofour diet. Recipients will be selected based on plans to promotenutrition education, ideas for incorporating fruit tree activitiesinto the curriculum and ability to sustain the program over multipleyears. Schools and community garden programs in the United Statesthat involve at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 areeligible to apply. The award consists of fruit trees valued at $500and the Jamba Juice It’sAll About the Fruit Youth Garden Guide;trees will be selected based on recommended varieties for each area.
Deadline: April 11, 2011
Click Here for More Information
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Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Portray a Historical Figure That Reflects Oneself
SamsungTechwin America’sElectronic Imaging Division’snewSUPERHERO Competition encourages students to discover themselves while learning abouthistorical characters. Any K–12 student who attends school in aUnited States or federal territory is eligible to enter a digitalvideo of one to three minutes in length, portraying a historicalcharacter. Videos will be judged on presentation, performance,character and content accuracy and content quality. Competitions takeplace three times a year—winter, spring and autumn. One studentwinner will be selected per competition and will receive $500. Inaddition, the winner’s class will receive a SAMCAM 860 documentcamera (MSRP $799).
Deadlines: Winter competition entries due March 18, 2011; spring competition entries due June 17, 2011; autumn competition entries due September 23, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Gather Inspiration from Innovators
PBSTeachers secondannual InnovationAwards will recognizepreK–12 educators who have engaged students and improved learningthrough new teaching methods. Twelve grand-prize winners will beawarded a weeklong collaborative InnovationImmersion Experience at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. The most innovative teacherswill also receive free enrollment in a PBSTeacherline onlineprofessional development course of their choice.
Deadline: March 31, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Participate in a Project Relevant to Today’s World
Google is partnering with groups, including NationalGeographic andScientific American,to offer a worldwide onlinescience competition.The Google ScienceFair will acceptentries from students, aged 13 to 18, who work individually or ingroups of two or three on creative projects relevant to the worldtoday. Projects will be judged according to the significance of theidea and the quality of the data, write-up and presentation. Thegrand prize is a $50,000 scholarship.
Deadline: Registration open until April 4, 2011; check Web site for competition timeline
Click Here for More Information
Recognize a Top Young Scientist
DiscoveryEducation and 3M have announced the 2011 call for entries for the 13th annualDiscovery Education 3MYoung Scientist Challenge.The competition is for students in grades 5–8 who are enthusiasticabout science. Ten finalists will be selected to receive anall-expenses-paid trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul,Minnesota, to compete in the final challenge. The winner will receive$25,000 and the title of America’sTop Young Scientist.New this year is a SummerMentorship Program:the 10 finalists will be paired with 3M scientists to complete asummer assignment having to do with innovation. Together they willwork virtually through pre-assigned objectives with resources andsupport provided by Discovery Education.
Deadline: April 15, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Win a 21st Century Classroom
CDW-G and DiscoveryEducation have openedthe ninth annual Win aWireless LabSweepstakes, whichwill provide a $50,000 21st-century classroom to three grand-prizewinners. Each classroom includes 20 notebook or tablet computers, aninteractive whiteboard, student response devices, projector, documentcamera and more. Educators and school employees at public and privateschools can enter once per day. From the entry page, participants canTweet about the contest to earn an additional entry. New this year,the sweepstakes will capitalize on Twitter and Facebook to notifyfollowers of special prizes awarded on select days throughout thecontest period. To find out about these promotions, educators shouldfollow @WinWirelessLab on Twitter and become a fan of Win a WirelessLab on Facebook.
Deadline: May 2, 2011
Click Here for More Information
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Frame Use of Technology in Schools
TheConsortium for SchoolNetworking (CoSN)recently released AcceptableUse Policies in a Web 2.0 & Mobile Era: A Guide for SchoolDistricts aimedat assisting district leaders (superintendents, principals, chieftechnology/information officers and curriculum directors) indeveloping, rethinking or revising Internet policies to address thegrowing use of mobile devices and Web 2.0. The CoSN policy guideaddresses the following questions: (1) How does policy differ fromprocedure, and does the difference matter? (2) What are the two majorapproaches used to develop district AUPs? (3) Is thedistrict’s AUP a part of or the totality of the district’stechnology policy? (4) What are the key federal laws affectingInternet access, safety and social networking in schools? (5) How dostate laws or district policies affect school districts’ Internetpolicies pertaining to filtering, AUPs, cyberbullying and cell phoneuse? (6) Does the increasing prevalence of Web 2.0 and student-ownedmobile devices necessitate updating district ICT policies? (7) Wherecan I find samples of various exemplary AUPs? (8) What are sometimely, relevant and useful resources pertaining to the use of Web2.0 technologies in schools? Access the guide online or download aPDF version at nocharge.
Click Here to Access Free Guide
Share What Works
BetterLesson was founded by a group of teachers from Atlanta and Boston publicschools to connect educators and help them create, organize and sharetheir curricula. On the site, you can find lessonplans, classroommaterials andinstructionalresources fromhigh-performing teachers. Browse a wide array of documents,presentations, full lessons—even complete units and courses. Youcan also share your curriculum and connect with fellow educatorsaround the world.
Click Here to Access Free Resources
Educate Students About Software Piracy
Firstappearing in the 1992 video Don’tCopy That Floppy,Digital Protector (aka MC Double Def DP) rapped his way onto thecomputer screens of millions, sparking awareness of the growingproblem of softwarepiracy. His message,heard around the world, generated enormous buzz as innovativetechnology flourished. Almost two decades later, DP is back, bringinghis message to a whole new generation. This time, he’s sparkingheated exchanges all across cyberspace with his new song, Don’tCopy That 2. Withdriving beats and edgy lyrics, he once again hammers home his point:it’s not just a copy; it’s a crime. In an ongoing effort to helpteachers educate K–12 students about the ethicaland legaluse of copyrighted materials,the Education Division of the Software& InformationIndustry Association (SIIA) has released the Don’tCopy That 2School Version of the video. SIIA has also developed accompanying classroomresources, including supportmaterials for thevideo, lesson plans for middle and high school teachers, a glossary and other materials to help educators teach these complex andimportant concepts.
Click Here to Download Free Video and Classroom Resources
Plus:Join the edWebCommunity on March8, 2011, from 4 to 5p.m. ET, for a videoscreening and livechat discussion ofDon’t Copy That2. If you areunable to attend the live event, a link to the recording of thesession will be sent to all registrants.
Click Here to Register for Screening and Live Chat
Inspire Middle School Literacy
Teachers’Domain, an onlinerepository of free media resources forteachers run by the Boston-based WGBHEducational Foundation,provides multimedia-rich science and social studiescurricula infusedwith literacy lessons for struggling readers in grades 5–8. Each self-paced online lessonuses videos,interactiveactivities,note taking,reading and writing to present students with an engaging science or history topic. Thelessons address a range of literacy strategies: Categorizing BasicFacts and Ideas; Comparing and Contrasting Ideas; ConstructingSummaries; Determining Important Information; Establishing Cause andEffect; Identifying and Using Text Features; Making Inferences;Sequencing Events; and Understanding Problem/Solution. So far, thereare about 15 lessons, with plans to create 25 more in 2011.
Click Here to Access Free Resources
Encourage Environmental Stewardship
DiscoveryEducation and theOutdoor PowerEquipment Institute’sEducation andResearch Foundation have launched TurfMutt,an onlinescience-basedprogram designed to help educators teach an appreciation of outdoorlandscapes. The digital curriculum is led by Lucky, a real-liferescue dog who encourages students to protect the land around them.TurfMutt includeslessonplans for students in grades 3–5, engaging activities,videos and more.
Click Here for More Information
Plus:Discovery Education’sLandscapes AcrossAmerica contestchallenges students to illustrate the unique ecosystem attributes oftheir local region. Classrooms are encouraged to submit a slideshowwith digital photos of the unique landscape in their area and includea written description of what environmental aspects of their regionneed to be protected. The grand-prize winner will receive a $5,000grant toward the implementation of an eco-friendly program with hisor her class and a $500 reward for the winning teacher. In addition,Discovery Education will plant a tree for every student and teacherin the winning class. Four second-place winners will receive a $500grant toward implementing an eco-friendly program, as well as treesplanted for every student and teacher in the winning classes.
Deadline: March 31, 2011
Click Here for More Information
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Professional Development Opportunities

Take on Current Challenges in Educational Technology
Inthe face of the most serious economic crisis in generations, K–12schools across the United States are slashing budgets, andeducational technology has become an easy target for cuts. Thecurrent crisis presents not just challenges, but also tremendousopportunities to strengthen technology investments, operations,programs, plans, staff and results. Attend the CoSN2011 Annual Conference,March14–16in NewOrleans, Louisiana,and learn how you can Masterthe Momentto successfully meet the current challenges we are all facing.Register now to join with education technology leaders from thepublic and private sector to address these issues.
Click Here to Register for 2011 CoSN Conference
Practice Classroom Management Techniques
simSchool is a classroomsimulation thatsupports the rapid accumulation of a teacher’s experience inanalyzing student differences, adapting instruction to individuallearner needs, gathering data about the impacts of instruction andseeing the results of their teaching. In simSchool, developed byDavid Gibson, a Vermont entrepreneur, prospective teachers are givenprofiles of students or can make up their own. Characteristicsinclude expected academic performance, openness to learning andemotional stability. They can also factor in whether students havedifficulty seeing, hearing or moving their bodies. Teachers choosefrom a number of lessons and then see how students respond. They canalso interact with students in several ways. If they want to go overlast week’s lesson, some students will ask to go to the bathroom.Some will do homework from another class. Some will ask theirneighbor whether they’re in a remedial class. The program ends witha graph that follows the effectiveness of the assignment and theteacher’s comments with each student. Prospective teachers usuallystart off with no more than five students, but they can teach up to18. The program gives no grades.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
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STEM Gems

Participate in Solving an Online Mystery
Amystery is brewing at the SmithsonianInstitution, and thescientists there want the help of the nation’s middle schoolers tosolve it. Children and teens aged 11–14 can get involved inuncovering the mystery in Vanished,an onlinescience-fictioninteractive mystery event that starts April 4.Students can sign up for the event, conducted by the Smithsonian andthe MassachusettsInstitute ofTechnology, at TheEducation Arcade. Themystery, which is unveiled during the course of the eight-week event,involves a fictitious environmental disaster. Each week, participantswill get clues online that will allow them to come up with hypothesesabout the cause that can be tested, debated and refined. As part ofthe event, players get an assist from real-world Smithsonianscientists in areas such as forensic anthropology, paleobiology andentomology. Scientists will have videoconferences online, andparticipants can send them questions that will be answered in realtime. Students will be asked to collect real data, such asdocumenting a species in their neighborhood. They can upload picturesto the Web site and compare their finds with field guides. Someplayers near 20 or so Smithsonian-affiliated museums can find cluesinside. Clues can also be gathered from several games that will beavailable on the site. As players participate, they will gainachievement points, just as in video games.
Click to Visit Web Site
Get Live Updates on a Space Mission
OnFebruary 24, 2011, the space shuttle Discovery took off on its final mission. Space fans can view the launch—aswell as the remaining two shuttle flights—live on several Internetsites. NASA TV will offer its own coverage of the launches, and sites such asSpacevidcastLive and Spaceflight Now will stream the events and offer commentary.
ClickHere to Visit NASA TV Online
ClickHere to Visit Spacevidcast Live Online
Click Here to Visit Spaceflight Now Online
Find Creative Ways of Using Science News
ScienceNews for Kids is aWeb-based interactive site devoted to science news for children aged9–14. The site features an ArticleArchive withinformation that resembles offerings in the Web-based informationalreading systems; however, the archive sits alongside a menu of moreinteractive selections that actively engage students with sciencecontent. For example, in the GameZone,students can play various games, such as SlimeVolleyball andTraffic Jam.In LabZone,they can follow directions to conduct experiments, such as measuringthe effect of temperature on the rate of a chemical reactions (usingAlka-Seltzer) or investigating what happens to layers of water withdifferent densities. In SciFairZone,they can find tips for creating successful science fair projects andexamples of winning entries. Elsewhere, students can post questionsabout science news topics and interact with others. The TeacherZone features instructional supports, including an annotated list ofscience Web sites to explore as well as question sheets intended tospark students’ thinking before, during and after reading articlesin the archive. SciFiZone offers suggestions for how and why to integrate science fiction intoscience lessons.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Generate Enthusiasm for the Creative Future of Chemistry
TheInternational Year ofChemistry 2011 (IYC2011) is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry andits contributions to the wellbeing of humankind. Under the unifyingtheme "Chemistry—ourlife, our future,”IYC 2011 will offer a range of interactive, entertaining andeducational activities for all ages. The Year of Chemistry isintended to reach across the globe, with opportunities for publicparticipation at the local, regional and national levels.
Click Here for More Information About IYC 2011
Plus:To help celebrate the International Year of Chemistry, NBCLearn and theNational ScienceFoundation havelaunched ChemistryNow, a series ofmedia resources that can be used in, and out of, the classroom toengage youth in chemistry.
Click Here to Access Free Resources
Provide Individualized Math Practice
Designedfor grades 1–6, BritannicaSmartMath provides online mathpractice that adaptsto each student’s ability. Unlike traditional math practice,SmartMath builds formativeassessment into thelearning process. Students who do well see more challengingquestions, and students who struggle see progressively less difficultquestions until they achieve success. With SmartMath,students spend more time on task because they are working at theirown level and having fun, significantly improving their math skillsand test scores. Try it out, for free,online.
ClickHere for More Information
Click Here to Try Free Demo
Plus:Check out insideBritannica,a freemonthlynewsletter that includes tips to help librarians, teachers and students make useof the many educational resources in Britannica Online. Read previouseditions of insideBritannica and learn more about this resource.
Click Here to Sign Up for Free Newsletter
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"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites

Join in a Shared Writing Experience
Inthe fall of 2010, students in kindergarten through grade 5, from 200schools in 21 states and eight countries, participated in the globalProgressive StoryProject. Each classwrote one paragraph at a time of a five-paragraph story, with thefinal stories posted online. The project was aimed at honingstudents’ 21st century skills, such as technologyuse, digitalliteracy, criticalthinking, problemsolving and socialskills. Check outlast year’s stories and voicethreads. Then join this shared writingexperience in the spring of 2011. Find instructions and timelinesonline.
Deadlines:Register by March 11, 2011; classes will be grouped from March 12through March 18, 2011; stories will be written from March 21 throughApril 22, 2011
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Discover Connections Among Cultural Artists
TheAmerican Masters are more connected than you may think! Choose two Masters from thepull-down menus on this PBS webpage to see how they’re related. First select the name of anAmerican Master (for example, Clint Eastwood, Lena Horne or RobertRauschenberg). Then select another American Master (for example,Truman Capote, Alfred Hitchcock or Buster Keaton) and click the Findthe Connection button. Can you stump the SixDegrees Game?
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Tap into Musical Treasures
Humanity’smusical treasures—Beethoven piano sonatas, Schubert songs, Mozartsymphonies and the like—come to life in performance, but they trulysurvive as black marks on a page, otherwise known as scores.Now a Web site founded five years ago by a conservatory student, then19 years old, has made a vast expanse of this repertory available,free of charge.The site, the InternationalMusic ScoreLibrary Project, hasgrown to be one of the largest sources of scores anywhere. It claimsto have 85,000 scores, or parts for nearly 35,000 works, with severalthousand being added every month. The site is an open-sourcerepository that uses the Wikipedia template and philosophy, "avisual analogue of a normal library,” in the words of its founder,Edward W. Guo, the former conservatory student. Volunteers scan inscores or import them from other sources, such as Beethoven House,the museum and research institute in Bonn, Germany. Other usersoversee copyright issues and perform maintenance. Quality control,such as catching missed pages, is also left to the public. The sitehas recently begun adding recordings, and through a partnership witha freelance musician in Indiana who runs a publishing business, itoffers low-cost, on-demand printing of the music.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Encourage Literacy Exploration and Artsy Fun
Storybird is a collaborativestorytelling sitethat allows students to tap into a library of illustrations to createdigital books. Storybird reverses the process of visual storytellingby starting with the image and "unlocking” the story inside.Students choose an artist or a theme, get inspired and start writing.
ClickHere to Visit Web Site
Click Here to Peek Inside a "Storybird”
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Bookmark These!

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