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November 2013 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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Gamify Your Classroom, Make Map Stories, Build Dynamic Websites & More - Big Deal Media
Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

Gamify Your Classroom, Make Map Stories, Build Dynamic Websites & More

November 1, 2013

In Partnership With:

MASL_MISSOURI

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Professional Development Plus

On-the-Go Learning

STEM Gems

"Worth-the-Surf" Websites



 

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities


Equip Youth with Leadership Skills

The Starbucks Foundation’s Youth Leadership Grants support organizations that equip young people, aged 15–24, in three areas: business savvy—having the ability to leverage opportunities with integrity and innovation and to make good decisions and achieve results; social conscience—valuing the impact an individual and enterprise can have on the community; and collaborative communication—engaging others in an inclusive manner across teams, functions and cultures and having the ability to leverage new and creative ways of communication. The foundation will consider grant requests from $10,000 to $30,000.

Deadline: Letters of Inquiry accepted from November 1 through December 15, 2013

Click Here for More Information

 

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Encourage Young Entrepreneurs

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) program was established to raise awareness among the nation’s youth of the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in the building of America. The NFIB Young EntrepreneurAwards are nonrenewable scholarships created to recognize young people who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and initiative. The scholarships are valued between $1,000 and $10,000. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards are open to graduating high school seniors entering their freshman year at an accredited (not-for-profit) two- or four-year university, college or vocational/technical institute. Applicants must be running their own small business in order to be considered for an award.

Deadline: December 18, 2013, for applications

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Propose Solutions to Economic Challenges

History is currently being made in the Euro area. Would your students enjoy learning about it? The freeEuro Challengeprogram provides ninth- and tenth-grade students with an opportunity to explore economic and other issues facing the Euro area, propose solutions and compete against other teams from across the United States. Student teams of three to five students select and research one issue from a range of challenges (such as the debt crisis in Greece, the challenges to growth in Italy or the aging population in countries such as Germany) and present their findings during regional competitions in March. The top teams then compete in the national finals at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in April. Winning teams earn monetary awards and a trip to Washington, D.C. Now in its eighth year, the program helps students build analytical, critical thinking, problem solving, communications and team-buildingskills, all relevant to the Common Core.

Deadline: December 31, 2013, for school registration

Click Here for More Information

 

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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 1,700 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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Resource Roundup


Make the First Move

A program of America’s Foundation for Chess (AF4C), First Move engages young minds and teaches critical and creative thinking skills through the game of chess. The program is targeted to the academic standards of second and third graders. The game is taught by The Chess Lady (via video), and classroom teachers facilitate the exercises; no chess experience is necessary. The program includes streaming video, a curriculum book and training for each teacher, as well as chess sets, demonstrationboards and activity workbooks for students to practice their reading and writing skills. The 50-minute lessons are taught once a week. Schools (or districts) pay an annual "subscription” on a per classroom basis, with the remaining costs provided by AF4C fundraising efforts.

Click Here for More Information and Free Online Play

 

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Think Fast About the Past

WNET THIRTEEN has launched A Cheyenne Odyssey, the third interactive game in the MissionUS series of digital role-playing games created to engage middle school students in the exploration of United States history. The game engages students as they take on the role of a 12-year-old Northern Cheyenne boy in the 1860s. As they play A Cheyenne Odyssey, students gain insight and understanding of westward expansion and its impact on America’s native peoples, the economy, the landscape and the environment. They interact with traders, railroad workers, soldiers and settlers who forged their way west to expand the United States. Accompanying curriculum activities and supplemental resources, including maps, visuals and artifacts, deepen students’ understanding and perspectives about the historical context of the period. The game also includes embedded "smartwords” to build vocabulary and support learners’ growing historical literacy. Content for A Cheyenne Odyssey was developed by historians and educators at the American Social History Project (ASHP)/Center for Media & Learning, a research center at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, in close collaboration with representatives of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe at Chief DullKnife College, a community-based and tribally managed institution located on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in southeastern Montana. The game is informed by standards-aligned curriculum concepts and deeply grounded in scholarship.

Click Here to Access Free Digital Game

 

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Tell Stories with Maps

Story maps combine intelligent web maps with web applications and templates that incorporate text, multimedia and interactive functions. Esri’s interactive Real Pirates of the Caribbean map tracks the adventures and travels of the scoundrels that operated in the Caribbean Sea between the late 1500s and mid-1700s. The interactive map lets students explore the travels and exploits of five real pirates of the Caribbean: William Parker, François l’Olonnais, Calico Jack Rackham, Henry Morgan and Edward Teach (Blackbeard). Students simply click through the tabs to track the adventures of each pirate overlaid on Spanish ports and pirate strongholds in the area. They can also zoom into the map to see additional details.

Click Here to Access Free Interactive Story Map

Plus: Esri’s free story map templates provide an easy way for students to publish their own story maps (without having to write code). Each template uses a distinct storytelling technique; users supply the web map and the words.

Click Here to Download Free Story Map Templates

 

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Professional Development Plus


Reimagine Education with Colleagues

Are you interested in incorporating mobile learning and technology into your classroom? Do you have questions about the new curriculum standards, finding inquiry-based resources, making sure your students are college and career ready? You can join industry experts for free interactive virtual sessions to address the needs in your classroom—with no travel required. Pearson’s Virtual ConferenceANew Frontier: Re-Imagining the Next Generation of Education will take place from November 12 to 15, 2013; full schedule, topic and presenter information are online.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Conduct Research with Top Scientists

DiscoveryEducation and the Siemens Foundation have opened the call for applications for this year’s Siemens STEM Academy professional development programs. Top middle school and high school educators from around the country are encouraged to apply to one of two programs as part of the Siemens STEM Academy: Siemens TeachersAs Researchers (STARs) and the Siemens STEM Institute. The STARs program selects 40 educators to attend one of two programs held at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for two weeks to study and conduct research with some of the country’s top scientists. The 2014 STARs programs will take place June 8–20, 2014, and July 20–August1, 2014. The Siemens STEM Institute selects 50 educators from around the nation to attend a hands-on, immersion program promoting STEM education at the Discovery Communications headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C., on August 3–8, 2014. The call for applications for the STEM Academy programs is open through February 4,2014.

Click Here for More Information

 

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Learn the Art of Programming

CS50, Harvard University’s introductory computer science course, offers a broad knowledge base on which to build. The course is designed for concentrators and nonconcentrators alike, with or without prior programming experience. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, encapsulation, data structures, databases, memory management, security, software development, virtualization and websites. Languages include C, PHP and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS and HTML. Problem sets are inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics and gaming. Harvard has made this course available for free to anyone—via YouTube, iTunes and the coursepage—with a series of lectures filmed during the fall 2011 semester. The class is led by David J. Malan, an enthusiastic young professor and Senior Lecturer on Computer Science at Harvard, and himself a product of Harvard’s Computer Science program. Professor Malan has also offered Harvard’s CS50 as a MOOC through edX.

Click Here for More Information

Click Here to Access CS50 Course Via YouTube

Click Here to Access CS50 Course Via iTunes

Plus: In addition to the CS50 course, Professor Malan offers the following courses for those who want to pursue programming or web design further: Building Dynamic Web Sites; Building Mobile Applications; Understanding Computers and the Internet and XML with Java.

 

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Bring a Global Perspective to Education

Primary Source is offering an opportunity for district and school administrators to travel to China as part of a team of influential educators who will examine the triumphs and challenges of the Chinese school system. Comprised of superintendents, school leaders and global education experts, this professional delegation will consider the similarities and differences between the Chinese and US educational systems, while exchanging ideas about how to bring a global perspective home to US classrooms. Together with academic lead Shiping Zheng of Bentley University and educational leaders from Primary Source, participants on this 10-day study tour will be able to network and share best practices with other educational experts from around the country. The study tour will take place from July 15toJuly 24, 2014. Seats will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Deadline: December 6, 2013, for applications

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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On-the-Go Learning


Create Chemical Reactions

goREACT is an iPad and Android app from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The app allows students to virtually create chemical reactions by simply dragging elements from the periodic table to the "reaction area.” The app suggests reactions to help students get started. In all, the app supports nearly 300 chemical reactions. In addition, goREACT includes pictures and videos related to the reactions that students create virtually. Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Click Here to Visit Google Play App Store

 

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Omit the Formaldehyde

Frog Dissection, from Punflay, is a greener alternative for teaching dissection in the classroom. This iPadapp is suitable for middle school students learning about organs and organ systems as part of their life science curriculum. Students can try dissecting a virtual specimen with all the trappings that come with the real procedure—minus the mess! In addition to a virtual chloroformed specimen, the app comes with all the dissection tools and detailed instructions to complete the procedure. Once dissection is complete, the frog’s organs are exposed for further study. Vivid 3-D images help students visualize the internal organs. For an enhanced learning experience, the app also has information on the different types of frogs, the frogs’ life cycles, anatomical comparison of frogs with humans, an interactive quiz and detailed descriptions of the organs. Cost: $3.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

 

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Teach the Course of the Conflict

Timeline World War 2 is an iPadapp from Ballista Media that presents a definitive history of the Second World War, narrated by broadcaster Robert MacNeil. The app features a zoomable timeline of the entire war, with 2,000 events, filterable to show key personalities, battles, locations and more. (Close to 1,000 of the timeline events focus on the war in the South Pacific.) The app also includes more than 100 contemporary US and British Pathé newsreel videos, with full AirPlay support, many with commentary by Robert MacNeil; a day-by-day view of the war, showing the full detail and location for every key event; an eight-part documentary on the War in the Pacific; a map of the war, showing invasions, occupations, allegiances, fronts and country boundary changes; and an On This Day feature, showing topical events from this day in history. Cost: $9.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

 

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STEM Gems


Follow the Powers of a Laser Beam

PhysicsCentral, a website run by the American Physical Society (APS), an organization representing 48,000 physicists, has created a series of comic books designed to get youth excited about physics. Among the comic books is Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair, which students can enjoy for free online. This comic book pits Thomas Edison against Tesla, the unsung hero of electricity and magnetism. Also on the PhysicsCentral website, students can enjoy five free comics from the Spectra series, which presents the adventures of a middle school superhero who possesses all of the great powers of a laser beam.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: PhysicsQuest is a story-based activity that exposes middle school students to the fun and relevance of science. APS provides a freePhysicsQuest kit to registered sixth- through ninth-grade physical science classes, home-school groups, science clubs and after-school programs. The kit includes a user’s activity manual and materials for four physics experiments. Registration is now open for next year’s freeSpectra kit, including the activitymanual, comic book and all materials.

Click Here to Register for Free Spectra Kit

 

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Laugh and Learn Math, the Uncommon Way

The new PBS Math Club isn’t a club in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, it’s a web series from PBS Digital Studios that uses pop culture references to teach middle school math, aligned to Common Core standards. Each episode includes a separate interactive quiz so students can practice what they were just taught. The "instructors”—Grace, Hannah, Jazmin, Jacob and Madison—are simply five kids hanging out in a kid’s room talking straight to the camera about how YouTube "likes” and "dislikes” are examples of how integers work, for example. Or they spoof the movie Mean Girls to explain how to add negative numbers.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Test Science Skills, Promote Global Collaboration

The Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom has launched a new global project for students. Simply called The Global Experiment, the project asks students to measure the level of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables. The experiment includes a series of small activities for students to complete. The activities involve comparing the vitamin C content of foods based on where they were grown as well as determining the effects of aging and cooking on vitamin C levels. After completing the activities, students can share their results with The Global Experiment and see the results from other students’ experiments around the world. The Global Experiment website includes directions forteachers and students to use in carrying out each of the activities.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Global Experiment Instructions

 

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Live the Life of a Plant

Filament GamesReach for the Sun, a 2013 Games for Change winner, is an immersivelearning game that takes students through the life cycle of a plant. The game lets students live the life of a flower, tactically building their plant to thrive and breed across the seasons. By the time they’ve completed the game, students will have a deeper appreciation of plant anatomy, function and life cycle. The game is designed to be used in inclusive science classrooms that have a diverse range of students (average and above-average students, students with high-incidence disabilities, English language learners and students who struggle with reading). It is designed using the Universal Design for Learning framework, strategically aligned to key state standards and formulated to integrate seamlessly with existing curricula.

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"Worth-the-Surf" Websites


Explore the Book-Making Process

How long does it take to write a book? Ten years, 56 revisions, two fresh starts! Melissa Stewart, award-winning author of more than 150 nonfiction books for children, shares a unique tool for your classroom. As she was thinking about creating materials that would help educators use her most recent book, No Monkeys, No Chocolate, in the classroom, she decided to develop a resource that any teacher anywhere could use to easily show students the creative process behind the book. She wanted "to pull back the curtain and make the entire process—from inspiration to publication—transparent.” To accomplish that goal, she created an Interactive Digital Timeline, a combination of clickable elements—videos, rejected versions of the manuscripts, an interview with her editor, sample sketches and even "final” art that didn’t make it into the book. Students who spend a few minutes exploring the timeline will quickly understand that the book-making process involves hard work, dedication and patience. Students who spend time closely reading the four rejected and work-in-progress manuscripts in the timeline can chart the changes from one manuscript to the next and gain a deep understanding of how and why professional writers revise their work. They will see that revision isn’t about "correcting” mistakes, but rather, framing and reframing an idea until it works for the intended audience.

Click Here to Visit Website

 

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Introduce Students to Spoken-Word Poetry

Troupes traveling to schools are breathing new life into poetry lessons. One organization, Project VOICE (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), travels to schools and performs spoken-word poetry. A pair of poet-educators, Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, are working to bring the rich art of spoken-word poetry to students from kindergarten to graduate school. They begin each of their school visits with a show, introducing students to their art form with an original spoken-word performance. Then, in workshops of about 25 students each, Ms. Kay and Mr. Kaye build on the school’s existing curricula and help students create and perform their own spoken-word poems. Before the teaching artists leave a school, Project VOICE helps the educators to continue to boost the spoken-word presence on their campuses. That includes everything from providing them with information on resources in their area to helping set up spoken-word poetry clubs. Project VOICE is in the process of booking its tour schedule for the 2013–2014 school year.

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 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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