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August 2012 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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August 16, 2012
Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"
In This Issue
Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Practical Professional Development
Mobile Learning on the Move
"Worth-the-Surf” Websites
Bookmark These!
Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Teach with Tablets
A partnership between 3M and the education nonprofit Digital Wish offers parents, teachers and administrators the opportunity to win new tablets for their schools. Called 3M Screens for Schools, this new grant program will award one school up to $25,000 in funding to be used toward the purchase of tablets and 3M Screen Protectors. To apply for the grant, visit 3M Screen Protector’s Facebook page. 3M will donate $1 to Digital Wish for every eligible person who "likes” the page and another $1 for every person who shares 3M Screens for School’s message on his or her Facebook page. Interested parties can also submit a 200- to 500-word essay explaining (1) why the school needs the award for new tablets and how the new tablets would change the school for the better; (2) if the school is awarded the new tablets, how learning would be enhanced for students and teaching enhanced for educators; and (3) what other creative fundraising, if any, the school has undertaken in an effort to bring new technologies into the classroom. Only one entry is permitted per person, but multiple entries—including submissions from teachers and school administrators—can be made on behalf of one school.
Deadline: September 12, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Celebrate Nature and Its Beauty
Nature Valley is committed to the enjoyment of nature, and that’s why it’s giving everybody the opportunity to experience America’s beautiful national parks. In celebration of Nature Valley’s commitment to preserving our national parks, National Geographic is joining the cause by giving away exciting adventure prizes so you have a chance to experience a national park for yourself. Enter once daily for your chance to win one of three monthly prizes or the big grand prize, a National Geographic Adventures trip for two to Grand Canyon National Park. Your chances increase with each entry submitted.
Deadline: September 30, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Hone Leadership Skills While Solving Hunger Issues
A new program encourages students to develop projects that address hunger and gives them a chance to win donations for hunger initiatives. The World Hunger Leadership Challenge is a project of the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the Lift a Life Foundation and the Yum! Foundation. The challenge is open to any middle school or high school classroom in the United States, and the program encourages local schools to apply. Students can partner with an international hunger program to address world food-scarcity issues or work locally to alleviate hunger in their own community. The program includes a 10-week in-classroom, standards-based curriculum on the topic of leadership; training activities centered on the challenge of solving world hunger; and the electronic edition of USA TODAY to accompany the curriculum. Students will work in teams to identify a hunger-related problem, develop a solution and execute their plan. Prizes include one $25,000 award, 10 awards of $5,000 each and 425 awards of $1,000 each, to be given to hunger-project charities. Register now to join the effort.
Deadline: N/A; the challenge is available for the 2012-2013 school year, and teachers can implement it in either the fall or the spring semester.
Click Here for More Information
Publish or Perish
The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) Foundation offers a grant of up to $2,500 that enables high schools with newspapers at risk participate in the Young Publishers program. The program is designed to help high school students and advisers learn the skills required for success in newspaper publishing through the development of a business plan. As they craft their business plan, students and advisers interact with and are mentored by volunteers from their local newspaper. To receive a grant, a high school must agree to start and document a business-side development program, demonstrate that its student newspaper is either struggling to exist or has ceased to exist, and have a high proportion of minority students or be located in and draw its students from a rural area.
Deadline: Rolling; applications must be submitted at least five weeks before the program is to begin.
Click Here for More Information
Stock Up on Books
As you head back to the classroom, you can register your school on the First Book site to gain access to more than 3,000 new, high-quality titles. If you’re an educator or program administrator, and at least 70 percent of the children in your program come from low-income families, you are eligible to receive access to the First Book Marketplace offering new books at 50 to 90 percent off retail prices, First Book National Book Bank offering free books (pay only for shipping, typically at 35 to 50 cents a book) and book grants through First Book’s local Advisory Boards.
Deadline: Ongoing
Click Here for More Information
Click Here to Register
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Bring Lessons Alive with Technology
ReadWriteThink’s free Strategy Guide series Teaching with Technology provides tips, how-to’s and examples that will help teachers keep up with what’s new with technology and also see how they may integrate technology into the classroom. Strategy Guides in the series include Bringing Lessons to Life with Animoto (grades 5–12), Online Safety (grades 6–12), Reading Online (grades 6–12), Speak to Me: Teaching with Voki (grades 6–12), Teaching with Blogs (grades 6–12), Teaching with Glogster: Using Virtual Posters in the Classroom (grades 3–12), Teaching with Podcasts (grades 6–12), Teaching with Zooming Slideshows through Prezi (grades 6–12) and Using Glogster to Support Multimodal Literacy (grades 3–12).
Click Here to Access Free Strategy Guides
Blend Content Knowledge and Literacy
Reading Like a Historian is a curriculum developed by the Stanford History Education Group that engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents modified for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities. The curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on issues from King Philip’s War to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and make historical claims backed by documentary evidence.
Click Here to Access Free Curriculum
Compare Global Economies
The Global Economy Guide provides an overview of economies of countries from around the world, with brief explanations and interesting examples. The guide is intended to be used in combination with the other sections of the TheGlobalEconomy website, which shows information about key economic indicators for more than 200 countries and provides an interactive tool that can be used to compare countries and track their economies over time. For example, you can read about economic development in the guide and then go to the comparison section to compare countries. Or you can examine what is happening in a particular country in the economies section and then go to the guide to learn why it is happening.
Click Here to Access Online Guide

Scholastic Teacher Express offers access to 10,000+ teaching resources—all just a click away! The teaching resources include books, eBooks, ePages, Class Décor, Games and Manipulatives and more! Hundreds of titles are aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. Shop now and save 30 percent, using promo code BigDealCCSS.
Deadline: Offer valid through August 31, 2012
Click Here for Instant Access to Teaching Resources
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Practical Professional Development

Rethink Education in the Internet Age
Learning 2.0 is a chance to participate in a global conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet. Subject strands include changes in the classroom (social media, 1:1 computing, "flipped classrooms,” digital literacy, maker spaces, gaming, open educational resources, digital textbooks), in student learning (individualized learning, student-directed learning, "hacking” education, personal success plans, ePortfolios and building a digital presence), in teacher personal and professional growth (lead learning, personal learning networks, peer/open/self-directed professional development), in schools (virtual and online schooling, mobile learning, blended learning, MOOCs, immersive environments, learning spaces, entrepreneurship, school leadership, big data, assessment models) and in pedagogy (from teaching to learning, social learning, social/educational networking, passion-based learning, learning how to learn, brain-based learning). A full strand list is available on the conference website. The conference will also include an all-day virtual unconference (SocialEdCon online) as well as a special educational start-up "pitchfireevent.
Dates for Virtual Event: August 20–24, 2012
Click Here to Visit Website
Invest in Financial Literacy
Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) and PwC will host a financial literacy seminar on Wharton’s Philadelphia campus for 150 high school educators working in the United States. The goal of the all-expenses-paid conference—titled the PwC–KWHS Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility—is to help US high school teachers, principals and superintendents deepen their knowledge of such topics as stocks and investing, marketing/branding, leadership and entrepreneurship, negotiation, sustainability and career planning. Interested educators can view the full seminar agenda and apply for the event online.
Dates for Seminar: September 26–30, 2012
Deadline for Applications: August 17, 2012 for registration
Click Here for More Information
Click Here for Seminar Attendee Registration
Plus: If you would like to participate but are unable to attend the seminar in person, it will also be streamed online; registration is required for this as well. Attendees joining the seminar virtually will not be eligible to receive a certificate from Knowledge@Wharton. Videoconference attendees will receive a letter recognizing their virtual participation in the seminar and will also need to work with their state Departments of Education and/or school districts to receive credit approval.
Click Here for Virtual Attendee Registration
Participate in a Global Conversation About Libraries
In its second year, the Library 2.012 conference is a chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future states of libraries. Held over the course of two days (three actual calendar days when including all time zones), the conference will have more than 150 presentations. Subject strands include physical and virtual learning spaces, evolving professional roles in today’s world, organizing and creating information, changing delivery methods, user-centered access, and mobile and geosocial information environments. A full strand list is available on the conference website. The founding sponsor of the conference is the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University.
Dates for Virtual Conference: October 3–5, 2012
Click Here to Visit Website
Discuss Globally Connected Education
Celebrating its third year, the Global Education Conference is a five-day, 24-hour-per-day event that brings together educators and students from around the world to discuss globally connected education, projects and activities. The conference is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity. Last year’s conference featured 340 general sessions and 18 keynote addresses from all over the world, with more than 10,000 participant logins. This year the conference is being run in conjunction with the iEARN worldwide international conference, and 20,000 to 30,000 attendees are anticipated.
Dates of Virtual Conference: November 12–16, 2012
Click Here to Visit Website
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Mobile Learning on the Move

Manipulate Molecules
Molecules is a free app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The app allows users to view three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulate them using their fingers. Students can rotate the molecules by moving their finger across the display, zoom in or out by using two-finger pinch gestures or pan the molecule by moving two fingers across the screen at once. These structures can be viewed in both ball-and-stick and space-filling visualization modes. New molecules can be downloaded from either the RCSB Protein Data Bank (, an international repository of biological molecules and their 3-D structures, or the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) PubChem (, a public database of compounds. Molecules can be downloaded directly to a handheld device and stored there for later viewing. Custom molecular structures can be downloaded to the application via iTunes file sharing or through the use of custom URL formats.
Click Here to Visit Website
Step Back in Time
The Bostonian Society’s Mapping Revolutionary Boston is a free app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that lets students explore an interactive map of Boston during the 1760s and 1770s, when tensions mounted between Great Britain and its American colonies. Students can step back in time by touching the colored pins on the map. Who walked these streets 250 years ago? Where did they live and work? How did they view Boston’s place in the British Empire? And how did they voice their beliefs? As they explore Revolutionary Boston, students will find answers to these questions and more.
Click Here to Download Free App
Turn Drawings into Animations
Animation Desk is an iPad app (free and premium versions available) that allows users to create hand-drawn animations. The drawing interface provided by the app resembles the real working environment of a professional animator, who completes each frame of an animation on a specially designed desk, the animation desk. With the app, students can create drawings using just their finger on an iPad screen. The free version allows users to create up to 50 scenes in each of their projects. In each scene, they can include as little or as much detail as they want, they can use different brush and pencil effects in their drawings, and they can alter the opacity of the colors they choose. Users can also add audio effects to spice up their animations. When they’ve completed drawing all of their scenes, users simply hit the Play button to watch the animation unfold. If they don’t like an aspect of their animation, they can go back and edit any of the scenes. If they’re happy with their animation, they can export it to YouTube. They can also transfer animations between different iDevices and enjoy animating anytime, anywhere.
Click Here to Download Free App
Plus: iAniMagic 2012, the Second Annual Competition of Animation Desk, is now on stage. Join to win a MacBook Air (13-inch: 128GB).
Deadlines: September 20, 2012, for submissions; voting will be live between September 20 and October 20, 2012.
Click Here to Visit Website
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Roam Mars with Curiosity
It took eight months for the Curiosity rover to get to Mars, but the history of Mars exploration is much longer. To help readers get a sense of the history and development of Mars exploration, the Guardian (UK) has published an interactive timeline, from first flyby to Curiosity. Mars Exploration Since 1964 is shaped as an orbit of Mars. Clicking on the dots along the orbit reveals a picture and some brief information about Mars exploration.
Click Here to Visit Website
Plus: On NASA Explores the Red Planet, you’ll find animations, videos and graphics, all about NASA’s explorations of Mars.
Click Here to Visit Website
Explore, Understand and Protect Earth
Discover Your World is a free 158-page activity book from NOAA. The book is available to download as a whole in one PDF or in three separate sections. The sections are titled "Explore the Earth,” "Understand the Earth” and "Protect the Earth.” The book has a total of 43 hands-on activities appropriate for most K–12 classrooms, but the majority of the activities are most appropriate for grades 4–8.
Click Here to Access Free Activity Book
Become a Science Detective
Engineering Interact is a website for elementary school students designed by the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge in the UK. The site offers five games that address concepts related to light, sound, motion, electricity and space travel. Each of the games presents students with a scenario in which they have to "help” someone solve a problem. The detective story games link with interactive science modules, such as "Light Sources and Light Rays” and "Friction.” These standalone modules can also be used without the game environment. For example, you can use individual modules on an interactive whiteboard for demonstrating a concept to the whole class. An elimination procedure at the end of each game assesses how well students have learned the material. Information about engineering applications is then presented by extending the science that students have just learned.
Click Here to Visit Website
Pose Real-World Math Challenges
Get the Math combines video and web interactivity to help middle school and high school students develop algebraic thinking skills for solving real-world problems. Drawing on conventions of popular reality TV shows, video segments begin with profiles of young professionals, who then pose challenges connected to their jobs to two teams of teens. Students are encouraged to try the challenges themselves using the interactive tools provided on the Get the Math website before returning to the video to see the teams’ solutions. Students can further explore the same, as well as extended, algebraic concepts through additional interactive challenges on the website. Video segments focus on music, fashion, videogame design, restaurants, basketball and special effects. Online resources for teachers include an introductory video showing how to use the project materials in the classroom, a teacher’s guide with lesson plans, and student handouts aligned with the Common Core Content and Mathematical Practices Standards.
Click Here to Visit Website
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"Worth-the-Surf” Websites

Bring the Past Alive
Colonial Williamsburg’s Gift to the Nation in this election year of 2012 offers students an opportunity to interact virtually with historical characters and provides teachers with resources to engage students in the study of citizenship and America’s founding democratic principles. The Electronic Field Trip, "The Will of the People,” examines the presidential election of 1800, one of the most bitter in United States history, and provides a surprising lesson for a 21st century student. Thomas Jefferson explains how negative campaigning, partisan politics and contested elections have been a part of America’s political system since the earliest days of the republic. The free on-demand video-streaming program will be available over the web 24/7 from September 1 to September 30, 2012. Students will be able to email Thomas Jefferson and try their skill in interactive online games. Teachers will be able to download free resources, such as a teacher guide, program script (PDF) and comprehensive lesson plans.
Click Here to Visit Website
Compare the Old and the New
Over the course of history, territories have been redrawn, new places have been discovered and countries have been named and renamed. But what does Indonesia, for instance, look like now compared to the way it was in 1801? The David Rumsey historical map collection gives you that perspective by layering old maps over the current view of Google Maps. One hundred twenty antique documents, dating between 1680 and 1930, are now online. Check out what North America looked like to Lewis and Clark in 1814. Or see Brazil in 1842, when it included Paraguay and Uruguay. Then examine Alaska in one of the earliest maps that shows it as part of the United States before which it was known as "Russian America.”
Click Here to Visit Website
Explore the Magical World of Harry Potter
Author J. K. Rowling launched the Harry Potter Reading Book Club for young readers in July. The website, sponsored by Rowling’s US publisher, Scholastic, is intended as a resource to help teachers and parents encourage children to read. The site includes a guide for everything about the boy wizard, an overview of the series of Harry Potter and information about the author. New activities will be added to the site every month.
Click Here to Visit Harry Potter Reading Club Website
Click Here to Visit Harry Potter Website
Click Here to Visit J. K. Rowling's Website
Plus: J. K. Rowling will appear in a live global webcast on October 11, 2012, from Edinburgh, Scotland, in which she will speak with her fans about the magical world of Harry Potter. Scholastic describes the webcast as a "live virtual author visit to classrooms.”
Click Here for More Information About Global Webcast
Enter the Exciting World of the Arts
ArtsAlive is an educational website produced by Canada’s National Arts Centre. The site is comprised of three types of performing arts: music, theatre and dance. In the Instrument Lab, students can listen to and "virtually” handle all the instruments of the orchestra. The Music Activities and Games section gives students the chance to compose a short piece using a drag-and-drop interface. The same section also offers an instrument identification game and a composer identification game. In the English Theatre section, students learn about Set & Prop Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Composition & Sound Design and Stage Management. The Dance section includes a virtual dance studio in which students can test their knowledge of dance composition by putting together a beginning, middle and end sequence of dance movements to create their own ballet or modern dance composition.
Click Here to Visit Website
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Bookmark These!

Browse for a wide variety of products published by leading K–12 education companies, all of them delivered digitally. Many of the ebooks can be used on interactive whiteboards and various mobile reading devices. All of the books whose covers you see displayed are on sale at a 15% discount. To stay informed about what’s going on with ebooks in K–12 schools, sign up for the free enewsletter, K12 TeacherFile.
Get a free copy of The Big Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning: From the 3Rs to the 4Cs. Explore this collection of resources to help students move beyond the 3Rs and embrace the 4Cs—Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity—the 21st century skills cited by industry as keys to innovation and invention in an increasingly challenging global economy.
Sign up at The Big Deal Book Web site for hELLo!, a free quarterly ELL e-newsletter that includes a wealth of information on interactive resources for students, teachers, librarians, principals and others involved in the education of English language learners.
Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s "Amazing Resources for Educators” community on the edWeb to get more frequent updates on grant deadlines, free resources and hot new sites for 21st century learning. And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’ve unearthed!
Browse the new Big Deal eBookstore, in partnership with! Find thousands of titles from your favorite educational publishers.
Explore the Web Wednesday feature on Here 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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