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Big Deal Book of Technology June 2011
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June 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
Mobile Learning on the Move
"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants and Other Funding Sources

Increase Access to Quality Early Education
TheObama administration has a new $500 million RTTTEarly Learning Challenge open to all interested states. States applying for challenge grantswill be encouraged to increase access to quality early learningprograms for low-income children, align their early child care andeducation programs, bolster training and support for the earlylearning workforce, create robust evaluation systems to document andshare effective practices and programs, and help parents makeinformed decisions about care for their children.
Deadline: Grant criteria and guidance will be available in late summer; check Web site for details
Click Here for More Information
Provide Disadvantaged Children with Access to Books
TheLois Lenski CoveyFoundation providesgrants to libraries or other organizations that serve economically orsocially at-risk children, have limited book budgets and demonstratereal need. Grants for 2011 will range from $500 to $3,000 and arespecifically for bookpurchases and cannotbe used for administrative or operational uses. Grant applicationsfor audio books will be considered only in the cases of children with special needs,where audio books would be particularly appropriate in addressingthose needs.
Deadline: June 15, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Empower Youth to Address Environmental Challenges
TheCaptain PlanetFoundation fundshands-on environmentalprojects thatencourage innovative programs that empower children and youth aroundthe world to work individually and collectively to solveenvironmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. Theamount of the grant is $2,500.
Deadline: June 30, 2011
Click Here for More Information
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Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Outdo the Wimpy Kid in Creativity
Youthaged 6–16 are invited to enter TheWimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Comics Contest,sponsored by AmuletBooks in coordinationwith the SchoolLibrary Journal. Toenter the contest, students simply create an original comic on oneside of an 8 1/2” x11” piece of white paper. The comic must be created by a singlestudent; collaborative works are not eligible. One grand-prize winnerwill receive $500 for him- or herself, $1,000 for the library of hisor her choosing and a signed copy of TheWimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Bookby Jeff Kinney. Twenty runners-up will also receive a signed copy of thebook.
Deadline: June 10, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Explore America As a Nation of Immigrants
TheAmerican ImmigrationCouncil is sponsoringthe 14th annual CelebrateAmerica Creative Writing Contest.The contest is intended to inspire educators to bring U.S.immigration history and lessons into their classrooms and give fifthgraders the opportunity to explore America as a nation of immigrants.Past winners have documented the experience of immigrants who haveleft their homelands in search of a more promising future in America,spoken of their immigration experiences or reflected on theirancestors or parents. Students enter their work in local contestssponsored by chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association(AILA). Each chapter forwards the local winning entry to the NationalCompetition.
Deadline:Planning begins in August of each year; check Web site for details
Click Here for More Information
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Consider Issues Related to Implementing CCSS
Achieve’sOn the Road toImplementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core StateStandards (CCSS)identifies key areas that state policymakers will need to consider inorder to implement the new standards with fidelity. The onlineguide is organized bytopic with short chapters, which are freely downloadable as PDFfiles. The guide is not meant to be an exhaustive review or achecklist of all the issues that states and districts will need toconsider as they move from adoption of the CCSS to implementation.Rather, it is intended to be the starting point from which state anddistrict leaders and their allies can organize and begin thenecessary discussions around key topics to successfully implement thestandards. Achieve will continue to add materials to the guide toreflect new information and lessons learned from policy leaders.
Click Here to Access Free Guide
Make Complex International Issues Accessible to Students
Teachingwith the News isthe first in a seriesof lessons on therecent events in Egypt from TheChoices Program: Current Events in the Classroom.The latest, Protests,Revolutions,and Democratic Change,helps students consider the potential effects of the protests ondemocracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa. Thesecond, AfterMubarak, helpsstudents consider the implications of a leadership change in Egypt onthe protests for democracy throughout the Middle East and NorthAfrica. Developed at BrownUniversity, TheChoices Program addresses the 21st century themes and skills ofCritical Thinking, Creativity and Innovation, Collaboration, Mediaand Technology Literacy, Global Awareness and Civic Literacy, byusing a problem-based approach to make complex international issuesaccessible and meaningful for students of diverse abilities andlearning styles.
Click Here to Access Free Lessons
Plus:The Choices Program includes other freelessons, includingProtest, Revolution& Change,which helps students analyze the potential effects of the protests ondemocracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, and TheLessons of Iraq.
Click Here to Access Additional Free Lessons
Create and Share Academic Content
Schoology is a learningmanagement system (LMS) and socialnetwork that makes iteasy to create and share academic content. Visually similar toFacebook, Schoology is different in that teachers can monitor everypost a student makes—even ones that have been deleted—to followthe work being done. Watch the demo and then sign up for free access to all the basic features of Schoology: Courses & Lessons;Online Tests & Quizzes; Gradebook & Attendance; OnlineDiscussions & Groups; Blogs & Messaging—and more.
Click Here to Access LMS
Plus:Students can stay connected to their academic life with the free Schoology for iPhone app.
Click Here to Access Free App
Develop Financial Literacy
Budgetball is a physical outdoor, sports-like game designed to increaseawareness of the national debt and promote fiscal responsibility byrewarding strategic thinking and problem solving through a uniquegame design and rule set. The game is played year-round by students;the winning team of each season gets to play a championship matchwith local policymakers in the heart of Washington, D.C. Theresources located on the Let’s Get Fiscal section of the Budgetball Web site will help you wrap Budgetball with information related toour fiscal health and wellness. You can also download and print outThe Basics ofBudgetball [PDF],Power Ups &Sacrifices Menu [PDF]; Quick BudgetSheet [PDF]; andQuickBudget SheetInstructions [PDF,DOC].
ClickHere for More Information
Click Here to Access Free Resources
Engage in Real-World Change
InterroBang is an online,league-based game for middle and high school students. Players are encouraged tocomplete a series of "missions,” such as exploring their localenvironment, helping out in their community or creating and sharingworks of art. Accompanying the game are free,downloadable guides for teachers, parents and youth workers, along with freerubrics.You can also createyour own serviceproject toolkit.
ClickHere to Access Free Game
Click Here to Download Free Resources
Demonstrate Impact of Today on Tomorrow
Precipice is a 3-D simulation that illustrates some of the future globalwarming scenarios developed by a student team at the Centrefor Digital Media inVancouver, British Columbia, in collaboration with GlobalEESE. The experiencetakes place in an immersive environment where the player is presentedwith a familiar scene set in the present day and a future scene setin 2032. It demonstrates the dramatic effect that actions taken inthe present can have on the future. Within the 3-D environment are aseries of characters with whom the player can interact. Through theseconversations, players learn of the characters situations andperspectives on the environment. As the conversations progress,players make certain decisions, influencing the characters to be moreaware of the environment and potential risks. If players successfullyconvince the characters to be more aware, they create a positivechange in the future. Players can move between the future and thepresent as they complete puzzles and conversations to see the effectsof their choices. When the game is completed, a montage depicting thefuture sums up the consequences of players’ choices.
Click Here to Download Free Simulation
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Mobile Learning on the Move

Get a Guide to Digital "Gadgets”
Thereare many handheld devices and digital "gadgets” available tosupport all types of new teaching and learning initiatives. The pageson Kathy Schrock’sGuide for Educators provide links to some of the resource pages specifically designed toenhance the use of these devices (iPads, podcasts, digital camerasand camcorders, GPS handhelds and more) in the K–12 classroom.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Develop Spatial Thinking with Geospatial Technology
Thiscollection of STEMlessons, from theCollege of IntegratedScience and Technology at James MadisonUniversity, isdesigned to introduce and use GIS as atool for middleschool science and mathematics. The classroom-tested activitiescombine fundamental content with cutting-edge technology and helpstudents see the power of spatial thinking in analysis and decisionmaking.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Envision the Future of Books
Dr.Scott McLeod, associate professor in the Educational Administrationprogram at Iowa State University, blogs regularly about technologyleadership issues onhis DangerouslyIrrelevant page this entry, he writes about 21 ebooksforchildren.Among the titles are ThePenelope Rose, a 3-Dstory for the iPad and iPhone; Grimm’s Rapunzel,a 3-D interactive pop-up book; Alice for the iPad; PopOut!The Tale of Peter Rabbit;Aesop’s Wheel ofFables for the iPad; andToy Story. Dr.McLeod also shares his thoughts on the future of children’spublishing and invites discussion about ebooks for youth.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
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Use Computers to Advance Scientific Study
Computeradvances now let researchers quickly search through DNA sequences tofind gene variations that could lead to disease, simulate how flumight spread through your school and design three-dimensionalanimations of molecules that rival any video game.ComputingLife, a free,downloadable booklet from the NationalInstitutes of Health,introduces students to some of the ways that physicists, biologistsand even artists are harnessing the power of computers to advance ourunderstanding of biology and human health. Each section focuses on adifferent research problem, offers examples of current scientificprojects and acquaints students with the people conducting the work.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Experiment with Science
ScienceFair Adventure listsscience fair projects across several categories, including chemistry, physics, biology,environmental science and computer science. Each project is designedfor the novice, with complete listing of required materials andproject background as well as step-by-step instructions on how tocarry out the project. The projects are intended to educate andenhance the learning experience for students and science fanaticswhile providing casual readers with useful and fun information.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Turn Science into a Learning Adventure
Inspiredby sci-fi posters of the 1950s and 1960s and created as part of theKensington (UK) ScienceMuseum’s ClimateChanging series ofprojects, Rizk is an original strategygame set on an alienworld where players must find resources to nurture and protect theirplant while defending it from threats. Every action players takeaffects the level of risk to their plant. The game is a metaphor toexplain risk and its relation to our climate.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Bring a STEM Camp to Your School
InventNow Kids presents thewonder and excitement of science, technology, engineering and math(STEM) programming disguised as hands-on fun to promote criticalthinking, problem solving and teamwork essential to success in the21st century. CampInvention, a week ofdaytime summer fun, and ClubInvention, a seriesof half-day summer fun, are hosted in local schools andorganizations. Both programs are designed for children enteringgrades 1–6. The site provides information on activities in atypical day as well as program materials and participant forms.
Click Here for More Information
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"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites

Keep Children Learning Throughout Summer
PBSKIDS and PBSParents havedeveloped a myriad of online resources to keep children learning allsummer. The relaunched site includes interactive games that children can play to buildliteracy skills, including PBSKIDS Island, anamusement park–themed game experience for preschoolers, and theGreat Word Quest,an online scavenger hunt–style activity for children aged 6 to 9. PBS Parents has an array of content available for parents, includingfree, downloadableprintables featuring PBS KIDS characters, as well as tips andactivity ideas for families to do together. Parents can also downloadfree episodes of select PBS KIDS series via Each week anew episode will be available, starting now and running throughAugust. Families can also visit and download a variety of PBS KIDS educational apps, including thenew freePBS KIDS Video for iPad app,which features more than 1,000 videos from the PBS KIDS series.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Plus:The iVillage PBS KIDSSummer ReadingCommunity Challenge,which runs from June 6to July 15, featuresfreeliteracy-buildingresources for parentsand children designed by the experts at PBSParents and PBSKIDS. A ChallengeCoach will provide daily reading-activity assignments, answer parentquestions and offer advice throughout the online event. Guestcoaches, such as cast members, characters, authors and seriescreators from PBS KIDS, will also provide activities and ideas eachweek. iVillage, an online community for women, and PBS KIDS will alsohost reading parties with parent bloggers and within the iVillagecommunity, reaching more than 1,500 children across the country. Soarwith Reading, a jointproject of PBS KIDS and JetBlue,will kick off in June and will encourage children’s imaginations to take flight throughreading. More information on the initiative will be available inearly June.
Click Here for More Information
Share Global News with Young People
GoGoNews has launched an interactive Web site featuring dailynews forschoolchildren aged 7 to 13. The site features popular headlines from mainstreammedia with filtered content, informing children of global eventswhile simultaneously protecting them from images and story detailsappropriate for more mature audiences. In addition to breaking news,GoGoNews covers Science, Art, Government, Politics and Geography,offering fun facts and stories that capture children’s attentionand encourage exploration of new subjects. The site is organized byHeadlines,covering breaking news; Cool& Fun, containingbrain teasers, puzzles and jokes; Planet,featuring interesting facts about space and the environment; Talk,providing a forum for kids and parents to post feedback, comments andideas; and Teach,guiding parents and educators with suggestions for how to approachdifficult news topics and innovative ways to introduce new lessons.GoGoNews is currently being syndicated to elementary schoolsthroughout the United States and Canada via the newsletterGoGo On The Go.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Have Fun with Safe Surfing
Doyour students think surfing can be dangerous? Do they know what thedangers are and how to avoid them? What about Instant Messaging?WiredKids is designed to teach youngsters how to surf safely and have fun doingit. The site has a report line so that students can report bad sitesor get advice if they’ve found something online they don’t knowhow to deal with.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
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Bookmark These!

Geta freecopy of TheBig Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching & Learning:Information, Media and Digital Literacies. Explore this collection of resources to help students locate, evaluate, use and mange information efficiently; interpret and communicate messages effectively; and master the digital tools to become informed citizens and productive 21st century workers.
Signup at TheBig Deal BookWebsite for hELLo!,afree quarterly ELL e-newsletter thatincludes a wealth of information on interactive resources forstudents, teachers, librarians, principals and others involved in theeducation of English language learners.
Getfreeunlimitedonline access to all the printcontent in The Big Deal Book ofTechnology for K–12 Educators.Explore the many opportunities to fund your special programs, accesstimely reports and articles, locate free and inexpensive resources and identify engaging interactive Websites.
Registeronline to download the Big Deal eBook forEducators of EnglishLanguage Learners.Inside this free eBook, you’ll find links to resources and a range of ideas to engage your English language learners.
JoinThe Big Deal Bookof Technology’s"AmazingResources for Educators” community on theedWeb to get more frequent updates on grantdeadlines, freeresources and hot new sites for21st century learning.And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’veunearthed!
Browse the newBig Deal eBookstore, in partnership with!Find thousands of titles from your favorite educational publishers.
Explorethe WebWednesday feature you’ll findnew interactiveexperiences andresources that incorporate 21stcentury themes and skills into the study of core subjects.
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