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January 2012 Big Deal Book of Technology
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January 4, 2012
Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"
In This Issue
Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Of Special Interest
Mobile Learning on the Move
"Worth-the-Surf” Websites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Develop Skills Critical for Teaching Math or Science
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation awards fellowships in the areas of biological sciences, mathematics and physical sciences to support high school math and science teachers from the onset of the credentialing process through the early years of their careers. The award includes professional workshops, materials grants and access to a teacher-to-teacher mentoring network, valued at $150,000. To be eligible, individuals must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in an area relevant to the subjects they plan to teach before the fellowship begins in June. Candidates for Physical Science, Mathematics or Biological Science Teaching Fellowships must enroll in a secondary teacher credential program before the fellowship is awarded. Individuals who have completed the fourth year of a five-year combined bachelor’s and credential program by the start of the fellowship are also eligible to apply, as well as those currently enrolled in a teacher education program who will be first-year teachers in the fall of 2012.
Deadline: January 11, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Prepare the Next Generation for a Lifetime of Creative Learning
The LEGO Children’s Fund grants support innovative projects and programming that cultivate and celebrate a child’s exploration of personal creativity and creative problem solving in all forms. The goal is to prepare the next generation—the builders of tomorrow—for a lifetime of creative learning and innovative thinking. The grants are offered quarterly for collaborative programs, either in part or in total, to organizations that focus on early childhood education and development; technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities; or sport or athletic programs that concentrate on underserved youth. There are no restrictions on grant amounts up to the quarterly allocation; however, typical awards are between $500 and $5,000.
Deadlines: Quarterly review; January 15, 2012 for grants awarded in March 2012
Click Here for More Information
Open New Pathways to Learning and Achievement
The National Arts and Humanities Youth ProgramAward is the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities. Each year the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognizes 12 outstanding programs in the United States, from a wide range of urban and rural settings. Recipients in 2012 will receive a $10,000 grant and the opportunity to visit the White House and accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Awardees will also receive a full year of capacity building and communications support, designed to make their organizations stronger. In addition, 35 exceptional youth-focused arts and humanities programs across the United States will receive a Finalist Certificate of Excellence.
Deadline: January 31, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Inspire Excellence in Science and Mathematics
The Intel Schools of Distinction Program honors schools in the United States that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education. To be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks, including national mathematics and science content standards. Up to three schools at each level—elementary, middle and high school—will be named as finalists in the math and science categories. The 18 schools will receive a cash grant of $5,000 from the Intel Foundation and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a four-member team from their school and district. Six winners will be selected from the finalists and will receive an additional $5,000 cash grant for a total of $10,000. One of these winners will be selected as the Star Innovator and will receive an additional $15,000 grant for a total of $25,000. All five winning schools and the Star Innovator will also receive products and services from program sponsors.
Deadline: February 23, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Share Your Community with the World
Your students can show their civic pride (and maybe win a prize) by creating a 3-D portrait of their community and sharing it with the world. The Google Model Your Town Competition is open to students from all over the world. All students have to do is build 3-D models of the buildings in their community. They can model whichever structures they think are necessary to show the planet (via Google Earth) what’s special about their town. Students can enter on their own or recruit up to five friends or classmates to form a team. The Google SketchUp 3-Dsoftware tools they need are free to download. The Google SketchUp website details the team, modeling and judging criteria, as well as what the winning team will receive.
Deadline: Submissions accepted until March 1, 2012
Click Here for More Information
Click Here to Download 3-D Tools
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Test Your Students’ Knowledge of News Stories from 2011
On December 16, CNN Student News released their last episode for 2011. As you might expect, the episode included a review of some of the year’s big stories and took a look at 2012. One resource attached to the episode is the 2011 End-of-Year Quiz. Each of the 10 multiple-choice questions in the quiz has an attached image. Students get instant feedback after answering each question. If you don’t have access to computers in your classroom, you can download the quiz as a PDF file and print it out.
Click Here to View Last Student News Episode
Click Here to Access Free End-of-Year Quiz
Bring the Voices of Human Rights Defenders into Your Classroom
The primary aim of the Speak Truth To Power (STTP) curriculum is to get students to self-identify as human rights defenders by taking on active roles in the work of creating a more just and peaceful world. In the program, each student is given a toolkit for action to create change in the classroom, the community, the country and globally on domestic violence, trafficking, free expression and—now—bullying. Building on its 2010 human rights education curriculum, STTP (in partnership with New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights) has launched an antibullying lesson titled "Bullying: Language, Literature and Life.”
Click Here for More Information About STTP Curriculum
Click Here to Access Free Bullying Lesson Plan
Integrate Technology into Your Curriculum
Produced by the Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K–12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, collaborative, constructive, authentic and goal directed. The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells. Within each cell of the matrix, you’ll find two lessons plans with a short video of the lesson. Each lesson is designed to show the integration of technology in instruction and classrooms.
Click Here to Access Free Technology Integration Matrix
Assess Students’ Digital Projects
The University of Wisconsin-Stout (Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University) has organized a collection of rubrics for assessing digital projects. In the collection, you’ll find rubrics for assessing student blogging, student wikis, podcasts and video projects. In addition, the site offers rubrics for activities that aren’t necessarily digital in nature—for example, rubrics for cooperative learning, writing, research and oral presentations.
Click Here to Access Free Rubrics
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Of Special Interest

Celebrate Innovation on Digital Learning Day
After the recent announcement of the nation’s first Digital Learning Day (February 1, 2012), 27 states agreed to take part with their own statewide observations. Celebrations will vary by state and may include gubernatorial proclamations, digital learning student showcases, lesson plan contests, highlights of best practices and the launch of statewide projects. The initiative also has 26 instructional technology experts working to craft resources for observance of the day in each state. Check out the Digital Learning Day Toolkits for teachers and librarians, which include links and references to instructional strategy ideas, lesson plans, sample outreach, ways to collaborate and resources designed to help you think about how technology may strengthen your instructional strategies. Additional toolkits for parents, students and after-school/community-based organizations are coming.
Click Here for More Information
Click Here to Access Free Toolkits
Plus: To help state leaders get started on the road to reform, the Foundation for Excellence in Education assessed each state’s alignment to 72 metrics that were developed based on the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning. Find out how well your state aligns with these elements, using the interactive map on the Digital Learning Now website.
Click Here to Visit Website
Prepare Students for Success in College and Careers
Many educators across the country are beginning to learn about and implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. A state-led initiative by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA), the CCSS so far have been approved by 46 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The underlying purpose of the CCSS is to make sure that students are "college and career ready” by the time they graduate from high school. The CCSS encompass kindergarten to twelfth grade as a staircase, with each grade building on the standards from the previous year. Educators and other stakeholders new to the CCSS should begin by reading through the initiative’s website to help guide them through the transition. The site provides an overview of the process, the standards themselves and three appendices. The appendices provide essential information with supporting research (Appendix A), text exemplars and sample performance tasks (Appendix B) and samples of student writing (Appendix C).
Click Here to Visit Website
Plus: To aid states as they continue to implement the Common Core State Standards, the Hunt Institute and the Council of Chief State School Officers have commissioned a series of video vignettes that explain the standards in greater depth. Several of the key standards writers were asked, in their own words, to talk about how the standards were developed and the goals they set for all students. These videos were developed to help diverse groups—educators, policymakers, parents—better understand the breadth and depth of the standards and how they will improve teaching, create shared expectations and cultivate lifelong learning for all students. The segments are organized into separate Mathematics and ELA sections, and demonstrate critical concepts related to each.
Click Here to Visit Website
Plus: The National PTA has partnered with CCSS experts to create grade-by-grade guides that reflect the standards adopted by more than 46 states. Individual guides were created for K–8, and two were created for grades 9–12 (one for English Language Arts/Literacy and one for Mathematics). Eleven guides were created in all. Read and download the Parents’ Guide to Student Success.
Click Here to Access Free Guides
Determine Students’ Readiness for College and Careers
The state-led Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has released Model Content Frameworks that will be used to inform the development of item specifications and blueprints for K–12 assessments of Common Core State Standards in English and mathematics. The frameworks, which were created through a collaborative process that included state experts and writers of the Common Core State Standards, also provide support and guidance for implementation of the Common Core State Standards. On the PARCC website, you’ll find the PARCC Mathematics Model Content Frameworks, the PARCC English Language Arts Model Content Frameworks and a document with the revisions made based on the public review response. You’ll also find links to a recording of the PARCC Model Content Frameworks for Mathematics Webinar that took place on November 21, 2011, as well as a recording of the PARCC Model Content Frameworks for ELA-Literacy Webinar that took place on November 22, 2011.
Click Here to Access Free Model Frameworks
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Mobile Learning on the Move

Discuss Implementation of Mobile Technology in Education and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) have launched Mobile Learning Explorations, an online professional learning community that provides a forum for educators to come together to learn about and discuss the implementation of mobile technology in education. The community’s monthly webinar series will begin with its first live event on Leadership for Mobile Learning on January 11, 2012 at 4 p.m. EST. All webinars will be hosted by Lucy Gray, Project Director for CoSN’s Leadership for Mobile Learning initiative. There is no charge to participate in the program.
Click Here for More Information
Foster Active Learning Via Live Discussion
Study Hall is a new website and iOS app for sharing and studying with peers. The basic idea behind Study Hall is to enable teachers and students to upload content to a common place and access it through an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. When using the free iPad app, you and your students can communicate in real-time about the content that you’re sharing. When using the free iPhone app, students can post comments about the content but cannot see others’ comments in real-time.
Click Here to Access Free App
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Inspire Personal Connections to the Natural World
For 40 years, students have been visiting national parks along the West Coast to participate in the residential environmental field-science program NatureBridge, a partnership with the National Park Service. This year the program will be extended to parks along the East Coast. The hands-on, inquiry-based program engages students in the study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and organizers with the park service are planning to offer technology-supported virtual field trips and professional development for teachers.
Click Here to Visit Website
Expand Scientific Literacy and the Excitement of Discovery
The Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab Program is an educational outreach initiative that aims to transform classrooms in middle and high schools by introducing students to the excitement of real-world science. The program integrates a hands-on, inquiry-basedmolecular biology curriculum that explores the steps involved in creating biotechnology medicines. In addition to intensive professional development for teachers, the program provides resources and materials that enable teachers to implement the curriculum in their classrooms. Each year, more than 35,000 students and hundreds of teachers have the opportunity to participate. Student Guides, in both English and Spanish, are free for students and faculty to download and print.
Click Here to Visit Website
Click Here to Access Free Student Guides
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"Worth-the-Surf” Websites

Sort Fact From Fiction in the Digital Age
The News Literacy Project (NLP) is an innovative national educational program that mobilizes seasoned journalists to help middle school and high school students sort fact from fiction in the digital age. The project teaches students critical thinking skills that will enable them to be smarter and more frequent consumers and creators of credible information across all media and platforms. NLP shows students how to distinguish verified information from spin, opinion and misinformation—whether they are using search engines to find websites with information about specific topics, assessing a viral email, viewing a video on YouTube, watching television news or reading a newspaper or a blog post. Working with educators, students and journalists, NLP has developed an original curriculum with engaging activities and student projects that build and reflect understanding of the program’s essential questions. The curriculum includes material on a variety of topics, including viral email, Wikipedia, search engines, YouTube and the news, presented through hands-on exercises, games, videos and the journalists’ own compelling stories. The NLP website features a national directory of volunteer journalists, including their biographies and photographs. The project has more than 185 journalists enrolled in its online directory, including broadcast correspondents, authors of best-selling books and winners of journalism’s highest honors. The journalists are matched with classes based on the curriculum. For example, a White House or political reporter might do a presentation to a government class, former foreign correspondents might speak to a class focused on international issues, and a feature writer, a columnist or an investigative reporter might talk to an English class. Broadcast journalists work with students creating video or audio reports in after-school programs. NLP is increasingly using Skype to bring journalists from around the world to its classes across the country.
Click Here to Visit Website
Fight for Students’ Attention
History Animated provides animations of the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, and the European and Pacific Campaigns in World War II. In each of the four series of animations, students will see the animated movement of armies displayed on a map. Each animation is accompanied by captions describing the strategies of the armies as well as the results and consequences of each battle. All of the animations are available for free viewing on the History Animated website.
Click Here to Visit Website
Click Here to Access American Revolution Animation
Click Here to Access Civil War Animation
Click Here to Access European Campaign in World War II Animation
Click Here to Access Pacific Campaign in World War II Animation
Plan and Implement Arts Programs for At-Risk Youth
The YouthARTS website provides detailed information about how to plan, run, provide training and evaluate arts programs for at-risk youth. The YouthARTS Toolkit was originally designed as a print book with a companion video and diskette. This website takes the kit’s information and makes it available to the broadest possible audience. The full book is available as a PDF for downloading, as is each of the main content chapters. In addition, the essential points in each section are summarized under the headings at the top of each page (Program Planning, Team Training, etc). So, you can dive straight into the book for the full picture, or you can read the online summaries for an introduction to planning, running and evaluating programs for at-risk youth. The toolkit also provides a list of best practices and a glossary of frequently used terms, as well as appendices that have useful documents, including evaluation forms and sample curricula. For more about getting the most from YouthARTS, see the full How to Use This Site section.
Click Here to Visit Website
Explore European Cultural Artifacts in Three Dimensions
The European Virtual Museum is the product of collaboration between 27 European museums. The European Virtual Museum makes artifacts of European history available in interactive 3-D form. Through the use of QuickTime technology, the artifacts can be rotated for optimum viewing. Visitors to the European Virtual Museum can browse through the collections by chronology, geographic area, object type, contributing museum, routes and tour itineraries.
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 freeenewsletter, 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 Website for hELLo!, afree 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.
Download a free eBook of the popular print edition of The Big Deal Book of Technology for K–12 Educators. Explore the many opportunities to fund your special programs, access timely reports and articles, locate free and inexpensive resources and identify engaging interactive Web sites.
Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s "Amazing Resources for Educators” community on the edWeb to get more frequent updates on grant deadlines, freeresources 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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