Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

LanSchool Stoneware



Access Files, Applications and Reports from Any Device

Stoneware’s webNetwork delivers a unified workspace where teachers and students access everything they need from wherever they are located. Users have freedom and flexibility to access resources from any device, extending education beyond classroom walls. webNetwork enables key initiatives such as personalized learning, 1:1/BYOD and Common Core assessment delivery.

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Bring Poetry to Life, Take Part in Game Design, Teach Tolerance & More

March 16, 2015

In Partnership With:

VSTE

IN THIS ISSUE

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Resource Roundup

Professional Development Plus

Mobile Learning Journey

STEM Gems

Worth-the-Surf Websites



Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities


Collaborate on Educational Technology Projects

CDW•G, in partnership with eSchool News, is sponsoring Collaboration Nation, an awards program that will recognize the nation’s finest examples of collaboration and successful educational technology projects. CDWG will share the winning school and district’s keys to success and award that school or district a grand prize of $50,000 to spend with CDWG on products and services from partners such as HP, Lenovo and Meraki. From March 2 through June 30, 2015, schools and districts are invited to submit a nomination and short video on the Collaboration Nation website. The winning school or district’s nomination and video will demonstrate exemplary technology collaboration across departments and describe how the project had a measurable impact on teaching and learning.

Deadline: June 30, 2015, for nominations and submission of videos

Click Here for More Information

Plus: Schools and districts are encouraged to be a part of the Collaboration Nation community on Facebook by sharing videos of collaboration successes. Each month (April, May and June), the school or district video that has the most shares on Facebook will win a $15,000 prize in products from Collaboration Nation partners such as HP, Lenovo or Meraki.

Deadlines: Monthly through June 30, 2015

Click Here to Access Collaboration Nation Facebook Community

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Inspire Exemplary Mathematics and Science Teaching

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K–12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President of the United States to bestow up to 108 awards each year. This year the awards will be given to mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers at grades 7–12, from each of the 50 states and four US jurisdictions: Washington, DC; Puerto Rico; Department of Defense Education Activity schools; and the US territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands). The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Recipients of the award will receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States; a paid trip for two to Washington, DC, to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Deadlines: April 1, 2015, for nominations; May 1, 2015, for applications

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Demonstrate Love of STEM Through the Arts

Students in middle school and high school are invited to show, through the arts, how much they love science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Entries are now being accepted for the national STEM Voice Video Competition, which encourages students to make creative videos showing why STEM is important to them or who their STEM hero is and why. The Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes, a group of nonprofits focused on life sciences education, entrepreneurship and workforce development, is managing the competition. MdBio Foundation will serve as Eastern region coordinator, with iBIO Institute’s EDUCATE Center and Biocom Institute serving in the same role for Central and West Coast regions, respectively. To participate, students must be in grades 5–12, under 18 years of age and a legal resident of the United States. Their video submissions may include interviews or short stories to explain the acronym for STEM or explore the interdisciplinary nature of STEM. All videos should be no more than 60 seconds and in a format that can easily be uploaded on the submission form. One semifinalist from middle school (grades 5–8) and one semifinalist from high school (grades 9–12) will be selected from each of the three regions. Each semifinalist (six total) will receive a $500 cash award. Two grand-prize winners (one from middle school and one from high school) will receive a $1,000 cash award.

Deadlines: April 17, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. (PT), for applications and video submissions; May 12, 2105, for announcement of regional semifinalists; May 27, 2015, for announcement of national winners

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Support Your School Library

As part of a new initiative designed to raise awareness about the state of school libraries in the United States, author James Patterson has announced that he will make a $1.25 million donation to school libraries across the country this year. Scholastic will match each dollar donated with bonus points, which teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms in every school that receives an award. The program will launch with $1.25 million in grants that will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year. Those interested in participating can nominate a school for a donation by filling out a form with their school’s information and a short description of how their school library would use the money. All schools in the United States that serve students, preK–grade 12, are eligible to win a grant. Donations will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per school.

Deadline: May 31, 2015, for nominations

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Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is a free website sponsored by CDW•G to help educators and institutions find the funds they need in order to supplement their already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding hosts a collection of thousands of 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. GetEdFunding offers customized searches by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, eight content areas and any of the 21st century themes and skills that support your curriculum. After registering on the site, you can save the grant opportunities of greatest interest and then return to them at any time. This rich resource of funding opportunities is expanded, updated and monitored daily.

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Resource Roundup


Embrace Antibias Learning

Teaching Tolerance’s Perspectives for a Diverse America is a free online, literacy-based curriculum that marries antibias social justice content with the rigor of the Common Core State Standards. Perspectives has three interlocking components: an antibias framework, a central text anthology and an integrated lesson plan. Teaching Tolerance’s antibias framework is a groundbreaking set of anchor standards and grade-level outcomes divided into four domains: Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action. The framework is ideal for teachers who embrace social justice and backward planning. It also supports the creation of essential questions to drive student inquiry. The multigenre, multimedia anthology of short texts aligns with both the Common Core’s recommendations for text complexity and Teaching Tolerance’s antibias framework. The texts include informational and literary nonfiction, literature, photographs, political cartoons, interviews and infographics. The integrated learning plan allows teachers to engage and assess students using tasks and strategies aligned to the Common Core English language and literacy standards. A “Do Something” feature asks students to translate their learning into social action.

Click Here to Register for Free Curriculum

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Take Young Readers to a Seussian Spa

An updated version of the 2001 Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You! includes 16 pages of new material with healthful recipes and helpful tips to teach young readers more about healthy living, such as getting enough sleep, wearing a bicycle helmet and sneezing into their elbow or a tissue. The book has been updated by Dr. Seuss Enterprises with the assistance of Partnership for a Healthier America.

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Get Students Out of Their Seats

Alien Health is a groundbreaking exer-game created at the Embodied Games for Learning lab at Arizona State University to both instruct in nutrition and encourage youth to exercise. The game instructs second through tenth graders about nutrition and the USDA MyPlate recommendations. It gets them out of their seats and performing short exercises in order to help a foundling alien save planet Earth from an asteroid. Players receive practice on rapid decision making that will serve them well when they must make quick choices about which food items to grab in a cafeteria line or at a convenience store.

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Write Letters in Response to Poems

Each year the Academy of American Poets commissions a poster in celebration of National Poetry Month in April. The academy distributes more than 120,000 posters, which are displayed in classrooms, libraries and bookstores, from coast to coast. This year’s poster was designed by National Book Award finalist Roz Chast. To request this year’s poster, simply complete the form on poets.org. To see posters from past years, visit the poster gallery; or to purchase posters from previous years, visit the Poets Shop.

Click Here to Request Free Poster

Plus: For this year’s National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets presents Dear Poet, a multimedia education project that invites young people in grades 5–12 to write letters in response to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors. To participate in this year’s Dear Poet project, students should view the videos of chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems on the project’s website. Then students should write one of the chancellors a letter in response and send it via post or email by April 30, 2015. The academy will consider all letters for publication on poets.org in May 2015. The academy’s chancellors will reply to select letters of their choosing. For teachers who are interested in using Dear Poet in the classroom, the academy has worked with a curriculum specialist to design a series of activities aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Click Here for More Information About “Dear Poet” Project

Click Here to Access Free Activities

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Demystify the US Economy

We the Economy is a series of 20 short videos (5 to 10 minutes each) about different aspects of the economy. Some are funny, some are serious; some are documentaries, some are narratives—but they all are reviewed by notable economists, produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and Paul Allen (Vulcan Productions) and directed by some of Hollywood’s top directors (for example, Catherine Hardwicke of the Twilight series and Lee Hirsch of Bully fame). A discussion guide and individual classroom lessons accompany the videos. Every lesson is self contained and aligned with Common Core and subject-area standards, including mathematics, social studies, English language arts, science and media studies. The videos can be streamed or downloaded, at no charge, from the We the Economy website; the lessons and discussion guide are also free to download. The producers plan to hold district professional development workshops in select cities (Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and St. Louis) during the year.

Click Here to Access Free Videos

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Professional Development Plus


Explore Innovative Ideas for Making the Digital Transition

Discovery Education is launching a series of professional learning webinars designed to inform district leaders on national education trends with special focus on the digital transition. Offered at no cost, the series, Inside :30, features some of today’s most innovative thought leaders as they discuss educational technologies, pedagogical practices, research, theory, leadership strategies and other areas that affect today’s school systems. The series commences on March 18, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (ET), with a webinar titled “Increasing Math Achievement at the Secondary Level: What Should Be in Your Professional Development Plan?” During this session, attendees will learn how to build an effective professional development plan for preparing and supporting teachers and administrators with pedagogical and practical considerations to ensure that students meet today’s rigorous math standards. The next webinar— “Building a Culture of STEM Teaching and Learning: From Vision to Practice!”— will take place on March 25, 2015.

Click Here to Register for Free Webinars

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Use Technology to Support Curricular Goals

On April 23, 2015, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), the Amazing Resources for Educators community on edWeb.net will host a free webinar titled “Differentiating Instruction with Technology: A Framework for Success.” In this webinar, sponsored by Quill.com, the presenter will describe ways to differentiate instruction in the K–12 classroom with technology. Attendees will hear about integrating various types of technology—computers, smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications and the Internet—into daily classroom practices. The presenter will focus on ways that participants can use these technologies to transform their teaching and meet the unique needs of every learner in their classroom. The webinar will be recorded and archived in the Amazing Resources community for members to access after the event.

Click Here to Join Amazing Resources for Educators Community

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

Click Here to Visit Quill Website

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Your Understanding of Financial Literacy

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and [email protected] High School (KWHS) will co-host the sixth PwC–KWHS Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility. This intensive, three-day learning experience will be held on June 15–17, 2015, on Wharton’s West Coast campus in San Francisco. In this sophisticated educational environment, educators will deepen their understanding of financial literacy and develop business-related skills that they can seamlessly integrate into their teaching. The seminar is free and open to all US high school educators, including teachers, principals, administrators and superintendents. However, those from the West Coast and Midwest will be given priority consideration. Applicants must have a permanent teaching position and teach personal finance, accounting, business or a business-related subject, or be in a supervisory role to teachers who teach these subjects. Attendees will enjoy networking opportunities with peers from across the country as they discuss best practices and create new connections. They will participate in breakout sessions and explore lesson plans and practical applications of seminar concepts, and they will have access to free curricula that they can apply immediately in their classroom. In addition, attendees will receive a certificate of completion from [email protected] and the opportunity to earn 20 hours of professional development credit. They will also receive coverage of primary expenses, including transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, teaching sessions and conference materials.

Deadlines: April 12, 2015, for submission of applications (space is limited); April 20, 2015, for notification of applicants selected to attend the seminar

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Click Here to Access Online Application

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Mobile Learning Journey


Tap into New and Interesting Space Explorations

Developed by The App Company, the Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science and Space Exploration brings together a wealth of new, important and historical information about science and space exploration. Some features of the app include live NASA streaming TV; hundreds of videos and photos of every important space initiative, both current and historic; and roundtable discussions moderated by some of the top minds in the science and space community. The app is available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Cost: $1.99

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Bring Shakespeare’s Love Poems to Life

Shakespeare’s words jump off the page in Shakespeare’s Sonnets, an iOS app from Touchpress. All 154 sonnets are performed in video clips by a variety of notable actors, including Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men, Royal Shakespeare Company), David Tennant (Dr. Who, Hamlet, Broadchurch), Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City), Fiona Shaw (The Waste Land, Harry Potter), Stephen Fry (The Hobbit) and Dominic West (The Wire). These performances—all specially filmed for the app—are synchronized to the text, which highlights line by line as each sonnet is spoken. The performance videos, running over 2.5 hours, are just the beginning. Also included are the complete Notes and Introduction from The Arden Shakespeare, offering scholarly commentary and insight. When users touch a mysterious line or difficult word in any of the poems, the corresponding Arden Note highlights to provide a comprehensive explanation. An alternative commentary on every sonnet comes from poet and musician Don Paterson, whose humorous and accessible style complements the academic rigor of the Arden Notes. Cost: $13.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Dive into a World of Discovery

Google has released YouTube Kids for free on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Although YouTube boasts millions of videos, only age-appropriate content is readily available for patrons of YouTube Kids. Children can browse channels and playlists in four categories: shows, music, learning and explore. Popular children’s programming, such as Reading Rainbow, DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club and Talking Tom and Friends, are included by default. Built-in controls give parents a say in what their children can access and when they can view content. Among the controls, a timer lets parents set up a specific video-gazing period, and an online search can be enabled for wider access to videos. Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Click Here to Visit Google Play Store

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STEM Gems


Investigate Magnetic Fields in Three Dimensions

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, which launched on March 12, provides an opportunity to bring hands-on science activities related to the mission to classrooms. The MMS mission will study the mystery of how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively releasing energy via a process called magnetic reconnection. Using four identical spacecraft, the mission will provide the first three-dimensional view of this fundamental process that occurs throughout the universe.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: NASA partnered with the University of Virginia and the International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) to design and publish a set of digital-age resources for students and educators, called iMAGINETICspace. These freely downloadable resources are designed to encourage teachers and students to work creatively and collaboratively through a study of science and engineering principles related to space weather and the MMS mission. The Student Transmedia Book (T-Book) is a digital-age storybook designed to help students learn about NASA’s MMS mission through a variety of inquiry- and engineering-based experiences. It includes experiment instructions, data-collection tables, reflection activities and QR codes linked to MMS content—all while encouraging the use of digital fabrication. The Educators’ iBook Companion is a mobile resource for the iPad that is embedded with self-paced professional development tools, information and resources for educators.

Click Here to Download Free Resources

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Bring the Wild into Your Classroom

The nonprofit ARKive, an initiative of the charity Wildscreen, promotes understanding of global biodiversity and conservation of the world’s most threatened species, using the power of wildlife imagery. ARKive is leading the “virtual” conservation effort—gathering together films, photographs and audio recordings of the world’s species, prioritizing those most at risk of extinction and building them into comprehensive multimedia digital profiles. Educators can use ARKive’s many thousands of videos, images and fact files freely to engage their students in key biology topics or as creative inspiration for art and design projects. ARKive also offers a wide variety of free teaching resources, for 5- to 18-year-olds, which cover a range of key science and biology subjects, including adaptation, endangered species, food chains, Darwin and natural selection, classification, identification, conservation and biodiversity. Among the teaching resources are classroom presentations, activities, handouts and teachers’ notes, as well as links to ARKive species profiles and scrapbooks. ARKive also has a number of interactive games designed to encourage children to learn about plants, animals and conservation in an engaging way.

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Worth-the-Surf Websites


Unleash the Power of Personal Stories

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz–Birkenau. A nonprofit institute, Centropa, is taking a unique teaching approach to educating the next generation about the Holocaust. Working across international borders, the institute is helping teachers collaborate on unleashing the pedagogic power of personal family stories. Centropa centers its work on the wider personal family stories, pictures and memories of a lost era, not just the unbelievable darkness of the Nazi years. To date, Centropa has collected more than 20,000 family photos, conducted hundreds of interviews and made scores of short films. One of these films is the story of a group of Czech boys in German-occupied Prague. The piece focuses on the boys’ efforts to keep sanity, hope and learning alive, while trapped, cramped and starving, in a Nazi-controlled ghetto where 90 percent of the people were murdered. The boys started to collect stories and pictures in secret; then one of the boys made a suggestion: they should write their own newspaper. The boys risked their lives to create an underground magazine called Vedem.

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Click Here to View Film About Boys of Vedem

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Hear from Those Who Faced Up to Hatred

While studying the civil rights era in 20th century US history, high school students can read 40 short oral histories posted free on Plugger Publishing’s Coming Together website. By clicking on the names in the contents listing, students will find the memories of men and women who, as young people, faced resistance (including fire hoses and jail) as they strove to secure voting rights and other basic rights in numerous states. Garret Mathews, who created this resource, is a retired columnist for the Courier and Press of Evansville, Indiana. His moving introduction to the collection includes links to two 30-minute YouTube videos (also available as DVDs) in which he interviews African Americans in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Evansville, Indiana, about what it was like to live under segregation.

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Foster a Lifelong Passion for Science with Games

ClearLab is a project of MuzzyLane Software to create compelling and innovative science games that middle school students can use in the “classroom”—whether in a school, home or out in the field. Combining traditional and modern approaches to learning with commercially proven game mechanics, ClearLab’s games demonstrate how valuable gaming can be when trying to learn, study, explore or review topics in science. Because ClearLab is an open project, teachers and students can follow along with the day-to-day work, play test games as they are developed and participate—directly on ClearLab’s blog—in discussions that will influence game design and development.

Click Here for More Information About Games

Click Here to Participate in Game Testing

Click Here to Access Blog

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