Big Deal Media K-12 Technology Newsletter

CDW eSchool News Collaboration Nation



Recognize Successful Educational Technology Collaboration

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 will 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. 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

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.

Click Here to Access Collaboration Nation Facebook Community

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Blend Movement and Programming, Put Math to Work, Reimagine Art & More

May 1, 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



Sponsored By:

Grants, Competitions and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Give Today, Thrive Tomorrow!

Learning Bird simplifies your school’s transition to digital learning with an approachable web application that brings 15,000 differentiated lessons to your students’ fingertips. The curated online library adapts to recommend the highest quality lessons in a variety of subjects, from mathematics and science to English and the humanities, for individual students. Students can easily search for lessons by keyword, topic or textbook. Teachers can access the library to differentiate blended or flipped instruction using formative assessment and lessons from multiple perspectives, giving students a greater chance of finding explanations that work for them. Personal dashboards contain detailed and informative reports so that teachers can review the progress and engagement of their class, school or district. Learning Bird also integrates with a school’s learning management system. For every high school or middle school that adopts Learning Bird between May 1 and June 30, 2015, an elementary school in the district will receive a free one-year subscription. Learning Bird’s education experts make implementation seamless so teachers can focus on giving the best education to their students. Book a demo and see Learning Bird’s future-ready solution in action.

Click Here for More Information

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Move Beyond Words

Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s Youth Literacy Grants are available to schools, public libraries and nonprofit organizations to help students who are performing below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Up to $4,000 in grant funding will be provided to assist in the following areas: implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs, purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives and purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs.

Deadline: May 21, 2015

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Develop Online Interactives for Civic Participation

Do you have an idea for a mobile application that will educate students about government and civics? The Library of Congress is offering grants to organizations that can build mobile apps on the topic of Congress and civic responsibility. Grant recipients will work with the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources program to build the apps. The total amount of funding available is $950,000. There is no minimum award amount. Individual funding levels will depend on the content and quality of applications, the number of applications received and the availability of funding. Cost sharing or matching is not required.

Deadline: May 31, 2015

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Create a State-of-the-Art STEM Lab

Northrop Grumman Foundation has launched an online contest to encourage today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators by creating classrooms and science labs that inspire. The Fab School Labs contest is open to public middle schools. The foundation will make five grants of up to $100,000 available to five winning schools to fund a school lab makeover. Teachers, principals and school administrators can enter their eligible school by visiting the Fab School Lab website, where they can learn about the contest and submit their application, along with photos and video to help tell their story. Semifinalist schools will receive online votes of support to assist with the final selection process. The winning schools will team up with Fab School Labs contest partner Flinn Scientific Inc. to design a state-of-the-art lab complete with all of the tools, resources and furnishings needed. The contest is designed to drive students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by giving public middle school teachers and school administrators the chance to create the STEM lab of their dreams and give students access to the latest learning tools and technologies that will stimulate as well as teach.

Deadline: June 12, 2015

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Resource Roundup


Prevent the Summer Slide

Learning Upgrade offers a full curriculum of standards-based reading and math courses for students to complete over the summer. Through its “Summer School for ALL Students” initiative, Learning Upgrade will provide schools and districts with full, complimentary access to engaging, standards-based curriculum for all of their students, regardless of whether they are participating in the traditional summer school model. This curriculum will reach even the most reluctant learners by incorporating music, videos and games into each of its lessons. The intuitive platform provides students with immediate feedback as well as additional support when and where students need it. After demonstrating proficiency in a given skill, students automatically advance to the next lesson. Teachers and administrators can track every student’s progress through web-based reports and provide incentives so that students complete their program by the start of school. To sign up, visit the Learning Upgrade website and click the Start Free Trial button. To sign up for a free school-wide license, simply mention “Summer School” in the information box and include the number of student licenses needed.

Click Here to Sign Up for Free Summer School Curriculum

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Improve Algebra Knowledge with Evidence-Based Strategies

Algebra teachers should show students both correctly and incorrectly solved problems and have students discuss them, according to a new algebra practice guide published by the United States Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. The guide, prepared by Mathematics Policy Research and released as part of the What Works Clearinghouse, includes three specific, evidence-based strategies for teaching algebra. The strategies are based on a review of studies about algebra instruction that were published between 1993 and 2013. The practice guide recommends that algebra teachers of students in grades 6–12 use solved problems to illustrate common errors and push students’ algebraic reasoning skills; help students see structure in algebraic representations; and have students compare different strategies for solving a problem. The guide is not dependent on any particular standards or curriculum.

Click Here to Download Free Algebra Practice Guide

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Reflect on Lincoln’s Legacy

The year 2015 will be an extraordinary time for reenactors, individuals and organizations steeped in Civil War history. This year will not only bring to a close the 150th anniversary of the Civil War; it will also remind the world of the 150th anniversary that changed the course of American History—the death of President Abraham Lincoln. For the first time since 1865, thousands of reenactors, period carriages, visitors and dignitaries will convene on May 1–3, 2015, in Springfield, Illinois, to pay tribute to the 16th US President with an unparalleled historic and solemn recreation of the funeral procession to Oak Ridge Cemetery. All schools are invited to participate in the event through a specially prepared teacher resource and ebook titled Bringing Lincoln Home.

Click Here for More Information About Reenactment Event

Click Here to Access Historical Documents from Lincoln’s Funeral

Click Here to Download Free Teacher Resource

Click Here to Download Free eBook

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Sponsored By:

Professional Development Plus

Become Assessment Ready

Schools are grappling with implementing high-stakes online assessments—in particular, those that address the Common Core State Standards. It’s a daunting task to get technology up to code, but school districts can take steps to ensure that their IT is ready for these new online assessments. CoSN, Education Networks of America (ENA) and eLearn Institute have developed a toolkit, Raising the Bar: Becoming Assessment Ready, as part of an overall effort to ensure all districts can make the transition smoothly. This suite of resources includes a white paper, readiness recommendations and checklists, school district case studies and frequently asked questions.

Click Here to Download Free Toolkit

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Benchmark Your Technology Progress

For the seventh year, educators, administrators and faculty members from K–12 and postsecondary educational institutions have the opportunity to take a short online survey to evaluate their current technology use. Educators who respond to benchmarking questions in the ETIN-SIIA Vision K–20 survey will evaluate their current implementation of technology and establish goals for the future. Focusing on goals outlined in the Vision K–12 roadmap, schools, districts, two-year colleges and four-year universities will be able to use Vision’s benchmarks to monitor their progress. They can complete the survey periodically as they work toward their technology integration goals. ETIN-SIIA member organizations worked together to develop the Vision K–20 initiative to serve as a guide for educational institutions to implement technology district-wide and campus-wide. The collective responses from educators nationwide will contribute to a clearer, more accurate picture of the type and quality of technology integration happening in US schools. The data will help education leaders and decision makers make thoughtful procurement, policy and instructional decisions.

Deadline: Survey closes May 8, 2015

Click Here to Learn More About Vision K–12 Initiative and Participate in Survey

Click Here to Learn More About ETIN-SIIA

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Inspire with STEM

On May 14, 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 “Can We Skip Recess to Work on Our Project? How to Inspire and Engage Your K–5 Students with STEM.” In this webinar, sponsored by Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the presenter will discuss why early access to STEM is critical, particularly for girls and underrepresented minority students, and what works to engage students in STEM subjects and give them confidence to continue pursuing the disciplines after elementary school. The webinar will also describe strategies an elementary school is using to integrate problem-based STEM curriculum into the school day and the results the school is experiencing. Additionally, participants will be able to explore PLTW Launch Lead Teacher Readiness Training—the first phase of PLTW’s professional development—for free. 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 for More Information About PLTW

Click Here for More Information About PLTW Training

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Mobile Learning Journey


Launch Problem-Based Learning in the Classroom

Teachers who are new to the problem-based learning approach can get started using the Problem Based Learning Experiences (PBLE) app for the iPad. Developed by educational and instructional consultants at the Hamilton County Educational Service Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, PBLE provides more than 50 ideas to jumpstart problem-based learning projects and help launch this type of learning in the classroom. Each problem is focused at a particular grade band, integrated with standards and connected to relevant activities and web resources. Cost: $1.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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Get More Out of the Core

Common Core ConceptBANK, an iOS app by Scoot Pad Corporation, explores, in great depth, the K–8 Mathematics and English Language Arts Common Core standards by grade level. After identifying a grade level and subject area, the teacher can select the domain and the specific standard of interest. The app provides sample questions for many of the standards. Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

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STEM Gems


Engage in Computational Thinking Through Interactive Movement

Virtual Environment Interactions (VENVI) is software and curriculum for blending movement and programming. Developed at Clemson University, the software offers a novel and embodied strategy of engaging fifth- and sixth-grade girls in computational thinking. Using VENVI, students learn basic curriculum involving the elements of dance, choreography and Alice, educational software that teaches students computer programming in a three-dimensional environment. The VENVI software utilizes movement choreography as both an engaging and a parallel context for introducing computational thinking. Compositional strategies in the choreographic process of ordering and reordering movement sequences also mirror computational practices of reusing and remixing. Students move and create pieces for their virtual characters to perform, bringing about connections between computational thinking and what their bodies are doing.

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Learn the Challenges That NASA Faces

HIAD is the name for NASA’s Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator technology. In the NASA HIAD game (available online and as mobile apps), students learn to control HIADs to land them safely back on Earth. As they play the game, students navigate the HIAD while accounting for velocity, wind speeds, timing of inflation and shape of the HIAD. If they make a mistake, the HIAD could burn up on reentry or crash when it misses the landing zone. The game has four progressively more difficult levels. The first level teaches students the basic concepts and skills needed to complete the game.

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Connect Math to 21st Century Careers

Scholastic has released “[email protected]: Math Meets Homebuilding,” the third episode in an educational web series connecting mathematics directly to careers and problem-solving skills used on the job. The 15-minute “[email protected]: Math Meets Homebuilding” webisode is available for free on the Scholastic Mathematics website. Hosted by Ty Pennington, best known for his role on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and set in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, “[email protected]: Math Meets Homebuilding” pairs two local students with experts from Make It Right, an organization founded in response to Hurricane Katrina by Brad Pitt to build environmentally friendly homes for people in need. In the webisode, Ty challenges students to think about the mathematical skills they need in order to install solar panels and a front walkway for the home. Each [email protected] webisode is paired with lessons to facilitate mathematical discussions and problem solving. The full series, including “[email protected]: Math Meets Fashion” hosted by Tim Gunn and “[email protected]: Math Meets Culinary Arts” hosted by Carla Hall, can be viewed on the Scholastic Mathematics website.

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Worth-the-Surf Websites


Bring 16th Century London into the Present

References to cities often make an appearance in Shakespeare’s poems and plays. This interactive map of early modern London will help students understand these references and truly appreciate The Bard’s work as they get to know the city in which he was writing. This bird’s-eye view of London (also known as the “Agas” map) was first printed on woodblocks in 1561—right around the time of Shakespeare’s birth—and then modified a century later. The intricate “Agas” map shows details such as monuments, institutions, businesses, marketplaces and urban planning fixtures. This interactive version pulls information from databases with names of locations, people and organizations in the city at the time, as well as reference material about the early modern period in London. These data are layered onto the “Agas” base map. If students click on the Middle Temple building, for example, the map will give them an idea of what it is and how it was used back when Shakespeare was around. They can also isolate urban features by type, using the labels on the upper-right corner.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Interactive Map

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Discover a Virtual Universe of Art

The open-world video game of Minecraft offers a new activity for its players to explore: interactive artworks presented by the Tate. The initiative, known as “Tate Worlds,” is the result of collaboration between Tate and a group of Minecraft artists and builders known as “The Common People” to refashion artworks from the Tate collection into Minecraft’s virtual universe. Three custom-made, unalterable maps are available to download from Tate’s website. The maps feature the Minecraft versions of André Derain’s The Pool of London (1906), Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson’s The Soul of the Soulless City (‘New York – an Abstraction’) (1920) and Peter Blake’s The Toy Shop (1962). Five more Minecraft maps, to be released in 2015, will include works by John Singer Sargent, Cornelia Parker and John Martin.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Interactive Artworks

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Find Inspiration in Contemporary American Literature

Selections from the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress are available to stream online for the first time—the launch of a project digitizing some of the Library’s 2,000 recordings from the past 75 years of literature. Most of the material comes from literary events at the Library of Congress or was captured in its Jefferson Building recording studio. Since 1943 the Library has hosted an annual Consultant in Poetry (since renamed the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry)—the first was Allen Tate; the current is Charles Wright—and these events and performances are coordinated under the consultant’s direction. While the audio archive represents an incredible resource of contemporary American literature, most of the recordings are found on magnetic tape reels that can only be listened to at the Library. In April 2015, 50 recordings were made accessible online. The material includes readings by former US Poet Laureates and Consultants Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell and Gwendolyn Brooks, as well as a 1971 lecture by Kurt Vonnegut, a 1984 talk by Ray Bradbury, a 1959 interview with Robert Frost and a reading by Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz. Going forward, the Library will add five recordings on a monthly basis.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Online Poetry and Literature Collection

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